By: Diane Benjamin
This meeting happened less than a year ago – July 19, 2021. It was difficult to pick the part taxpayers need to see. Listening to the entire discussion shows how government operates, it starts at 1:24:00. Take free money, figure out the details later.
The part I picked shows taking the Federal Grant was easy. The Town staff now wants another $6 million to build the underpass, total cost is just short of $30,000,000. If you missed this story, read it now: https://blnnews.com/2022/05/09/no-surprise-normal-needs-6-million-more-to-build-the-underpass/
The project is not just to get Amtrak passengers across the tracks safely, it is to expand Uptown south of the tracks.
The points you need to see start with Stan Nord asking why expected construction costs haven’t been updated to reflect current conditions. Chris Koos opted to weigh in, instead of letting staff answer. Koos claims the vote is to accept the grant, nothing more. Nord mentions the documents say the Town is obligated to complete the project with no additional funds. Koos claims the project can adjusted as needed.
Evidently not since the Town now is requesting more money.
Will Koos buddy Dickie Durbin find the money to bail out Normal? What’s another $6 million from the Feds, pocket change. If Durbin doesn’t come through, the taxpayers of Normal get the bill.
The question remains: Why did staff request more money on their own without telling the Council?
Answer: Your elected officials in Normal only exist to rubberstamp staff decisions.
Just hit play: