Peotone, IL -- Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill Thursday authorizing the Illinois Department of Transportation to move forward on building a 3rd Chicago-area airport in Peotone. Confident that this will be a job creator, the Governor says the construction phase will employ more than 11-thousand workers, and the operational airport will put more than 14-thousand people to work.
Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Anne Schneider repeats this week, the importance of the public-private partnership model for building the airport: "What that means is we're going to be leveraging private sector investment in this airport. The private sector is going to determine, these investors are going to determine the viability of this airport. They're going to invest in this airport. We're going to build it, and we're going to do so minimizing public input from the taxpayers." Schneider do not hesitate to let it be known that the state do not have any experience in this type of development, and implementation of any type of public-private partnerships.
With that admission one cannot help but shiver as to what this can truly mean to the airport project as it gets underway. And putting Illinois’ political corruption aside, one do not have to look far to know how our local government can take a bad situation, and make it worst. The Chicago parking meter “bad deal” comes to mind, and boy what is currently going on (wrong) there at metra, and these are things that they are suppose to know how to handle. But, nonetheless after decades of dispute, the possibility of a third airport in the Chicago area finally materialized as Gov. Pat Quinn signed a wide-ranging bill that'll put state transportation officials in charge of the hub and allow them to spend $71 million on land.
Voters will be naive to ignore the reality of this bill being introduced at the tail end of the spring legislative session and crammed with unrelated projects, something legislators at the time deemed a "Christmas tree bill" is not something that should go unnoted. So only time will tell if there is actually a third airport on its way, or was this bill, and signing more about paving the way for the Rahm Emanuel’s ill-timed DePaul stadium project as a way to develop the city's waterfront.
DePaul, a Roman Catholic college, is located on the city's North Side, but the basketball team plays at the Allstate Arena in the northern suburb of Rosemont. The proposal would authorize financing to build the complex along Lake Michigan near McCormick Place convention center.
The bill also helps development of the Port of East St. Louis along the Mississippi River and change to the tax code involving farmland property.
The bill is SB20 -- Online: http://www.ilga.gov
The legislation is intended to resolve battles over which local government would be in charge of the airport by giving the Illinois Department of Transportation the power to enter into public-private contracts for the development, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of a third regional airport near Peotone in Will County. In other words ALNAC (Abraham Lincoln National Airport Commission), thank you for this concept, other than that you are now out of the running.
Pastor James Hunt, of New Hope Community Church and President of the South Suburban Action Conference, is another name mentioned more than once by Ann Schneider, and as he is cautiously excited about the airport finally coming to the south suburbs.
He has called a press conference in order to insure that this entire project is inclusive:
Join the South Suburban Action Conference in a Press Conference to Celebrate the Signing of the South Suburban Airport Monday, August 5 at 12pm
Where: Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph St., Chicago