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Illiana Expressway won't link to I-55 near Channahon

Bluff Road terminus 'off table;' Wilmington area likely choice

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012 9:00 a.m. CST

CHANNAHON – Village President Joe Cook announced Monday evening the state is no longer considering the “A3S2” option for the location of the Illiana Expressway.

According to Cook, Illinois Senator Pat McGuire notified him that the option, which was proposed to begin at Bluff Road and Interstate 55 in Channahon, was now “off the table” for consideration of the route.

Cook thanked everyone who had banded together in a campaign of letters, phone calls and meeting attendance to express their views on the negative impact they believed the project would have on the village.

Cook said McGuire told him “that our ability to explain the issues and impact . . . were critical items in that discovery process and in that communication process.”

The Illiana Expressway is scheduled to begin at Interstate 55, possibly just north of Wilmington, and will extend from there east through Illinois to Indiana.

Last summer, the Channahon Village Board unanimously approved ia resolution opposing the “A3S2” terminus. The state estimated between 30 and 40 houses in Channahon would be lost if the expressway would have begun at Bluff and 55, but only 12 to 29 residential relocations would be required with other routes.

Also from this week’s Channahon village board meeting, trustees are on their way to giving housing and commercial developers a financial break, hoping to encourage an economic turn in the village.

The board passed, with Trustee Judie Nash casting a dissenting vote, an ordinance lowering the value of an improved acre of land from $75,000 to $45,000. The value is used to calculate the fees developers are required to make in lieu of land donations for schools and parks.

Earlier in the year, the village received an appraisal from the South Suburban Home Builders Association estimating the value to be around $22,000. Village staff performed their own computations and came up with a figure closer to $50,000. The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended reducing the land valuation to $45,000.

Channahon Grade School District 17 Superintendent Dr. Karin Evans was present for the vote and said she and her board understood the importance of re-invigorating the community.

Another measure to reduce certain building and impact fees was discussed and will be introduced to trustees in the November meeting. That measure proposes to suspend school impact fees in Deer Ridge, North Hansel Estates, Whispering Oaks and Woods of Aux Sable, suspend village capital impact fees, and reduce the fire department’s impact fees from the current level of $486 to $250 per year, with no annual increases. 

If approved, the measure would lower developers’ permit fees on a 2,500-square-foot single-family detached home from $19,711 to $11,089.

According to Community Development Director Mike McMahon, housing starts are so poor that only one developer is left in the village.

“Something has to happen,” he said. “I don’t know if this is it, but it’s a place to start.”

Channahon trick-or-treat hours were also announced. For Halloween, Oct. 31, hours for trick-or-treating will be 4 – 7 p.m.

Village Administrator Joe Pena also announced that two free leaf pick-ups are scheduled – one on Nov. 3 and the other on Nov.17.

Trustee Debbie Militello also reminded residents that Channahon Township has electronics and hazardous waste disposal open on Saturdays. Trustee Sam Greco said the hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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