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Minooka, Grundy County sharing cost of new railroad viaduct

Published: Thursday, June 26, 2014 9:42 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 8, 2014 11:11 a.m. CDT

MINOOKA – The Minooka Village Board has approved an agreement with Grundy County to foot $2 million of the cost to build a new railroad viaduct over Ridge Road.

Both the county and the village agree Ridge Road needs to be widened north of the CSX railroad tracks to McEvilly Road to accommodate increased traffic. The Minooka board approved the agreement at its meeting Tuesday by a 6-0 vote with trustee Terry Houchens absent.

Minooka Administrator Dan Duffy took the village’s signed agreement to Grundy County on Thursday, according to Village Clerk Mary Ray.  

The county has the new railroad viaduct in its five-year road and bridge construction plan.

The entire price tag for the project is $7.25 million, according to village records. Grundy County already has received a grant from the Illinois Commerce Commission for $4.35 million toward the project.

Minooka is contributing $2 million in Federal Surface Transportation funds previously granted to the village by the Will County Governmental League for the project. That will leave about $520,000 to be paid by Grundy County.

Refinancing bonds could mean lower fee

The refinancing of three bond issues into one could mean a lower special assessment fee attached to property owner’s homes in Minooka.

Minooka trustees approved Tuesday refinancing $20 million in bonds used to build the infrastructure in Lakewood Trails, Lakewood Trails Unit 2 and Prairie Ridge subdivisions in 2003 and 2004. Residents in those subdivisions have a 28-year assessment on their property.

The village keeps an eye out for ways to pass savings on to residents, village Finance Director John Harrington said. By consolidating the bond issues, savings could be realized through a reduced interest rate and the fees associated with administrating three separate accounts.

William Blair & Company has completed the research needed to find out if the village could combine the bonds and if it would result in a savings. It still has to be approved by the village’s insurance company.

“If approved, the goal would be to go to market the first week of July and close the transaction two weeks after that,” Harrington said.

If the refinancing is approved by the insurance company, residents will get a letter from the village highlighting how the change will affect their individual assessments.

“If the insurance company says they won’t insure it, we will keep looking for an opportunity that will work in the future,” Harrington said.

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