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Committee to Take Another Look at Kennedy Road Trail Grant

Private group volunteered to raise the city's $357,320 match to the $1.38 million grant.

Yorkville’s Public Works Committee members are going to discuss – again - accepting a $1.38 million grant for a bike trail along Kennedy Road after three business leaders promised to raise the city’s share of the cost.

Lynn Dubajic, executive director of the Yorkville Economic Development Corporation, told aldermen Tuesday that she and two others are forming a non-profit organization called Push for the Path to raise the city’s $357,320 share. The other two involved are John Ammons, of Wheatland Title Guaranty and president of the economic development corporation’s board, and local real estate agent Maureen Sharp.

“We’re willing to take this from your plate and raise these dollars for the city of Yorkville,” Dubajic said.

The against accepting the grant.

The city would pay its 20-percent share over multiple years, but city leaders need to tell Illinois Department of Transportation officials by the end of January if they want to move forward with the project, City Administrator Bart Olson said.

State officials recently asked city leaders to agree to pay for engineering work associated with the project, with the state paying up to $190,240 and the city paying $47,560. Those engineering costs are included in the overall project and $1.38 million grant totals.

The 2.72-miles of trail would run along Kennedy Road from Route 47 to Mill Road, which is just south of Galena Road. There is a sidewalk along a portion of that section of Kennedy Road. The sidewalk sits on the south side of Kennedy Road from Route 47 to near Christy Lane.

“Ultimately, the Kennedy Road trail would connect Yorkville to the Fox River Trail (total 46.2 miles), the Virgil Gilman Trail (17.2 miles) and the Illinois Prairie Path (61 miles) in addition to a number of shorter area trail systems,” Laura Schraw, Yorkville’s interim director of Parks and Recreation, wrote in a Nov. 4 memo.

The Kennedy Road trail also would run past the site of the 2009 accident that killed Yorkville resident Darlene McCue after she was struck by a vehicle while riding her bicycle with her daughter.

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Ward 3 Alderman Marty Munns said amenities such as bike trails could encourage people to move to Yorkville, which in turn would spur economic development.

“Do we let the town become a ghost town and no one moves here? Or do we take a chance and build some amenities?” Munns said. “Sometimes you’ve got to take one step backward to take two steps forward.”

Meanwhile, Ward 2 Alderman Larry Kot said he doesn’t think the city can afford the trail but doesn’t object to someone else footing the bill. He questioned whether the private fundraising effort would be enough to secure the grant, though.

“That’s nothing more than a promise at this point, and I don’t think IDOT wants to enter into an agreement with a promise that someone else is going to pay it,” Kot said.

After the meeting, Dubajic said she expected the city would have to enter the agreement and promise to cover the funds if, for some reason, the private fundraising efforts fell short.

Todd Milliron December 29, 2011 at 10:33 PM
I think City Officials will find that the Kennedy Road shared use path is something that this community can come together on and will be able to raise the required funds from private sources. It is something I believe that wrestling community will support and help with. I believe there will be others that will volunteer and get behind this private funding project. It is a big plus that several leaders within our local business community also want to see this project on Kennedy Road completed. I applaud that type of leadership and the City of Yorkville’s new administration needs to take note, get behind these business leaders and work with them and others that want to move Yorkville forward, embracing the future and the potential we have, but yet to fully realize. It will take Village Effort, but with a vision and a concrete goal, collectively together we as a community can get the job done.
Ferdie December 30, 2011 at 02:41 PM
Sure is nice of all these out of towners suggesting to city residents how to cost us more in taxes. Put the trail in Bristol where Ms. Dubajic lives. Let the Township people pay for these expenses.
Steve Buchtel December 30, 2011 at 05:13 PM
A multi-use path that connects a town to a larger network is one of the few public facilities that can return more in tax revenue then it costs to build and maintain it. That's really the taxes issue: does the dollar spent create a dollar (or more) in value? The return on trails depends on how many users a trail has, and whether a community is inviting those users (and their dollars) off the trail and into the community. So many Fox River Trail towns do this right, as does Frankfort on the Old Plank Road Trail. But the larger return comes from enhancing your community compared to the village that wanted to "save" a dollar. Real estate is more valuable and sells faster in a town with trail connections. Parents, seniors, young professionals and CEOs consistently prefer to make their home or build their business in the trail connected community. In a ballroom as crowded as Chicagoland, trails turn heads. Trail connections are where Illinois towns are creating value for the public and their community beyond the dollar spent. The federal grant Yorkville has in hand accelerates value creation tremendously—a dollar donated to Push for the Path will return $4 in federal trail building money. Yorktown and Push for the Path aren't matching 20% of the trail's cost. The feds are matching every dollar they raise with $4 of community investment. If you're going to spend a dollar, spend the one that brings $4 back. Steve Buchtel Trails for Illinois Facebook: trailsforillinois
Ferdie December 30, 2011 at 11:17 PM
I let my checkbook give me the facts. We lived in North Aurora for 30 years b4 moving to Yorkville (City) over 10 years ago. Much to the chagrin of the out of towners, our tax bill there never decreased and in fact the Fox Valley Park District who built the trails there, were one of our largest taxing bodies, outside of West Aurora Schools. One of our favorite local merchants (Sunny Supermarket) was shopllifted numerous times, and robbed at least twice. The perpetrators fled from the store to, you guessed it, the money making bike trail. Owner Chris would not agree with Mr. Buchtel's glowing economic boom claim.They can make all the false claims they want. Our family experienced the "real life" of bike trails. We don't need any more taxes or "free money" the financially troubled State wants to give away.
Carlo Colosimo December 31, 2011 at 02:01 PM
I'm listening Mark. The only way I would ever consider voting for this is if the Push for the Path organization produces a check for $357,000.00 within the next two weeks. Unfortunately, we need to let the State of Illinois know by the end of the month if we want the path. We cannot play Russian Roulette with taxpayer money. If we commit to the bike path and the Push for the Path committee falls short of their fund raising goal, guess who makes up the difference. We have deteriorating roads, a $400,000.00 bridge repair looming and are in need of several more police officers. People talk about the path being a public safety issue. As chairman of the public safety committee I ask you what is a bigger public safety issue, a bike path or not having enough police officers? I want it all for Yorkville, unfortunately we can't afford everything.
Jillian Duchnowski December 31, 2011 at 03:30 PM
This is a side issue, Carlo, but what do you think are the long-term needs for police officers in Yorkville? We have about 30 full-time officers now? How many can/should we realistically add next year?
Carlo Colosimo December 31, 2011 at 07:22 PM
Jillian since our election 8 months ago we have added 3 full-time officers. Even with these additions we only have 25 full-time officers. We also have 5 part-time officers. If we want to maintain our ideal ratio of 2 officers for every 1000 residents we need 36 full-time officers. Currently we are 11 full-time officers short. During the budget process I will be very vocal as to our need for more officers and better compensation for our officers so that we don't lose them to surrounding communities. Bike trails are a luxury not a necessity. When someone dials 911 and has an emergency a bike trail will not respond to that call. Our officers are the best trained and equipped officers in the area. They do more with less everyday. It's about time that we place our focus on them rather than luxuries.
Dan December 31, 2011 at 08:00 PM
Look at the big picture with this trail. It's advantages far out weight the disadvantages. Less traffic on the roads, Healthier residents, safety, building community, tourism destination, amenity for incoming families. Disadvantage, Money. Walking, biking and being in a wheelchair is like taking your life in your hands in this town. I think there is some money in the health insurance for elected officials. About $110,000 per year. Over three years (when Yorkville would have to come up with the matching 20%) the money would be there. Right now that money is benefiting 7 people but if used for the public good could benefit all. See benefits above. Problem solved.
It all comes out in the wash December 31, 2011 at 08:22 PM
The community gains from these trails we do not gain one dang thing from paying about $260,000.00 a year for part time aldermans health insurance nor do any of us gain from having to fork out more money to pay for the senior garbage. All seniors pay 50 Cents while the rest of us have to pick up the tab. I'm sure people don't mind having to help those who need it but for those who don't come on. These issues impact all tax payers of this community. The 110,000.00 for health insurance could have been used for a couple of officers. This was something the council gave themselves. This community should VOTE on both these issues. The council has yet to put this on the agenda why? It took months for the truth to come out about this. If there is a group of people who want to raise the funding for this I say we should get behind this effort and support them. What many of us will not support is dishonest alderman who hid the truth for months until the state said publish the names.
Dan December 31, 2011 at 11:40 PM
Many seniors are very well off and still getting charged 50 cents per month for garbage when the rest of us are paying out the nose. Why not make an income limit and save the masses some tax money. Put that $ towards something that will be available to everyone and improve the quality of life here in Yorkville. That $Change can make a real difference.
Ferdie January 01, 2012 at 03:45 PM
This thread is getting off track. I simply responded to the out of towners pushing their will on City of Yorkville taxpayers. For Dan, my family's plenty healthy, and we pay our own way. My wife belongs to a local private health club, and I work out in my basement. I buy my own treadmill, and weights. Government should never compete with private investment, such as the the Rec Center. The out of towners from Bristol have an opportunity to put their desired bike trail in Bristol Township. I'm sure Jeff Corneils would accomodate a maintainance budget in future years. As Alderman Colosimo mentioned, Yorkville has many basic needs to be met. Street repair, and Public Safety for starters. Bottom line--pay your own way, the old fashioned way.
Dan January 01, 2012 at 06:08 PM
If you are using the above income amounts as a case for subsidized garbage. Why not make it available to everyone? That seems more constitutional.
Dan January 01, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Government is in place to provide for the commons that all can use. You may choose to not use the Rec Center. That is your choice but it is available to all. The shared trails are too. Senior subsidized garbage and insurance for elected officials are not for the commons.They both benefit the few. Get rid of these two line items and the shared path match will be paid for.
Bill Barkley January 02, 2012 at 10:07 AM
The original plans for the connecting the bike trail along Kennedy was to be part of Autumn Creek and Grande Reserve subdivisions that will probably never happen. The biggest problem with the short stretch across Autumn Creek by the Kennedy Rd. retention pond is that the outfall for that pond has never been constructed. This was to be done as part of the Kennedy Rd. widening. The storm sewer outfall is complete north of Kennedy, but not from Autumn Creek Blvd. east and north across Kennedy to connect it. If this is not done prior to putting in a trail, it would have to be ripped up to put in the outfall. I think it was great that developers were willing to install all these paths when the economy was in it's hayday, but don't think it is worth it to to take tax dollars away from more needed projects now that the developers have gone belly up. I wish people would use the paths that are there, in doing punchlists on Grand Reserve, Autumn Creek, Prairie Meadows, and other subdivisions, I can tell you that I very seldom even saw a bicycle or pedestrian on any of the paths. Let's get back to spending what we have not what we can! Bill Barkley
It all comes out in the wash January 02, 2012 at 04:20 PM
I go by facts! And one of my Alderman, the only one that was truthful about the health insurance said this is an issue that would be addressed. That Walmart bag comment as I recall was also the same thing Rose said. She has Health Insurance and was mayor proterm when this was put into effect. So the facts say there are no rules at all around this garbage other than age and residence. What are facts are: As of the last billing cycle: 566 seniors receive this, there are 225 seniors who are on the Circuit Breaker program that has rules. Per year is cost the rest of us $146,028.00 and another $110.000.00 to cover the health insurance. This is something that should be addressed by the council. So don't tell me to get off my behind as I have many times to address both of these issues. As I said before I don't mind at all helping those seniors who need it. I do have an issue with all receiving it with no rules.
It all comes out in the wash January 02, 2012 at 04:29 PM
You think there are no families in the same boat? You think these same families should have to pick up the tab for the seniors garbage when all do not need it? As I recall all seniors get a tax break too as they should. This is a city program not a state program. And for the many seniors you show me who need help I'll show you just as many families who can't feed their children because of what has happened in this economy and more specific in this community. We need to do the right thing and that is to help those who need it (with Rules or guidelines) in this community. One of my Alderman I believe has the right solution and on record as I got off "My Behind" and participated.....
DSzass January 02, 2012 at 06:38 PM
I’m a tired taxpayer seeing how our representation works. Do the right thing for the residents! Be a positive member of our community and do what needs to be done. This shouldn’t be difficult. Aldermen, sit down with Ms. Dubajic and her friends (local bankers) and roll up your sleeves and figure out how to make this work. Failure should not be an option. I’ve seen it happen with the building of the Grand Reserve school. Individuals teemed together with a local banker and provided a solution to build the school. This can happen if individuals want to make it happen. I think I know where the $ are going to go. Health care premiums are probably going up and our aldermen are planning ahead. MMMMM! A new and appropriate word to describe our representation (Yorkville Aldermen) is Hypocrisy! Take away from the taxpayers and put it in your own pockets. I pay my family’s healthcare premiums and I have to pay for their family’s too? The sad thing is that many of them have great jobs and are not struggling. It is just a case of milk the system so go back to the original issue here and find a way to make the trail work!
DSzass January 02, 2012 at 06:43 PM
And to follow up on where dollars should go. I am so irritated that certain aldermen are jumping to the bone to take away amenities that we currently have to free up a dollar for who knows what. Streets, Come on Man! The majority of the roads are the same as they were 20 years ago when we moved here. When Rt. 47 gets tore up this spring, nothing else will get done for the next 3 years. No dollars going there. Police? I truly believe we have a great department already. Our officers are young and very good at what they do. Do I believe we are understaffed? Come on Man! Try driving through town without seeing our guys at work. Besides our city officers, we have a whole sherrif department in our town also. Since we are getting double dipped with the KenCom deal, use them if there is a shortage! No dollars going there either. Hey, I just got an idea. As we begin a new year, ALL Aldermen take a pledge and show the taxpayers that you really care. REFUSE TO USE CITY HEALTH CARE!!!
Dock Ellis January 03, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Good point, DSzass. What is with the hypocrisy here? All these politicians are crying "poor" when they are getting gold-plated health care on OUR DIME?? I'd much rather have a pedestrian trail that the WHOLE COMMUNITY wants and that will serve the WHOLE COMMUNITY than some kind of fluffy benefit that only serves a PRIVILEGED FEW!!!!
The Fighting Fox January 03, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Mark A Johnson the man who was named in a lawsuit filed in Kendall County (2010-L-00075) for his postings under the moniker “muskie mark” on the Beacon News website now says to another poster here, “Most of us use our full name but that's your choice. Full names usually help determine if the comments are worthy or not ….” If you are interested you can read muskie mark’s apology for his postings in the Beacon News comments section on the Oswego Patch - http://oswego.patch.com/articles/letter-to-the-editor-comments-not-directed-at-developer-harold-oliver
Kibitzer January 03, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Um..just wondering, "fighting fox", how Harold Oliver was able to determine who made the particular comments that led to a lawsuit? If we choose a "name" to write under, and supposedly only the newspaper knows who the real person is, who is using that "name", then how can a reader of that paper get access to the person's actual name? Papers (and other onsite spots), often erase comments they feel are suspect, or dangerous, or, even perhaps, inciteful. I don't know the particulars in Mr. Johnson's situation, but something doesn't smell quite right.
The Fighting Fox January 03, 2012 at 10:58 PM
"Kibitzer" I don't know. Maybe it was widely known that "muskie mark" was a pen name for Mark Johnson, he did write a "local flavor" column for the Beacon News for a short time maybe he used that name then? Maybe he will fill us in, it would be interesting to hear his perspective on it . FYI, the paper was also named in the lawsuit.
Ferdie January 04, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Some prior uneducated comments need to be addressed. THE WHOLE COMMUNITY doesn't want bike trails. This redundant issue has been defeated twice by referendum. More important needs for this City.
Dock Ellis January 04, 2012 at 02:11 PM
When was there a referendum on building bike trails? I don't recall this. I do remember referenda on issuing bonds, however. Some people need to educate themselves about what they are voting on before they vote, I guess.
Teresa February 08, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Lynn Dubajic has worked tirelessly for the taxpayers of Yorkville for years and deserves applause. Without her efforts, Yorkville would not be the great family community it has become. Ask what would inspire her to wish for a bike trail. My answer: SAFETY OF IT'S RESIDENTS. Please if developed, name the trail, "The McCue Trail." The community should honor Don & Char McCue. The entire McCue family deserves to be remembered and honored. Best wishes to all, Teresa Tuetken

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