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Yorkville Mulls Route 47 Bike Path 'Quagmire'

State officials warn removing paths could delay funding for road widening.

Yorkville leaders have a few months to decide if they want to delay the Route 47 widening project by rejecting the bike trails state officials included in construction plans.

Yorkville City Council members discussed the issue again at their meeting Tuesday.

Two weeks ago they would deny an $116,000 donation if private citizens raised that amount as the city’s 20 percent share of the cost for including 2.44 miles of trails in the widening project.

Since then, state officials would charge the city $30,000 for new engineering work if city officials pulled the paths from the project. State officials also indicated that removing the paths could delay the project six to nine months and jeopardize its funding.

State officials currently are moving forward with plans to include the trails unless they hear otherwise from Yorkville officials, City Administrator Bart Olson said. They will expect a final decision by September.

Mayor Gary Golinski said he didn’t want  see anything delay the project but asked aldermen for their thoughts.

Ward 4 Alderman Rose Spears said she was unaware of the $30,000 potential cost earlier. She reiterated, however, that voters twice declined to give city officials permission to increase taxes to pay for the city’s portion of the bike paths. The state would supply the other 80 percent of the costs.

She criticized the role of union supporters from outside Yorkville in circulating petitions to put the second referendum on the ballot. She also criticized Todd Milliron, who doesn’t live in Yorkville, for speaking in support of the bike trails during public comment.

She emphasized that nonresidents would not have to pay for the bike paths.

“I am just so tired of what has been going on,” Spears said. “Twice the residents voted no. We get nonresidents in here talking about what we should do for our town.”

Ward 4 Alderman Diane Teeling, who spearheaded efforts to privately raise the city’s match, said those efforts didn’t get beyond the planning stages before other aldermen nixed them.

But Ward 1 Alderman Carlo Colosimo said he doubted the private funding would materialize.

“I find it very difficult to believe you can raise that amount of money in that short of time,” Colosimo said.

Colosimo characterized the situation as a "quagmire," since he said most residents support the widening project. He invited residents to contact him with their views in light of the new information but stated that the majority of the residents he talked with recently weren’t in favor of the trails.

“If we’re not going to listen to the residents,” Colosimo said, “why are we even mocking them and putting it on the referendum?”

It all comes out in the wash June 16, 2011 at 03:46 PM
Senior Garbage: all seniors pay .50 per month regardless if they make more than any non-senior. They show ID of an address and must be 65. 566 accounts Tax payers pick up the following subsidize balance month total tax payers pick up $11,886.00 Year total tax payers are picking up $142,632.00 Combined total passed on to tax payers=$252,927.12
It all comes out in the wash June 16, 2011 at 05:23 PM
Kibitzer, I have posted the numbers for everyone and these are available on the Yorkville URL. I really don't have the time but needed to find information for myself. Those numbers are factual and come from the City. These are the two items I disagree with and think that asking use to pay $250K plus while this economy and city is struggling is unacceptable. Everyone of the council members had an opportunity to OPT out of this insurance whihc would have been the right thing to do prior to the sign up date in April and prior to the budget being passsed but that did not happen. As a matter of fact the loudest mouth about expenses chenged the subject when brought up and hoped it would not be pulled out from under the carpet.
The Fighting Fox June 16, 2011 at 05:43 PM
Hypocrisy - The false assumption of an appearance of virtue. If Rose Spears was so concerned with only having Yorkville residents involved in making decisions for the City of Yorkville then she should have only allowed residents of Yorkville and more specifically, residents of Ward 4 help with her re-election campaign. Who circulated her petitions? Who campaigned for her re-election?
Todd Milliron June 16, 2011 at 06:07 PM
Mark, I see you can agree that the money can be found within the current Yorkville City Budget to keep the Rt. 47 Widening Project on track & on schedule. There just needs to be the will to do so by your so-called fiscal conservative friends who are on the benefits dole for Health, Dental & Vision Insurance. New Mayor Golinski needs to stand up & start to lead, putting the part-time alderman’s benefits question on the agenda for a vote, like wise for the Senior Garbage subsidy, put that to a vote too. This City Council was elected to be fiscally conservative & they can start doing it at the next meeting. It is time for your fiscal conservative friends to walk the walk & you as one of their KEY supporters need to remind all of them, "Actions speak louder than election rhetoric.” Your alderman friends are hiding and won’t disclose who has enrolled for health, dental & vision benefits. They continue to pay the City Attorney to fight the PATCH filed FOIA for public disclosure of this non-exempt public information about which alderman took high dollar benefits, they continue to waste limited tax payer funds to remain cloaked by the City Attorney's weak argument. Your fiscal conservatives can’t self-benefit themselves to the tune of $110,000, hide & claim to be looking out for the collective well being of all city residents, It is time for all of them to perform & act like a fiscal conservatives, do what they were elected to do. Remember, CUT, CUT, CUT.
It all comes out in the wash June 16, 2011 at 08:08 PM
Mark, I will use the name I want for my reasons. Period! As I stated before, I review the minutes and everything I have stated comes from the meeting minutes. There are current council members who were part of that March 2007 health insurance vote and some even continue to take advantage of tax payers. I agree the city should not be in the garbage business and this will resolve the one issue. I am not crying for anyone other than questioning why we are paying for things that should be questioned. You can bte this will be put on a refereddum and that is on record in the minutes too. I know this current administration has been in office for a few months and I will support our mayor however I do not support those who have been dishonest say one thing and do another. I'm not hiding anything as you can view all my posts. I'm not afraid of anything Period!
Jillian Duchnowski June 16, 2011 at 10:13 PM
Folks, there can sometimes be a fine line between fair discourse on a political topic and unfair name-calling. Some people obviously have strong opinions, but let's discuss them without toeing that line.
In The Know June 16, 2011 at 10:47 PM
I think IDOT is being generous by only charging $30,000 and delaying the project 6 months. This is probably a complicated set of plans where locations of yard drains, slopes of driveways, width of property to be bought, and lots of other considerations were made and will now have to be changed. They relied on the city's word that they wanted a bike trail and designed it accordingly, and were never given official instructions to "stop". They relied on the city's word that the replacement parking lot should go behind the old city jail. They relied on the city 30 years ago when they said they didn't want Route 47 widened, and they are relying on them now when they are begging IDOT to widen it.
Yorkville Will June 16, 2011 at 11:24 PM
So twice the voters turn down the referendum and yet, our "leadership" still manages to put us overtaxed residents on the hook for 30 large! This town could screw up a one car funeral. Perhaps if they weren't so busy being mis-lead by those who wanted it on the ballot yet again, they would have realized some kind of communication was due to IDOT to stop this madness!
Scott Harmon June 16, 2011 at 11:55 PM
My city taxes are up 106%.
Scott Harmon June 16, 2011 at 11:58 PM
Thanks for putting solid numbers on these issues. Those dollars could be used for essentials such as debt retirement, police and road repairs, or heaven forbid a reduction in our city property tax rate.
Scott Harmon June 16, 2011 at 11:59 PM
Thanks Jill. It's kind of getting rough on here again. I hope it's not the Harmon factor happening again : )
Scratch on Patch June 17, 2011 at 12:32 AM
Boy...I wish I lived in an America where we all had the same views and opinions. You can start this by following me. No shared use path tax increase. No widening Rt 47. No insurance plans for alderman/part time city employees. Full-time employees pay half of insurance premiums. No senior garbage subsidy. No more city funded library. Fine the owners of all un-mowed properties. Pull over every Menard truck that goes through town. Install Red light cameras. Create another Ward for 2 more aldermen. Create a full-time Mayor position and eliminate the City Admin position. Hire a full-time city attorney. I will have my opinions. You can have yours. Thank God this is America!
Marty Michalisko June 17, 2011 at 02:08 PM
In The Know, you are what your name says you are. You are absolutely correct. A job as large as the Route 47 project has hundreds of plan sheets. I think Bart stated 981 or something like that. I imagine a couple hundred sheets will be changed. When the plans change new quantities have to be measured. These quantities are what are used by the contractors to bid on the project. You cannot just delete the path and call it good. IDOT is not sticking it to Yorkville there is a lot of work involved. Is $30,000 set in stone or was it IDOTs estimate? If it is an estimate it could increase depending on the engineering consultants proposed contract amendment. So what is the solution to this quagmire? I would suggest leaving the plans as is and construct this segment of trail. Why flush $30,000 down the toilet and risk the 47 widening. If 47 is not widened the time cost of present and future delays will be huge! This is not the doing of the new council so they are not going against their campaign promises. The council can continue to hold their promises on future IDOT widenin and trail projects throughout their tenure. I think most residents would find this to be a reasonable stance. I think it would be a disaster if 47 is delayed and funding is lost.
Bob Allen June 17, 2011 at 03:19 PM
When Mayor Arthur Prochaska presented the proposal to widen Route 47 in 2004, Alderman Spears voted for it. It included the pedestrian/bike path. She put this plan in motion. Now, she wants to blame others and her actions are putting the entire widening of Route 47 in jeopardy. In my opinion, she should not be in public office.
Yorkville Will June 17, 2011 at 03:49 PM
Marty - I take it you are a bike trails supporter. Trouble is, it was voted down TWICE by registered voter residents. Your reasoning and Bart's comments of no community ever turning down the trails just smacks of a back door way to still push the trails through. We said no twice and we don't want the city on the hook for future maintenance. We are beyond broke. The surcharge is now on our sewer bills for the second year and my city taxes doubled this year. And In the Know - we're expected to believe $30K is "generous"? Sounds like extortion to me!
Marty Michalisko June 17, 2011 at 05:48 PM
I do like the idea of bike trails but the key to making a wise decision is to remove your emotions from the question at hand. I think if people would look at it from a pure numbers stand point they would find it to be beneficial to the City to construct this portion of the trail. I am an engineer so I like numbers: Trail - cost the City $115,000 No Trail cost - $250,000 + - $30,000 to IDOT for redesign - $50,000 in additional staff salaries during the 6 month delay (Assumed City Engineer, Public Works Director, Village Mangager time for additional 6 months of coordination with IDOT). - $150,000 in time cost delays to residents (Assumed 1000 residents cross the bridge per day, assumed a 5 min delay per resident, assumed residents time is worth $10/hour). - $20,000 in wasted fuel (Using assumptions from $150,000 cost above you get 83 hours/day wasted time idling. I am assuming idling for that long is approximately 25 gallons of fuel/day which is $100/day. For 6 months that is approximately $20,000 for the delay). - $????? miscelaneous costs (Council meetings, Staff benefits, Pension costs, etc.) I am a conservative guy. The conservative decision is to get this project done as soon as possible. Time is money. If government is to be run like a business, as true conservatives believe, this is a no brainer. Like I said earlier. Go ahead and scrap the other trails but delay of 47 would cost the city even more.
Marty Michalisko June 17, 2011 at 05:59 PM
$30,000 is far from extortion. Printing costs on a 900 sheet plan set is probably $5,000 by itself.
Dock Ellis June 17, 2011 at 06:16 PM
This Marty guy sounds like he knows what he's talking about. In the end, the job needs to get done. And "the people" never turned down bike trails. A very small number of them voted against a $1 million bond issue, not bike trails. The City Council represents all of the Yorkville citizens, not just those that vote. The community needs this project. Do it. Now.
In The Know June 17, 2011 at 08:00 PM
I think the Yorkville city attorney needs to give some good advice to the mayor and aldermen behind closed doors. Get rid of the bike trails on the other state highways while there is still time in planning, if that's what Yorkville wants. But I think it's too late to remove the planned trails on Route 47, unless the city wants to risk the whole thing blowing up in their face.
JasonH June 17, 2011 at 08:14 PM
I don't care if only 5 people voted on the issue. It was voted down period. If people that wanted these trails so bad decided not to exercise their right to vote on them then too frickin' bad. The bond issue was the vehicle to pay for these things and those that cared about taxes and a city drowning with debt said no.
Yorkville Will June 17, 2011 at 08:38 PM
So according to Marty and Dock, the will of the people be damned?! I'm no engineer but the fact that you're throwing out all of these big numbers seems only to be an attempt to get people to cave. The word I keep seeing is "assumed". How about reality? And to Dock's point, you're splitting hairs, as is a certain alderwoman. We say we voted against the bike trails. You say we voted against $1 million in bonds. In either case, whatever you want to call it, the outcome was the same - WE SAID NO! And if it wasn't clear the first time, we said no A SECOND TIME. I guess all of you people in favor of the trails/bonds/whatever didn't have as many voters on your side - be it 2 percent of the population, or 20 percent. It's just too bad all of your energies couldn't have been expended on something more critical - like needs (i.e., crumbling infrastructure, sewer debt, overall city deficit) vs. your non-essential wants.
In The Know June 17, 2011 at 09:21 PM
Will and others- I really don't care whether the trail goes in or not. I do care that a decision by the city's staff, apparently over 3 administrations, to include the trail in IDOT's plans, and the potential for throwing the Route 47 widening project out of whack by a last-minute change, is worth considering ALL the potential ramifications. The referendum voters were not voting on whether to pull the trail plans out of Route 47. They were voting on a bond issue that would have funded the city's share of this and other trail projects. The voters also put into place the present and previous city administrations (which include a few aldermen still in place) whose staff came up with the overall city bike trail plan, and the decision to include trails in IDOT's Route 47 plans, which incidentally still stands according to this article. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet, or suffer the unintended consequences. Mayor Golinski has a tough call whether to commit city funds from elsewhere to pay for the already agreed on bike trail and keep Route 47 moving and risk the wrath of his constituents, or to pull the rug out and screw up the Route 47 project and risk the wrath of his constituents.
Scott Harmon June 18, 2011 at 12:05 AM
I agree with Marty. The cost to maintain the trails is non-existent. We have a couple of miles of trails in our subdivision and the one next to ours. Not one pothole has arrived or any other defect requiring fresh asphalt to be applied by the city or any other entity in the past 5 years. This will most-likely be the case in the next 10 years and when and if repairs need to be done, the cost will be a blip on the city expense reports. As a common-sense conservative bringing in the trails that are already committed to by the United City of Yorkville and the Illinois Department of Transportation should be done and the city needs to move on to more pressing issues. Here's to looking forward to a safe route to traverse the city of Yorkville. Cheers.
Michael Schroeder June 18, 2011 at 07:25 PM
True conservatives believe government should be run like a business? Seriously? True conservatives desire for there to be very little government at all levels, so little that it would basically require only Robert's Rules of Order to conduct government business. Consider this: the founding fathers thought it necessary to write into the Constitution that congress must meet at least once a year. They were of the mind that there would be so little for government to do that members of congress might not even want to meet once a year. Imagine that! Wrap your mind around that! Unplug yourself from the Matrix! You should never need government at any level to live your life or get the things you need and want. That goes for all of our communities as well! Dare to be free and independent! Damn the government! Government should be so minuscule, you should need to beg your elected officials to meet!
Willie Maykit June 18, 2011 at 09:47 PM
Amen and pass the ammunition! Brilliant words from a patriot!!!
JasonH June 18, 2011 at 10:22 PM
With today's technology why do they need to print anything? Change what needs to be changed and distribute it electronically. Printing is wasted money in my opinion.
Scott Harmon June 18, 2011 at 11:34 PM
That's too funny JasonH. Technology allows us to print more, faster, and cheaper. The sheets that Marty speaks of are printed on an expensive plotter and would be a royal pain to read on an iPad and iPad's really wouldn't survive in the field as well as the cheap-to-replace-sheets will. The good thing is we are not killing trees to discuss bike paths, thanks to Patch.com.
kpfarrer June 25, 2011 at 02:05 PM
Revitalizing downtown Yorkville & riverfront with new businesses and paths (at a teeny fraction of the cost) seems good for Yorkville, will attract visitors, and will help raise property values. There seems to be more of a stubborness about this on the part of those opposed to the paths than actual consideration of practicalities. There has also been a lot of misinformation spread around. Colosimo did that mailing, acknowledged it, but I don't think he did another mailing to correct the info w/the people it was sent to.
Ferdie June 25, 2011 at 02:44 PM
What don't you people not understand about the word "no". The voters have spoken twice. Learn priorities, and how to balance a checkbook. Treasurer Dan Rutherford two weeks ago made it very clear. Our State's financial deficit is equivalant to each Illinois household owing $44,000. Don't order lobster when you can barely afford soup.
kpfarrer June 25, 2011 at 02:49 PM
In the bigger picture, the very little money spent on this excellent project will multiply into much more for Yorkville. Yorkville will benefit a lot from this in many ways. It's worth it.

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