Will County Gazette

Will County Gazette

Monday, January 20, 2020

Will County Public Works and Transportation Committee met November 7

By Kristine Gonzales-Abella | Jan 14, 2020

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Will County Public Works and Transportation Committee met Nov. 7.

Here is the minutes provided by the committee:

I. CALL TO ORDER / ROLL CALL

Chair Joe VanDuyne called the meeting to order at 9:01 AM

Attendee Name

Title

Status

Arrived

Joe VanDuyne

Chair

Present

Mimi Cowan

Vice-Chair

Present

Mark Ferry

Member

Present

Donald Gould

Member

Present

Tyler Marcum

Member

Absent

Jim Moustis

Member

Present

Meta Mueller

Member

Present

Ray Tuminello

Member

Present

Margaret Tyson

Member

Present

Also Present: M. Fricilone.

Present from State's Attorney's Office: C. Wise.

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG

Mr. Gieseke led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

III. APPROVAL OF MINUTES

1. WC Public Works & Transportation Committee - Regular Meeting - Oct 3, 2019 9:00 AM

RESULT: APPROVED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER: Jim Moustis, Member

SECONDER: Mark Ferry, Member

AYES: VanDuyne, Cowan, Ferry, Gould, Moustis, Mueller, Tuminello, Tyson

ABSENT: Marcum

IV. OLD BUSINESS

V. NEW BUSINESS

1. New Business - TM Tire Variance request

(Jeff Ronaldson)

Mr. Van Duyne stated TM Tire requested a variance to keep a sign in our ROW. They have asked to have the item removed from the agenda.

Mr. Moustis asked will the sign remain on the ROW?

Mr. Gieseke stated the sign is on the ROW and if the variance is removed it will

stay there until the improvements planned for Gouger Road are completed.

Mr. Moustis stated what were the circumstances, did we buy additional ROW or did they violate the ROW initially?

Mr. Wesel replied when they started to rebuild the entrance it allowed us to look at the property and we noticed the sign was on the ROW.

Mr. Wesel stated that was an AT&T remote facility. When they revamped the property they had to rededicate the ROW and down the line someone did not realize the additional ROW was dedicated when they built the sign.

Mr. Moustis stated it cannot remain on the ROW. People cannot use our ROW no matter what the circumstances are. We have issues like this at the Forest Preserve and tell them to get off our property or get off the ROW. If you say it is going to be reconstruction and will be gone eventually, I don’t have a problem.

Mr. Gieseke stated it will be a couple of years, three to five years, depending on what it takes to rebuild the overpass on I-80.

RESULT: WITHDRAWN [UNANIMOUS]

TO: Will County Board

SECONDER: Ray Tuminello, Member

AYES: VanDuyne, Cowan, Ferry, Gould, Moustis, Mueller, Tuminello, Tyson

ABSENT: Marcum

VI. OTHER NEW BUSINESS

VII. RESOLUTIONS TO BE RECOMMENDED TO COUNTY BOARD

1. Authorizing the Will County's State's Attorney's Office to Proceed with Condemnation Cases regarding the County's Improvements on Cedar Road (CH 4) over Spring Creek, County Board District #7

(Jeff Ronaldson)

RESULT: WITHDRAWN [UNANIMOUS]

TO: Will County Board

MOVER: Meta Mueller, Member

SECONDER: Mark Ferry, Member

AYES: VanDuyne, Cowan, Ferry, Gould, Moustis, Mueller, Tuminello, Tyson

ABSENT: Marcum

2. Authorizing Approval of Professional Services Agreement for Supplemental Design Engineering Services Agreement with Willett, Hofmann & Associates, Inc., Cedar Road (CH 4) over Spring Creek, County Board Districts #7

(Jeff Ronaldson)

RESULT: MOVED FORWARD [UNANIMOUS]

TO: Will County Board

MOVER: Ray Tuminello, Member

SECONDER: Donald Gould, Member

AYES: VanDuyne, Cowan, Ferry, Gould, Moustis, Mueller, Tuminello, Tyson

ABSENT: Marcum

3. Authorizing Approval of Professional Services Supplemental Agreement for Right of Way Acquisition Services (Relocations) with Land Acquisitions Inc. for Several Parcels of Property along Bell Road (CH 16) at the Intersection with 143rd Street (CH 37), County Board District #7

(Jeff Ronaldson)

RESULT: MOVED FORWARD [UNANIMOUS]

TO: Will County Board

MOVER: Mimi Cowan, Vice-Chair

SECONDER: Meta Mueller, Member

AYES: VanDuyne, Cowan, Ferry, Gould, Moustis, Mueller, Tuminello, Tyson

ABSENT: Marcum

4. Authorizing Supplemental Funds for Agreement between the County of Will and Chicap Pipeline Co., whose Contractor Operator is BP Pipelines (North America) Inc., for Reimbursement for Relocating Facilities Along 135th Street (CH 35) from Smith Road to Emily Lane, County Board District #7

(Jeff Ronaldson)

RESULT: MOVED FORWARD [UNANIMOUS]

TO: Will County Board

MOVER: Ray Tuminello, Member

SECONDER: Donald Gould, Member

AYES: VanDuyne, Cowan, Ferry, Gould, Moustis, Mueller, Tuminello, Tyson

ABSENT: Marcum

5. Authorizing an Agreement between the County of Will and Northern Illinois Gas Company D/B/A Nicor Gas Company for Reimbursement for Relocating Facilities on Francis Road (CH 64) at the Parker Road Intersection, County Board District #12

(Jeff Ronaldson)

RESULT: MOVED FORWARD [UNANIMOUS]

TO: Will County Board

MOVER: Ray Tuminello, Member

SECONDER: Mimi Cowan, Vice-Chair

AYES: VanDuyne, Cowan, Ferry, Gould, Moustis, Mueller, Tuminello, Tyson

ABSENT: Marcum

6. Authorizing Approval of Professional Services Agreement for Right of Way Acquisition Services (Relocations) with Land Acquisitions Inc. for Several Parcels of Property along 80th Avenue (CH 83) from 191st Street (CH 84) to 183rd Street, County Board Districts #2 and #12

(Jeff Ronaldson)

RESULT: MOVED FORWARD [UNANIMOUS]

TO: Will County Board

MOVER: Meta Mueller, Member

SECONDER: Mimi Cowan, Vice-Chair

AYES: VanDuyne, Cowan, Ferry, Gould, Moustis, Mueller, Tuminello, Tyson

ABSENT: Marcum

7. Intergovernmental Agreement for Emergency Vehicle Preemption System at the Intersection of Francis Road (CH 64) and Parker Road, County Board District #12

(Jeff Ronaldson)

RESULT: MOVED FORWARD [UNANIMOUS]

TO: Will County Board

MOVER: Ray Tuminello, Member

SECONDER: Meta Mueller, Member

AYES: VanDuyne, Cowan, Ferry, Gould, Moustis, Mueller, Tuminello, Tyson

ABSENT: Marcum

8. Granting Ingress and Egress for a Vacant Lot on Manhattan-Monee Road (CH 06) County Board District #2

(Jeff Ronaldson)

RESULT: MOVED FORWARD [UNANIMOUS]

TO: Will County Board

MOVER: Jim Moustis, Member

SECONDER: Ray Tuminello, Member

AYES: VanDuyne, Cowan, Ferry, Gould, Moustis, Mueller, Tuminello, Tyson

ABSENT: Marcum

VIII. DIRECTOR OF TRANSPORTATION DISCUSSION

1. WCDOT Condensed version of IDOT 2020 MYP – Projects in Will County only

(Jeff Ronaldson)

Mr. Gieseke reviewed the attached information on the State of Illinois’ multi-year program. Over the next five years there is over $2 billion of work associated with the State plan; about half of that is along I-80

Mr. Palmer stated the Governor was in Will County yesterday to talk about the Capital bill. The interchange at I-55 and Airport Road is one of the Will County projects in the bill. We have been meeting periodically with the Mayors in eastern Will County regarding a connection between I-394 and I-57. There is money programmed for an interchange on I-57. We are focused on working with municipalities to get an east/west route. The Mayors are asking for truck routing from I-394 to I-57. It is still to be determined how we get them on to I-57, but an interchange could be part of that. If that goes forward, we would try to tie into that and use it as a truck route. The eastern part of Will County does not have a good east/west truck route. Our overall County effort is to structure something and push trucks to it. We will keep this Committee apprised and work with the Board Members in that area. The money has been kicked around, but it is going for an interchange at I-57 to connect with Route 50, which is parallel. Economic development is occurring on I-57, which is good. Development along the interstate with easy off-on is better than going on township and municipal roads.

Mrs. Ogalla stated we have had meetings in eastern Will County. If you go west of I-57 on Eagle Lake Road is it nothing but gravel. If you go east of I-57 you can’t get over I-57 or the railroad tracks. There is nothing at that intersection. I have heard comments if we build an interchange to nowhere, then perhaps the airport developers will come. That is a ridiculous use of funds by the State. The planning was north between the Village of Monee and Pauling Road where they were looking at bringing in a new route for the trucks, putting them slightly south of the Village of Monee, still north of Pauline Road and Offner Road. It does not make any sense. There have been conversations to take the funding and use it for other truck routes in eastern Will County.

Mr. Palmer stated I believe Eagle Lake Road was a mistake, Offner Road has been the road they talked about. Mrs. Ogalla and I have talked about this, they may need to change this. Phase 1 has not been done; so it is not coming tomorrow. Even if it moves forward, a lot of work has to be done. This is an opportunity, if there is money available, to support some of our local initiatives to do truck routing, something the communities would like. If there is money available rather than spend it on something less valuable, maybe it could be put into something more valuable for the local communities. It may be something they will support and get behind. We are looking at Crete/Monee Road because it is probably the best option. Some of the other roads have challenges. There is a concept that could work as a connection to I-394; perhaps we could bring this back to Committee. This is an effort of what the County; County Board and County Executive, can help do to bring communities together, find mutually agreeable solutions and get them onboard. We have had several meeting and we have made progress by getting the communities focused on a unified vision.

A brief discussion took place regarding the location of Eagle Lake Road in relation to I-394 and Route 1.

Mr. Moustis asked are we addressing this area in our Transportation Plan? If not, do we need to include it in our 2040 Plan? Should we incorporate this in our Transportation Plan? Should we put more of an emphasis on it, especially if you think we need to give testimony or lobby to have the funds better spent on efforts to deal with truck traffic or truck routing. Should we move this as a higher priority in our near term plan?

Mr. Palmer stated we can bring the plan back and look at it. We asked and there is not a concrete position on a number of these big projects public. We continue to meet with IDOT staff and ask them for project updates. Without the Illiana, the Wilmington-Peotone Road becomes the alternative. People are using it now. Mr. Ronaldson recently did truck traffic counts and the numbers were pretty high between I-57 and Route 53. That will become the alternative and we have plans to spend more money on that.

Mr. Van Duyne indicated he receives calls often about traffic on Wilmington- Peotone Road. We could ask Mr. Ronaldson to talk about this and show a map to help people understand exactly where we are talking about.

Mrs. Ogalla stated what makes more sense is Monee-Manhattan Road where Amazon is located. We have two truck stops on the east side and a one being constructed on the west side; an interchange improvement is needed there. At Peotone-Wilmington Road, the east side is the Village of Peotone and has a gas station and McDonalds, with plans for a gas station on the west side. That interchange is horrendous, if any money is spent for an interchange off I-57, it should be at the Peotone-Wilmington Road exit. The entire interchange needs improvements rather than a new interchange between these two interchanges off I-57. There is nothing down Eagle Lake Road.

Mr. Palmer stated Eagle Lake Road is in the Bill, but we were told it was a mistake. We can ask Mr. Ronaldson to give a presentation. You will see where the proposed airport is. There was an interchanged proposed for Offner Road or Eagle Lake Road or somewhere in the area to be determined. Some people believed it was the entrance to the airport. There are developments occurring around I-57. The Manhattan-Monee Road interchange needs to be upgraded. Peotone has expressed concerns about their interchange. There are interchanges there that need to be upgraded as growth happens. We are doing this effort to get them focused on a compromise or unified position so we can lobby. It will not happen tomorrow, but if we don’t start fighting now, it will never happen. Weber and I-55 took a long time, we chased federal money, we put in our own money and it is getting done. These interchanges will take time, but we should be focused on them. The goal of all this planning is to say we are making these improvements, but what is it supporting and what is it doing so we are spending money wisely, because we do not have an endless supply. We will bring this back.

Mr. Van Duyne stated Mrs. Traynere, sent me an e-mail asking for input at the Legislative Committee. If anyone has issues with transportation you would like to see addressed, please reach out to Mrs. Traynere and she will ask them to lobby for those issues.

IX. STATE'S ATTORNEY DISCUSSION

A discussion took place regarding the TM Tire Variance request. Mr. Wesel indicated he spoke with the permit engineer. The reason it was taken off the agenda is because the applicant did not want to go through the variance process and he is taking down the sign.

X. MONTHLY WORK REPORTS

1. Construction Status Report

(Jeff Ronaldson)

2. Maintenance Status Report

(Jeff Ronaldson)

3. Phase II Status Report

(Jeff Ronaldson)

XI. REPORTS BY COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Mr. Moustis stated I want to bring up the gas tax. We talked about a number of issues in eastern Will County, looking at an east/west truck route and improvements needed to be done; As a general principal, I am not a big tax guy and I don’t believe in taxing people unnecessarily. I believe people can make better decisions with their money than the government can. However, certain levels of taxation are necessary for the common good and safety of people. We talked about the struggles of eastern Will County. There is a lot of infrastructure we need for the Will County economy. The consumer does not seem to benefit from not having the tax. I live in unincorporated Will County, near the Will/Cook border. Often I can get gas cheaper in Cook County than I can in unincorporated Will County. The taxes are not reflected in the price of gasoline. It is whatever they can get. I am always reluctant to say the only one who will benefit is the oil companies, because they will take advantage of not having the tax and stick the money in their pockets. I think we are being premature on the gas tax. We are getting additional money and I would like to get a firmer grip on what we will do in eastern Will County. Let’s refine the plans, put a number on it and then say this is what we are doing in eastern Will County. Let’s come up with the number for the truck routes and a program to show exactly where this money can go. I am not looking for the 2050 Plan and how it is being funded. I want to see results earlier and a very specific plan. I think we should sit back on the gas tax, refine the project list and how we would do it. I think we could wait until next year to impose the tax. I will be supportive, if it is done at the right time and we zero in on projects. I think it is important to address our infrastructure. This will come through this Committee; I am asking to take our time and get it right; let’s get the amount right and perhaps there could be additional support.

Ms. Cowan stated I had a community meeting Monday with a number of my constituents. I asked people to answer questions when they first came in. Then we had the conversation about the gas tax and a number of issues we are discussing at the Board. At the end, I asked the same set of questions. At the start some people were in favor, some against and some people said they needed more information. By the end, every person was in support of a gas tax. They understood we have a shortfall in what we need for the necessary projects over the next 20 to 40 years. They understand transportation and infrastructure are the first building block of a healthy economy. I was surprised that everybody was fully on board. I was heartened to see our citizens engaged, listening to the information and facts and be willing to think about hard choices. No one likes taxes, but we sure like the things taxation provides to a civilized economy, like safe roads and being able to draw businesses and residents into a safe and thriving community. I did tell everyone none of the projects were in my district.

Mr. Tuminello stated I think constituents would be supportive if the individuals who pay the gas tax, could see they are going to get something in return at the County level, not just in your district or my district. They would have a different view if they were told the money may not be put on the roads. That is one of my biggest hanging points. We want a bipartisan bill and a bipartisan vote. One of the things that hang up people on our side of the aisle is when you increase the gas tax and your MFT funds go up, but there is no lockbox on the RTA funds. Essentially, we may ask residents to pay additional taxes for additional infrastructure, and not one additional dollar could be used for roads. If the gas tax goes through, and if we want to vote on something truly beneficial for the residents with infrastructure, we have to make sure that all the money that comes in stays in there. The way the law and our Ordinance is written is that we can utilize and use RTA funds for things like public safety, meaning we can transfer it to a different department. I want to make sure if I am selling a gas tax to improve road infrastructure that the roads are actually improved and not siphoned over to pay overtime or something else.

Mr. Moustis stated I talked with the Speaker on this. We have a Resolution in place that says the RTA will be used for roads and capital projects only and it cannot be diverted. I would suggest we reaffirm that and perhaps take it further and create a special RTA fund for roads and capital only; that will remove it from the budget. There has to be additional ways of strengthening it so it does not change at the whim as County Board’s change. The intent always was, and even the Speaker told me, to keep the money for roads in the RTA. We need to strengthen that so people feel comfortable with the tax and we will not switch out the dollars. The gas tax will be additional money to go into infrastructure on our roads. Our county is very diverse. When you look at the eastern and southern parts of Will County where you have the intermodals, we need a lot of investment on the roads. I want to be supportive, but I have to be comfortable this will all be a plus for roads and infrastructure. I think we should bring that up again. I would ask the State’s Attorney how we can strengthen it so everyone is comfortable with it.

Mrs. Ogalla stated Bult Field sits between Eagle Lake Road and Offner Road. There is an extreme difference between Eagle Lake Road and Kedzie versus Offner Road and Kedzie. When Bult Field was put in, there was a requirement for him to upgrade the intersection at Offner and Kedzie. Offner Road is a strong road, it is asphalt all the way, with a concrete base. No one would take Eagle Lake Road to get to Bult Field. When Mrs. Summers and Ms. Koch had the gas tax presentation in my district, at that meeting, there was no mention that we get approximately $9 million from the state tax. With the additional tax we will get another $6.2 million nor was there any conversation about the money we get from the RTA we use for roads. There also was no mention we will be getting approximately $23 million more over the next six years. Were those things brought up at your meeting, Ms. Cowan?

Ms. Coward replied yes. Someone asked about the tide is turning toward electric vehicles with the 50/50 mark in 20 years. When we have more electric vehicles where will we get the funds to maintain our infrastructure? We need to start discussions about that. Technologies are changing and we have to abandon the old way of doing things and start embracing new ways so we are ahead of this and suddenly find we are losing all of our funding for infrastructure. We know this is coming, I hope we are working on a plan.

Mr. Van Duyne suggested asking the Legislative Committee to bring it up.

Mr. Ferry stated down the road we will need regulations, as electric vehicles come in, allowing us to move the tax to diesel so trucks will bear the burden.

Mr. Moustis stated they are moving some trucks to electric and propane.

Mrs. Berkowicz recapped the town hall meeting in Naperville. There was not one person who wants the tax to be approved without a referendum. They want the ability to express their voice on a potential new tax. Even if it is a nonbinding referendum, I want the residents to have the ability to tell us how they feel. Then we can vote accordingly. Regarding the electric vehicles, perhaps we could look at determining a mileage tax. There is a need and desire for them to help pay for the additional expenses as well as the people using gasoline.

XII. PUBLIC COMMENT

Mr. Palmer stated we are in the beginning stages for the State and Federal agendas. We would like to engage the committees more this year, because there has been talk about prioritization of projects. In the capital bill, there is a lot of funding for transportation projects. We are also doing work with our freight plan and building on that with the Joliet Intermodal Transportation Plan and the CMAP study. This is an opportunity for this committee, and the Board as a whole, to look at what projects to focus on. In the past, we prioritized Weber Road, Laraway Road and 80th Avenue. We have done projects in different areas of the county. We have tried to balance this throughout the County so all Board Members can feel confident their districts are being focused on. At the State, some money is still to be allocated and we need to advocate for it. We want to talk about this in our Federal agenda also. The discussion today is good and it gives us an opportunity to review not only our 2040 Plan, but our own multiyear plan where we are focused on various projects. Maybe the 2040 or 2050 Plans are too far out, but our multiyear plans are projects that are in our lifetime. We may want to focus on those and our process to get funding. One of our challenges when we go after Federal money is, not all of our projects are eligible because we have not done the preliminary work, which costs money, but sometimes it is worth spending the extra money on the big projects so they are eligible. There is a possibility one of the Will County projects will be awarded in the Build applications. If not, we will continue to chase those. I would ask to have on the agenda, regular updates on studies. I think those are important actionable plans and whether you are for or against the developments it has a huge impact on all our areas. The MFT is a diminishing revenue source, hence why they raised the fees. We have been at $9 million for a long time, not really growing. We are adding money, because we have plenty of projects. There have been talk about the long term funding source. I have heard people say, if you don’t do a gas tax, what do you do? Do you do vehicle miles travelled? They put in a devise, VMT, and track your mileage. A lot of people don’t like that, because they feel it is an invasion. The tollway tracks your transponders and take pictures when you go through the toll booth and those have been used in divorce proceedings. I had the opportunity to go to DC with the Joliet Chamber and we had a briefing at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. They are supportive of the VMT. That is the future, because it is a user tax and you can choose whether you drive or don’t drive and how many miles you drive. The State is imposing a higher fee on electric car licenses, a step in the direction of making them pay their fair share. There is a higher price being paid by diesel fuel buyers so we are spreading the costs around some. All of those are good conversations to have and those would help us develop our State and Federal agendas.

XIII. CHAIRMAN'S REPORT / ANNOUNCEMENTS

Mr. Van Duyne gave details of the IDOT public hearing to discuss their plans on I-80 from Ridge Road to Route 30.

XIV. EXECUTIVE SESSION

XV. ADJOURNMENT

1. Motion to Adjourn at 9:52 AM

RESULT: APPROVED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER: Mark Ferry, Member

SECONDER: Mimi Cowan, Vice-Chair

AYES: VanDuyne, Cowan, Ferry, Gould, Moustis, Mueller, Tuminello, Tyson

ABSENT: Marcum

https://willcountyil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=15&ID=3654&Inline=True

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Will County Public Works and Transportation Committee