In a March 4 opinion piece, the Daily Herald asserts there was a lack of planning and foresight on the part of the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority and the Northwest Suburban Municipal Joint Action Water Agency. I wish to clarify the long and diligent efforts of our two agencies in amending a 1984 agreement that, among other things, assigned financial responsibility of future pipeline relocations to the water agency.
It is incorrect to suggest that the recently approved amendment to that agreement was the result of a sudden realization of this financial obligation. In fact, the agency and tollway officials have been aware of, and evaluating solutions to, the financing and construction aspects of this agreement for quite some time.
You ask, "Why are we just learning of this now?" and "Did the affected suburbs have any say in the widening that will end up costing them so much?" Such questions expose a lack of attention to the cooperative efforts of the toll authority and water agency. These details have been openly discussed at public meetings of both entities including meetings with legislators, member communities and financial consultants for over two years. Both recognized that the consequences of such an undertaking would be costly and that solutions needed to be crafted that would allow for the necessary expansion of I-90 and protection of the water supply while limiting the cost impacts over the long term.
To suggest that the realities of a 1984 agreement "managed to sneak up" on anyone is wrong. The toll authority and the water agency recognized this issue, worked long and hard toward a solution, and concluded a viable engineering and financial program.
Northwest Suburban Municipal Joint Action Water Agency
Elk Grove Village