The Des Plaines City Council Monday night approved allocating more funding to remodel the downtown Metra train station.
The city budgeted $500,000 for the project this year. Certain items that had been included in the original bid were dropped from the to-do list because it went over the budgeted amount, said Tim Oakley, city director of public works and engineering.
Since interior remodeling work is already under way, officials decided it makes sense to finish all those outstanding items now.
"We're already making a mess down there. The job is going to be done anyway," Mayor Matt Bogusz said. "And while there are contractors on-site, why not do the job once versus making a mess again next year and finish it."
For an additional $222,010, workers will install new Plexiglas windscreens, add new roof coating, install a masonry wrap around 18 columns under the canopies, install a 400 amp electric service for the expanded coffee shop, and add outdoor LED perimeter rope lighting.
Ward 6 Alderman Mark Walsten quoted news articles highlighting increasing health concerns with LED lighting and suggested holding back on it to look at other lighting possibilities.
"It's coming about that there's problems with LED," Walsten said. "It's not all that it's cracked up to be. In Germany, if you buy LED lighting system ... you own that for life. … They don't put them in landfills. … They are all made in China, which is another bone of contention that I have. They have people here in this country that are out of work. We need to look at putting them back to work."
The contract was awarded to Tuscany Construction Inc., the original contractor for the train station remodel. The project is being financed through tax increment financing, or TIF, funds.
When all the work is completed, the train station will have new outdoor seating, lighting, flooring and benches, and an expanded coffee shop. The total project cost is now $705,315.