East Dundee denies measure to denounce Longmeadow Parkway

  • Signs along Route 31 at Forest Road show opposition against the Longmeadow Parkway project. East Dundee trustees on Monday night reaffirmed their support for the parkway.

    Signs along Route 31 at Forest Road show opposition against the Longmeadow Parkway project. East Dundee trustees on Monday night reaffirmed their support for the parkway. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted4/19/2016 5:40 AM

East Dundee's support for Longmeadow Parkway will stand after trustees decided not to denounce the project.

The village is one of several communities that has formally supported the roughly $135 million project for years. In a 4-2 vote Monday, the village board shot down a resolution to rescind that support and officially oppose the four-lane road extension and toll bridge.

 

Trustee Jeff Lynam, who favored the resolution along with Trustee Alan Hall, said the parkway would cause commuters to bypass towns like East Dundee, which could negatively impact the village's businesses and restaurants.

His greatest concern, he added, is the possibility of project costs eventually falling back on county taxpayers.

"When we've got a situation as contentious as this one is, there's no real happy medium," Lynam said.

Trustee Allen Skillicorn voted against the measure, saying he believes an additional bridge across the Fox River is necessary to alleviate traffic congestion. But he said government officials need to find a solution that will work for both commuters and homeowners.

"I prefer a compromise that balances the needs of the region with reality of their neighborhoods," he said.

Several Longmeadow Parkway opponents at the village board meeting urged trustees to consider opposing the project, noting the potential environmental hazards, safety issues, declining property values and high costs associated with it.

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"The residents have raised their voices about Longmeadow Parkway," said Gary Swick, president of Friends of the Fox River. "I say kudos to you for wanting to come forth and address that."

But supporters, including some Kane County representatives, said the parkway is necessary when considering the projected growth of the county.

Tom Rickert, deputy director of the county's Division of Transportation, said millions of dollars in government funding has already been slated specifically for the parkway. Officials are also seeking additional funding, which might lower toll costs or eliminate the need for a toll altogether, he said.

At this point, he added, there are no plans to raise property taxes for Kane County residents.

But Lynam said he believes a project of this size is bound to eventually become a burden for taxpayers.

"For me, it comes right down to cost," he said.

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