Village President: Costly Train Station Improvement Plan 'Put to Bed'
Clarendon Hills Village President Tom Karaba reacted in an emailed statement to a recent post by the community group Citizens for Clarendon Hills.
Editor's note: The following is a message from Clarendon Hills Village President Tom Karaba that was circulated Thursday evening by the Village of Clarendon Hills.
It is in reaction to this Thursday post on the Citizens for Clarendon Hills (C4CH) website regarding a $6 million train station redevelopment plan, which was discussed by the Village Board earlier this year. C4CH also sent out Thursday's post in a mass email.
As the result of a recent posting by the so-called C4CH group that is replete with incorrect and misleading information, I would like to set the record straight on the status of the village's discussions about the future of the Clarendon Hills Metra station.
Earlier this year, the village received a final report paid for by the RTA and West Suburban Mass Transit that examined the feasibility of a large redevelopment project on the Metra station. The study began in 2010 and was performed by Houseal Lavigne and Associates with input from the RTA, Metra, PACE, and BNSF and the public.
At its March 19, 2012 meeting, the Village Board determined that the plan outlined in the report was not feasible for our community and we "put it to bed."
While the report was formally "accepted" to be part of the public record and to be available for future discussions, the plan was not adopted to become a component of the village's comprehensive plan or its downtown redevelopment plan. The report does not represent the policy of the village or any policy of its Board of Trustees.
The Village Board, however, is pursuing grant funding for some of the interim infrastructure improvements identified in the original report that would not limit the long term development potential of the site including repaving of the parking lot, installing improved lighting, revitalization of the warming shelters and construction of a possible pedestrian underpass to ease the use of the station and provide for a safer way for children and other pedestrians to cross the railroad tracks. Some nearby communities have received 100 percent funding for similar improvements.
The seeking of the grants for these improvements does not constitute a final decision to construct the improvements themselves. The village will not pursue such improvements unless they are almost entirely funded with outside grants. If grant funding is received, the Village Board will again discuss the project at meetings that are open (as always) to the public before voting to move forward. Earlier this month the village was awarded $100,000 in grants from the West Suburban Mass Transit Board to install much-needed lighting enhancements and parking lot repair and overlay improvements at the Clarendon Hills Metra station.
More information on the train station study and the Village's position can be found here:http://www.clarendonhills.us/TrainStationPlanning.cfm