Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Illinois government rejoices over its 'duh' moment

News reports now indicate that a major hurdle has been cleared to make way for the Peotone Airport. The House and Senate have approved legislation, as part of a whole package of pork, to pave the way for a public/private partnership to build the once-named third airport at Peotone. IDOT (Illinois Dept. of Transportation) will be the governing body. IDOT will hire a developer to build the new airport some 40 miles south of Chicago. All that is needed is the signature from Gov. Pat Quinn. That is pretty much a given since he seems positively elated about it all. This is so much for fun for Quinn than paying the state's bills and honoring promises made to state workers. 

This is just another chess move by the state that can't even capture the queen, let alone checkmate the king. It really isn't much of a revelation. In fact it is little more than a "duh" moment. IDOT has been pushing, sometimes all by itself, the Peotone Airport idea since the latest round of talks first began, twenty-eight years ago. The notion of a third Chicago-area airport has been on the table far longer, since the late 1960's. IDOT has tried to get the airport to become a reality through every means possible, but always to no avail. The thing is, it is not a very smart idea, and does not have widespread support. Even the airlines are against it. 

So now, we are to believe giving IDOT control is clearing a major hurdle? 

No Airport at Peotone
Farmland speaks to the sentiment of eastern Will County
residents who for years have said NO AIRPORT!
While it is true, this is the first time legislation has actually been approved to build the project, it hasn't even been cleared for takeoff by the FAA, (Federal Aviation Administration). That approval is up to two years away, if it comes at all. 

IDOT has used all of its dirty tricks, including taking private property through eminent domain. A Will County Court claims there is nothing wrong with taking some of the best farmland in the state, decimating a once thriving farming community, and making big plans for an airport that has never been deemed doable or desirable. It would have been interesting to see an unbiased verdict in a courtroom not in Will County where deals have been made for years on behalf of this project and the political figures involved. 

This new round of legislation awaiting Quinn's ready hand, is making the taking even more of a nightmare for property and farm advocates. The legislation authorizes quick take--the state's buy now, pay later plan. 

There is no revelation here. Giving IDOT authority over airport governance is akin to hitting someone in the head with a two-by-four. They can only fight for so long. Do it long enough and they will eventually crumple into a pile of dead flesh and simply taken away. 

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