The City of Joliet is making plans for a new train station, but before it happens, at least one trustee wants to know how much the deal will cost in the long run.
City council members on Tuesday unanimously approved a pact with Metra in which the company will transfer ownership of its signal tower property at Jefferson and Art Schultz Drive to the city as the site of a new train station.
The property is part of the city’s Multi-Modal Transportation Center project.
Under the deal, Metra would also convey its one-third ownership of the existing Union Station to Joliet, meaning the city will eventually have total ownership of the historic station.
Councilman Larry Hug asked City Manager Jim Hock what the maintenance costs on both facilities could be in the long run, and said he’d like to see five-year cost estimates so the city can budget accordingly.
“I don’t want to see upwards of $500,000 to a million sneaking up on us with the multi-modal like it did with the ballpark,” he said, referring to repair costs at the city’s Silver Cross Field.
Mayor Tom Giarrante said the city is already responsible for most maintenance costs at Union Station.
“We have pretty much control over it now,” he said.
Under an intergovernmental agreement, Metra would have a 50-year lease agreement to operate a ticket office and passenger convenience facility.
The city would be responsible for capital repairs — which wouldn’t be needed for years on the brand-new building, Hock said — and maintenance on the new train station. Metra would be responsible for daily janitorial and housekeeping services for interior areas including bathrooms, waiting rooms, corridors and elevators.
Meanwhile, the city would pay for heating, cooling and lighting, and provide water and sanitary services. Metra would take care of telephone, CATV/video, data and Internet.
The city will also be able to lease space in the new train station to other users, including Amtrak and a food service vendor.
Metra will own, operate and maintain the new Rock Island platform, and Union Pacific Railroad will own the permanent Heritage Corridor platform after it is in service.
Medical marijuana dispensary OK’d
A proposal to allow a medical marijuana dispensary in the Rock Run Business Park got quick, unanimous approval from city council members Tuesday.
Fire Management Services was asking for a permit to allow a dispensary in vacant tenant space at the four-acre site at 1627 Rock Creek Boulevard, located near I-80 and Houbolt Road. The dispensary would be located in a 2,500-square-foot end unit that includes office and warehouse space, along with an overhead door for rear access into the warehouse.
Once it has state approval, dispensary will be managed by 3C (Compassionate Care Center). The group’s founders include Traci and Hugo Fernandez. The couple said they created the company after Traci Fernandez was diagnosed with transverse myelitis, a rare spinal disease, according to the Herald-News.
Other 3C founders are Will County Circuit Judge Robert Livas and Kathy Tucker, a former senior vice president with Visa and vice president of engineering at FTD. Before the dispensary can open, 3C will also have to secure state approval.
Under Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, people with illnesses including HIV, cancer and multiple sclerosis can get an ID card allowing them them to buy limited amounts — up to 2.5 ounces — of marijuana legally from one of the 60 state-licensed dispensaries.
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