SUGAR GROVE – The Sugar Grove Village Board of Trustees took a step to formalize opposition to potential plans for Metra extension to Kendall County at a special meeting June 7.
Sugar Grove officials would like Metra to stop efforts to conduct feasibility and engineering studies for the Kendall County extension and instead support commuter rail service to Sugar Grove. The village closely borders Kendall County.
In a 6-0 vote, the board is laying the groundwork to urge lawmakers to reconsider the decision to allocate $100 million in state funding toward costs associated with the project. Trustee Rick Montalto was absent.
“It is my opinion and the board’s opinion that money shouldn’t be spent in non [Regional Transportation Authority] tax areas,” Village President Sean Michels said.
Kendall County is not part of the Regional Transportation Authority and its current boundaries. Sugar Grove is part of it.
Kane County has been a member of the Regional Transportation Authority dating to 1983. Since then, residents of Kane County have provided more than $500 million in sales tax revenue to the Regional Transportation Authority. That tax is not currently assessed to residents of Kendall County.
“The fact that a state legislator has allocated $100 million toward the Metra station in Kendall County sends shivers up our spines that maybe it could become reality,” Michels said. “Because you get $100 million at the state level, a couple hundred million at the federal level, and all of a sudden, it could be a reality.”
Asked if any area lawmakers and their voting records played a part in the village’s decision to formalize opposition, Michels negated the idea.
“We don’t know which legislator put it in there,” he said, referring to the state of Illinois’ capital bill.
A resolution adopted by the Village Board in opposition to the Kendall County extension states, “a Metra commuter rail station in Sugar Grove would also serve the needs of Kendall County patrons with convenient regional access and parking minutes from Orchard Road and IL [Route] 47.”
Michels said he’s had phone calls with some local mayors on the topic, and he stands by his viewpoint that Metra rail service should come to Sugar Grove before Kendall County.
“I think we’re all on the same team. It’s just we’re vying for the starting position where other people are vying for the position as well,” he said.