SOAPBOX: 'A profit-making scheme at the expense of taxpayers and landowners'
- Jason Kokos
- Updated 13 hrs ago
There is a looming threat to our county that many are unaware of. It would mean the destruction of the community of Sumner Township in Kankakee County.
Residents would be forced from their homes and their land. A church, two cemeteries, and 15,056 acres of farmland and homes would be taken, and we aren't even being told what that 15,056 acres would be used for.
The Great Lakes Basin Railroad is a private speculative project that has no proven need or benefit to Illinois. Frank Patton, GLB spokesman, Frank Patton says the group will take land through quick take eminent domain and they want more than 15,000 acres in Sumner Township.
The proposal to build a railway from Janesville, Wis., to LaPorte, Ind. is a profit-making scheme at the expense of taxpayers and landowners. Various Chicago rail groups say it is not needed.
Patton, the voice of the project, says the proposed rail line would take a nearly 5- by 4.5-mile rail yard but refuses to explain why the project would need that much land. Something is being kept secret, considering the largest railyard in this country is fewer than 3,000 acres. This would make GLB's railyard more than five times the size of the largest yard in all of North America.
What are they planning to put in Kankakee County? We cannot afford to let a private group of investors take a major part of our county and use it for their profit at our expense. This time it is Sumner Township, but the next private group of investors may choose your township for a scheme.
One thing is for certain — they have dollars in their eyes, not the best interest of our community.
More than 2,750 petition signatures of concerned citizens have been given to Kankakee County Board members and our state and federal representatives. They also have been provided with research regarding GLB and a copy of *Great Lakes Basin Rail: News and Views."
A second edition of News and Views is available and was published sharing GLB project information in
a newspaper format. The website blockglb.com also contains information as well as the "Kankakee County Block GLB" Facebook page.
The GLB is trying to rush this project through so it won't be scrutinized at the state and local levels. We must educate and protect ourselves and the people who represent us must work to educate themselves and stop this pillaging of private land.