THE DEVELOPERS OF Inland Logistics Port have asked the village of Coal City to authorize the payment of consultant fees through the proceeds of a bond the village secured to construct a lead track into the planned industrial park.
Ann Gill Editor
As developers of the Inland Logistics Park seek out the first user, Union Pacific is moving forward with the construction of a lead track into the planned rail served industrial park that will be built to the west of the roadway and south of Reed Road.
Trucks carrying materials come and go on a regular basis as contractors prepare the land for development. A path cut through a farm field south of the village will allow the railroad to install the lead track that will bring Union Pacific trains from the main line east of South Broadway into the development.
Coal City Village Administrator Matt Fritz said the railroad is expected to start laying track in the coming days. As the work moves closer to South Broadway there will be road closures.
The project is being aided by a $1.9 million investment by the village of Coal City. A little over $1.8 million is designated for track construction with the remaining dollars available to cover ancillary costs such as professional services like engineering and legal fees. It's projected that once the fees are covered there will be around $43,000 in bond proceeds unspent. The developer wants those dollars to pay its monthly consulting fees.
"This expense appears to be an allowable professional fee under the provisions of the bond ordinance," Fritz told village trustees last week.
According to the administrator, Providence Logistics, the developer of park, utilizes the consulting services of McGuire Woods to work on the development and assist in the steps necessary to land users. Local officials say this includes lobbying state lawmakers to secure additional funds for infrastructure improvements within the park.
State officials earlier indicated they were working to secure financial assistance for the project, which is expected to bring both temporary construction and full-time jobs to the community.
"We were told several months ago they were just waiting on a signature and now they want $7,000 a month in consulting fees," Trustee Tim Bradley said.
Fritz noted the Village Board does not have to release the money.
Although not opposed to the proposal, Mayor Neal Nelson wasn't comfortable handing out the money just yet, as there could be overriding costs with the construction of the lead track.
Railroad officials and developers have told the board that construction of the lead track is the key in getting the project off the ground. So the mayor and a few others on the board want to make sure the track goes in before any remaining funds are handed out.
"I think we should defer until we feel comfortable knowing it's surplus money," Nelson said.
Trustee Terry Halliday agreed and suggested the developer resubmit the request in a few months. It was a plan that was approved by all seven members of the board, who voted to table the request, as well as a requested payment to McGuire Woods.
The $1.9 million investment made by the village was secured through the sale of general obligation bonds that will be reimbursed by the developers of the 285-acre park.
As for construction of the park, developers have said the project will get started this year with land preparation, infrastructure and construction of a loop track. The initial investment in the site is projected at more than $125 million.