This one ought to make the “down staters” happy.
That’s right, everyone’s favorite “budget-friendly” pals, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Governor Pat Quinn, have a “great deal” for you! It’s a new $1 billion CTA Red Line renovation, and Chicago taxpayers only have to pick up 4% of the bill!!!
The rest of the state will kick in $646 million from a grant from the $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now program that Governor Quinn signed into law in 2009. In other words, all the increased taxes and fees “everyone” has been paying all across the land of Lincoln will now go towards more than 60% of the renovation costs for Chicago’s mass transit line.
According to Crain’s Chicago Business, the renovation will cover 11 stations and include new track and power systems. Sadly, $1 billion doesn’t go as far as it used to, and fairly large portions of the line’s most dilapidated sections will remain in their current dilapidated condition.
“Since I became governor, I have focused on creating jobs and improving transportation service for our citizens. This major investment in the CTA’s Red Line does both,” Mr. Quinn said.
“These investments will make our city a more enticing place to live, to start a business, to raise a family,” Mr. Emanuel said. The city will provide $44 million for the project. The source was not immediately known.
Not to worry, Illinois, the rest of the country is going to help you foot the bill too! That’s right, Crain’s also reports, “The remainder of the needed funds, $255.5 million, will come from anticipated federal grants, officials said.” Yep, you guessed it, that means the Obama “Stimulus.”
There is one more great selling point the Crain’s article brings to light–except for you whiteys that want a crack at some of the work: “Officials said the project will create more than 2,700 construction jobs, with particular emphasis on hiring minority- and women-owned firms and individuals.”
It’s nice to see that although Emanuel and Quinn have sparred recently over Quinn’s shut down of plans for a new downtown Chicago casino, the two can still come to terms on getting north siders out to the Sox games faster, since there doesn’t seem to be any new downtown jobs coming anytime soon.