The County of Cook has asked the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) to grant it an easement to construct, install, operate, maintain, repair and remove a public road across Hole No. 10 of the Canal Shores Golf Course. The road would be approximately 60 feet by 426 feet, and it would connect a private parcel of property to Maple Avenue in Wilmette, which the owner wants to develop with some expensive homes.

At a hearing before MWRD’s Board on Nov. 1, a representative of the Cook County Highway Department said the County of Cook would pay for the road, and be responsible for maintaining it. While he suggested that the County might be able to form some partnerships to defray the cost, that has not yet been done. So taxpayers would be on the hook to pay for it. The representative of the Highway Department also said that the cost to build the road has not yet been determined, and could be influenced by environmental factors unique to the site. He said the Highway Department  uses a rule of thumb estimate of  $2.5 million per mile, but that does not take into account special factors.  A map depicting where this proposed road would go is shown on the attached map, reproduced from MWRD’s website.

This seems like a sweet deal for the owner of the private parcel – where the County of Cook is proposing  to build a 426 foot long road at taxpayer expense across the tenth hole of a community golf course so the owner can develop its property with three or four expensive homes and make a profit. Or maybe this is the way the taxpayers of the County of Cook want their money to be spent.

One has to wonder what interest the County of Cook has in building a public road, at the taxpayers’ expense, across a community golf course to help out a developer. 

The Illinois Senate President has been acting as the attorney for the owner. Is this a question of who you know?

MWRD Board Commissioner Frank Avila requested the matter be deferred on Nov. 1, so no vote was taken on that date. We urge MWRD to deny the request.