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Districts 59, 214 support Elk Grove's choice for airport ring road
By Sue Ter Maat | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 3/5/2009 12:02 AM

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Local school districts said on Wednesday they are putting their weight behind Elk Grove Village's push for an airport ring road to be located east of Elmhurst Road.

Northwest Suburban High School Suburban District 214 and Elk Grove Township Elementary District 59 are telling parents and kids to support that ring road instead of an alternative plan where the road would go through Elk Grove Village's industrial park, which provides the districts with millions of dollars in property tax revenues, officials said.

William Dussling, District 214 board member, said the support was an unprecedented move on the part of the district, but it was told by the village it stands to lose about $5 million annually.

"If a bunch of those businesses relocated, that would not be positive for our revenue stream," Dussling said.

Elk Grove Village is asking for support from everyone impacted by a proposed ring road that ties in with O'Hare International Airport's $15 billion expansion plan, said Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson.

Johnson visited the two districts last week in special meetings where he discussed the impact of the two road proposals.

Johnson would like people to fill out comment cards that have been placed at various sites in the village. He is aiming to collect 20,000 comment cards for the Illinois Department of Transportation, he said.

IDOT will be discussing the two proposals between 4 and 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, at Belvedere Banquets, 1170 W. Devon Ave. IDOT will be collecting the cards at that meeting.

"This is what we have always warned people about," Johnson said. "We can't take a chance on losing this battle."

Johnson said the detrimental proposal would turn Busse Road into a wide highway, running from Thorndale Road to the Northwest Tollway. That proposal would run through the business park.

"You can imagine the devastating impact on our schools and district from the arts to athletics to activities," 214 Superintendent David Schuler said in part in a letter to parents asking them to act.

IDOT unveiled a number of alternatives for the completion of the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway and of a western bypass around the airport last year. State engineers said the project is needed to ease congestion and allow for better access to a busy airport.

For more information on the comment card effort, click on elkgrove.org/bypass.asp