This is a copy of the Public Comments I made to Bloom Township officials at their Annual Town meeting on April 12, 2022:
I want to address three issues this evening that should be of interest to the residents and taxpayers of Bloom Township. I will be supplying copies of some documents that will support what I will be saying, and Darlene will circulate copies of them to anyone in the audience who would like one after the meeting.
A plan to extend Joe Orr Road in Illinois to Main Street in Indiana was first conceived two decades ago. Because I was manager of the Lansing Municipal Airport, I was asked to be part of a feasibility study committee to determine the existing options available for the project to continue. That was necessary because an initial investigation showed that it would be necessary to cross property already owned by the airport that would be required to implement its plan to extend the existing north-south runway.
Lansing realized that once implemented, the Joe Orr Road project could be a major asset for economic development in Bloom Township. An alignment plan was put on paper to show how both projects could go forward.
The first handout will illustrate what was ultimately decided. You will be able to see the final plan by reviewing a copy of the 2012 version of the airport’s FAA approved Transportation Improvement Proposal submittal.
Also included is the most recent version of what could have been accomplished if the plan was to proceed. A copy of that TIPs update for FY 2022-2026 is also provided. Study that and then ask yourself how the full buildout of the Lansing Municipal Airport would affect economic growth in Bloom.
The question has been answered for you by Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore in a newspaper article published in the Chicago Defender. The first phase of the Joe Orr project was approved in 2015 and completed. The next phase was to go from Torrence to Burnham.
I think the people of Bloom should get an update on how this project has developed since 2015. Tonight, I am requesting any updated information that could inform the public of any progress that has been made to advance the project.
The Lansing plans to develop its airport have been impeded by a 1995 leasehold tax imposed by Cook County on all aviation businesses operating at Lansing and would also apply to other potential Fixed Based Operators considering a move to Lansing. I have prepared a report that records how this history has unfolded, and I am providing a copy to the Trustees for their consideration. I commit to provide copies to anyone in the audience upon written request. Reading the report will make you realize how devastating that tax has been to the future of Lansing Municipal Airport and negate its abilities to serve economic development in Bloom.
If you see merit in the report, you might consider contacting Cook County to get an explanation for their leasehold tax policy decisions. Ask them to remedy the problem by exempting all businesses now operating on the airport and any future FBOs who would consider moving to Lansing.
I have waged a battle with the Lincoln-Lansing Drainage District for over 40 years and have the documentation to prove it. I am preparing to write a memoir of my experiences, and will be inviting comments from Bloom Township residents about their experiences with the district, so that they could be included in the book.
I am providing the Trustees with a newspaper article from December 2010 that explains the problem with a PowerPoint page from the Cook County Stormwater Management Plan that was approved in 1993, and will show Bloom how to make the district disappear and improvement in stormwater management in the Township. Upon request I am willing to share its history with any resident or official ready to work to eliminate this unnecessary and useless bureaucratic agency.
You can make comments or request a Leasehold Tax report by writing to:
- Bob Malkas
c/o Words in the Wind
P.O. Box 168
Lansing, IL 60438
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