Monday, February 26, 2024

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Local Voices: Southland Reactivation legislation


From the desk of Bob Malkas

I have tried to bring the provisions of the Southland Reactivation law to Lansing’s attention for several months to explain how it could potentially be used to advance economic development for Southland communities. Since no one has shown any interest in my suggestion to explore this possibility I am taking the liberty to do the work for whomever is in charge of economic development in the Village.

P.A 102-1010 can be used to attract investment to the Southland by encouraging businesses to move into the area to take advantage of offered tax incentives. It would create an environment to expand the local tax base, drive down property tax costs on homeowners and businesses, and be used to create new job opportunities. In miniature scale it could mirror what Matteson has done by transforming undeveloped land into the Amazon Fulfillment Center.

The villages of Lansing and Lynwood could take advantage of the legislation to lure aviation orientated fixed-based operators (FBOs) to make uses the more than 150-acres of unused land that is part of the airport. The property in question can be identified as Parcel 20 and the North Quadrant area. Lansing should immediately move to have this land recognized as a Southland Reactivation Property.

The CSEDC is currently mounting an accelerated effort to generate support from the public to complete the SSA in Peotone. I want to suggest achieving a full build out of what has been intended for the LMA could partner with CSEDC is doing for SSA. All that is needed to make it happen is to extend the LMA north-south runway by 2000 feet as has been planned for almost 10 years.

It would also force local officials to revisit the Cook County leasehold tax issue that has plagued the airport and its development plans for more than 10 years. Having LMA ready to service corporate aircraft in the next two years would position the Southland to be ready to take advantage of the obvious benefits the third major Chicagoland airport will create.

Bob Malkas

Local Voices
Local Voices
Local Voices is The Lansing Journal's version of “Letters to the Editor.” The opinions posted here are those of the writers, and posting them does not indicate endorsement by The Lansing Journal. We welcome input from fellow residents who have thoughtful things to say about topics that are important to our community. Submissions may be sent to [email protected] with “Voices” in the subject line.