To the Editor:
Reviewing the various proposals the one item that stands out is the lack of candor when it comes to the costs and who will be responsible when the bills come due. I have attempted to determine what the costs would be with the belief that when the governmental agencies in Illinois proclaim this will be the total cost the initial bid is always too low and cost overruns will occur.
1. Cornell Drive and Marquette Road closings and traffic reroutings will be paid for by taxpayers but I could not find any estimate of the cost.
2. Parking garage and bridge for the Obama Presidential Library will cost at least $50 million and will be paid for by taxpayers.
3. Metra Station at 59th Street and 60th Street will cost $9 million. I estimate the taxpayer will be responsible for $6.5 million and the University of Chicago has agreed to pay $2.5 million.
4. Jeffery Avenue and 67th Street pedestrian underpasses will cost $15 to $20 million and taxpayers will be responsible for the cost.
5. Shoreline improvements between 67th and 71st streets will cost $15 to $20 million and the taxpayers will be responsible for the cost.
6. Golf course renovations, new clubhouse for the golfers, extension of the driving range, etc. are estimated to cost $30 million dollars, which the Chicago Parks Golf Alliance’s Brian Hogan claims his group will raise $24 million and taxpayers will be responsible for the remainder. I believe that this claim of the total cost for the Tiger Woods Golf Course is a lowball claim.
7. President Obama has floated the idea that his center will have a new Chicago Public Library branch but it is not clear who will bear the responsibility for the cost of this facility.
8. If a new Jackson Park Fieldhouse and athletic facility are built I believe taxpayers will be responsible for its cost.
9. Will the Chicago Police Department Mounted Unit depart its current facility at the South Shore Country Club Park? If so, taxpayers will be responsible for the associated costs.
10. The Clarence Darrow Bridge needs to be rebuilt and that is another cost that taxpayers are responsible for.
I call on the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District to inform us of the true costs of their future desires and explain to the public how they intend on paying the bills.