State of Illinois
92nd General Assembly

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[ Engrossed ][ House Amendment 001 ][ Senate Amendment 001 ]



 1        AN  ACT  creating   the   Southwest   Suburban   Railroad
 2    Redevelopment Authority.

 3        Be  it  enacted  by  the People of the State of Illinois,
 4    represented in the General Assembly:

 5        Section 1.  Short title.  This Act may be  cited  as  the
 6    Southwest Suburban Railroad Redevelopment Authority Act.

 7        Section   5.  Legislative   declaration.    The   General
 8    Assembly  declares  that the welfare, health, prosperity, and
 9    moral and general well-being of the people of the State  are,
10    in  large  measure,  dependent  upon  the  sound  and orderly
11    development of municipal areas.  The Southwest Suburban area,
12    by reason of the location therein of vital roadways and their
13    use for vehicular travel in access to  the  entire  southwest
14    metropolitan   Chicago   area,  as  well  as  commercial  and
15    industrial growth patterns and accessibility to manufacturing
16    and  freight-related  facilities,  have   become   and   will
17    increasingly  be  the hub of transportation from all parts of
18    the region and throughout the  southwest  metropolitan  area.
19    Motor  vehicle  traffic, pedestrian travel, and the safety of
20    both motorists and pedestrians are  substantially  aggravated
21    by  the  location of railroad grade crossings.  Additionally,
22    certain development opportunities may exist  in  the  project
23    area  that  would  stabilize  and  enhance  the  tax  base of
24    existing  communities,  maintain  and   revitalize   existing
25    commerce  and  industry,  and  promote comprehensive planning
26    within and between communities.  The presence of the railroad
27    grade crossings are detrimental to the orderly  expansion  of
28    industry  and  commerce  and  to  progress of the region.  To
29    alleviate this situation it  is  necessary  to  relocate  the
30    railroad  tracks,  to  separate  the  grades  at crossing, to
31    acquire  property  for  relocation  or  submergence  of   the
32    railroad  or  highways, to create an agency to facilitate and
                            -2-                LRB9207500MWdv
 1    accomplish that relocation, and to direct infrastructure  and
 2    development improvements in the Southwest Suburban area.

 3        Section 10.  Creation; duration.  There is created a body
 4    politic  and corporate, a unit of local government, named the
 5    Southwest   Suburban   Railroad   Redevelopment    Authority,
 6    embracing  the  municipalities  of  Chicago  Ridge,  Burbank,
 7    Bedford  Park,  Worth,  Lansing,  Glenwood,  Chicago Heights,
 8    Robbins, Markham,  Tinley  Park,  Orland  Park,  Palos  Park,
 9    Crestwood,  Dolton,  Riverdale,  Harvey,  Oak  Lawn, Dixmoor,
10    Bridgeview, Alsip, Oak  Forest,  Midlothian,  Palos  Heights,
11    Evergreen  Park,  Posen,  Blue  Island, and Merrionette Park.
12    The  Authority  shall  continue  in   existence   until   the
13    accomplishment  of  its objective, the relocation of railroad
14    tracks and roadways and the  grade  separation  of  railroads
15    from  the  right-of-way and at-grade crossing closures within
16    the  Southwest  Suburban  area,    or  until  the   Authority
17    officially  resolves  that  it  is impossible or economically
18    unfeasible to fulfill that objective.

19        Section 15.  Acquisition of property.  The Authority  has
20    the  power  to  acquire  by gift, purchase, or legacy the fee
21    simple title to real property located within  the  boundaries
22    of   the   Authority,   including   temporary  and  permanent
23    easements, as well as reversionary interests in the  streets,
24    alleys,  and  other  public  places  and  personal  property,
25    required  for  its purposes, and title thereto shall be taken
26    in the corporate name of the Authority.   Any  such  property
27    that  is  already devoted to a public use may nevertheless be
28    acquired, provided that no property belonging to  the  United
29    States  of  America  or the State of Illinois may be acquired
30    without the consent of that governmental unit.   No  property
31    devoted to a public use belonging to a corporation subject to
32    the  jurisdiction  of the Illinois Commerce Commission may be
                            -3-                LRB9207500MWdv
 1    acquired without a prior finding  by  the  Illinois  Commerce
 2    Commission that the taking would not result in the imposition
 3    of  an  undue  burden  on  intrastate commerce.  All land and
 4    appurtenances thereto, acquired or owned  by  the  Authority,
 5    are to be deemed acquired or owned for a public use or public
 6    purpose.

 7        Section 20.  Sale or exchange of property.  The Authority
 8    has  the power to sell, transfer, exchange, vacate, or assign
 9    property acquired for the purposes of this Act  as  it  deems
10    appropriate.

11        Section    25.  Acceptance    of   grants,   loans,   and
12    appropriations.  The Authority has the power to apply for and
13    accept grants, loans, advances, and appropriations  from  the
14    federal  government  and  from  the  State of Illinois or any
15    agency or instrumentality thereof to be used for the purposes
16    of the Authority, and to enter into any agreement in relation
17    to the grants,  loans,  advances,  and  appropriations.   The
18    Authority  may  also accept from the State, any State agency,
19    department, or commission,  any  county  or  other  political
20    subdivision,  any  municipal  corporation,  any railroad, any
21    school authority, or jointly therefrom, grants  of  funds  or
22    services  for any of the purposes of this Act.  The Authority
23    shall be treated as a rail carrier subject  to  the  Illinois
24    Commerce  Commission's  jurisdiction  and eligible to receive
25    money from the Grade Crossing Protection Fund or any fund  of
26    the State or other source available for purposes of promoting
27    safety  and  separation  of  at-grade  railroad  crossings or
28    highway improvements.

29        Section 30.  Taxing powers. The Authority  may  not  levy
30    real property taxes for any purpose whatsoever.
                            -4-                LRB9207500MWdv
 1        Section   35.   Board;  compensation  and  expenses.  The
 2    Authority shall be governed by a 28-member  board  consisting
 3    of  the  mayors or village presidents, or their designees, of
 4    Chicago Ridge, Dolton, Burbank, Bedford Park, Worth, Lansing,
 5    Glenwood, Chicago Heights,  Robbins,  Markham,  Tinley  Park,
 6    Orland  Park,  Palos  Park, Crestwood, Riverdale, Harvey, Oak
 7    Lawn, Dixmoor, Bridgeview,  Alsip,  Oak  Forest,  Midlothian,
 8    Palos  Heights,  Evergreen  Park,  Posen,  Blue  Island,  and
 9    Merrionette  Park  and  the  Chairman  of Commuter Rail Board
10    (created by the Regional Transportation Authority) or his  or
11    her  designee.  The office of Chair shall rotate annually and
12    shall represent  each  of  the  participating  municipalities
13    until  each  one  has  served  as  Chair, upon which time the
14    office  of  Chair  shall  rotate   back   to   the   original
15    representative member.  Each representative member shall take
16    and  subscribe  the constitutional oath of office and file it
17    with the Secretary of State. The members of the  board  shall
18    serve  without compensation, but may be reimbursed for actual
19    expenses incurred  by  them  in  the  performance  of  duties
20    prescribed  by  the  Authority.   However,  any member of the
21    board who  serves  as  secretary  or  treasurer  may  receive
22    compensation  for  services  as  that  officer. Any of the 27
23    member municipalities may opt  out  of  the  Authority  by  a
24    majority   vote   of   the   corporate  authorities  of  that
25    municipality. That municipality shall notify the Authority in
26    writing of its vote to opt out of the Authority.

27        Section 40.  Organization; chair and temporary secretary.
28    As soon as possible after the effective date of this Act, the
29    board shall organize for the transaction of business,  select
30    a  Chair  and  a temporary Secretary from its own number, and
31    adopt bylaws to govern its proceedings.   The  initial  Chair
32    and  successors  shall  be  elected by the board from time to
33    time from among members.   The  board  may  act  through  its
                            -5-                LRB9207500MWdv
 1    members  by  entering  into an agreement that a member act on
 2    the board's behalf, in which instance the act or  performance
 3    directed  shall  be  deemed to be exclusively of, for, and by
 4    the board and not the individual act of  the  member  or  its
 5    represented person.

 6        Section   45.  Meetings;  quorum;  resolutions.   Regular
 7    meetings of the board shall be held at least  quarterly,  the
 8    time  and  place  of those meetings to be fixed by the board.
 9    Special meetings may be called by the Chair or by a  majority
10    of  the  members  of  the  board  by giving notice thereof in
11    writing, stating the time, place, and purpose of the meeting.
12    The  notice  shall  be  served  by  special  delivery  letter
13    deposited in the mails at least 48 hours before the  meeting.
14    A  majority  of  the  members of the board shall constitute a
15    quorum for the transaction of business.  All  action  of  the
16    board  shall  be  by  resolution  and,  except  as  otherwise
17    provided  in  this  Act,  the  affirmative vote of at least a
18    majority  shall  be  necessary  for  the  adoption   of   any
19    resolution.   The  Chair shall be entitled to vote on any and
20    all matters coming before the board.

21        Section 50.  Secretary  and  Treasurer;  oaths;  bond  of
22    Treasurer.    The   board  may  appoint  a  Secretary  and  a
23    Treasurer, who need not be members  of  the  board,  to  hold
24    office at the pleasure of the board, and fix their duties and
25    compensation.   Before  entering  upon  the  duties  of their
26    respective offices, they shall  take  and  subscribe  to  the
27    constitutional  oath  of  office,  and  the  Treasurer  shall
28    execute  a bond with corporate sureties to be approved by the
29    board.  The  bond  shall  be  payable  to  the  Authority  in
30    whatever  penal  sum may be directed by the board conditioned
31    upon the faithful performance of the duties of the office and
32    the payment of all money received by the Treasurer  according
                            -6-                LRB9207500MWdv
 1    to  law  and  the orders of the board.  The board may, at any
 2    time, require a new bond for the Treasurer in any  penal  sum
 3    that may then be determined by the board.

 4        Section 55.  Deposit and withdrawal of funds; signatures.
 5    All  funds  deposited by the Treasurer in any bank or savings
 6    and loan association shall be  placed  in  the  name  of  the
 7    Authority and shall be withdrawn or paid out only by check or
 8    draft  upon  the bank or savings and loan association, signed
 9    by the Treasurer and countersigned by the Chair of the board.
10    Subject to prior approval of the designations by  a  majority
11    of the board, the Chair may designate any other member or any
12    officer  of  the  Authority  to  affix  the  signature of the
13    Treasurer to any Authority check  or  draft  for  payment  of
14    salaries  or wages and for payment of any other obligation of
15    not more than $2,500.
16        No bank or savings and  loan  association  shall  receive
17    public  funds  as  permitted  by  this  Section unless it has
18    complied with the requirements established under Section 6 of
19    the Public Funds Investment Act.

20        Section 60.  Delivery of check  after  executing  officer
21    ceases to hold office. If any officer whose signature appears
22    upon any check or draft issued pursuant to this Act ceases to
23    hold  office before the delivery of the check or draft to the
24    payee, the officer's signature nevertheless  shall  be  valid
25    and  sufficient  for  all purposes with the same effect as if
26    the officer had remained in  office  until  delivery  of  the
27    check or draft.

28        Section  65.  Rules.   The  board  may make all rules and
29    regulations proper or necessary and to carry into effect  the
30    powers  granted  to  it.   The rules and regulations shall be
31    consistent with the guidelines, objectives, and project scope
                            -7-                LRB9207500MWdv
 1    as set out by the Illinois Commerce Commission.

 2        Section 70.  Fiscal year.  The Authority shall  designate
 3    its fiscal year.

 4        Section 75.  Reports and financial statements.  Within 60
 5    days  after the end of its fiscal year, the board shall cause
 6    to be prepared by a certified public  accountant  a  complete
 7    and detailed report and financial statement of the operations
 8    and   assets  and  liabilities  as  relate  to  the  projects
 9    undertaken by the Authority.  A reasonably sufficient  number
10    of copies of the report shall be prepared for distribution to
11    persons  interested,  upon  request, and a copy of the report
12    shall be filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission and with
13    the county clerk of Cook County.

14        Section 80.  Construction.  Nothing in this Act shall  be
15    construed  to  confer upon the Authority the right, power, or
16    duty to order or  enforce  the  abandonment  of  any  present
17    property of the railroads or the use in substitution therefor
18    of  any property acquired for the railroads in the absence of
19    a contract duly executed by the railroads and  the  Authority
20    setting  forth the terms and conditions upon which relocation
21    of the right-of-way and physical facilities of the  railroads
22    is  to  be accomplished.  No such contract shall be or become
23    enforceable until the provisions of the  contract  have  been
24    approved or authorized by the Illinois Commerce Commission.

25        Section   85.  Existing   contracts,   obligations,   and
26    liabilities.   No contract, obligation, or liability whatever
27    of the railroads to pay any money into  the  State  treasury,
28    nor  any  lien  of the State upon or right to tax property of
29    the  railroads,   shall  be  released,  suspended,  modified,
30    altered, remitted, or in any manner diminished or impaired by
                            -8-                LRB9207500MWdv
 1    the  contract  with  the  Authority,  and  any  such  charter
 2    provisions applicable to the property on which the  railroads
 3    are now located shall be deemed in full force and effect with
 4    respect  to any property on which the railroads are relocated
 5    in substitution therefor pursuant to the provisions  of  this
 6    Act or any such contract with the Authority pursuant thereto.
 7    Notwithstanding,   upon   order   of  the  Illinois  Commerce
 8    Commission, the Authority shall succeed  to  and  assume  the
 9    performance  and actions of the represented persons under the
10    terms of the order and  amending  orders  previously  entered
11    relative   to   projects  undertaken  by  the  Authority  and
12    consistent with the objectives of the Authority.

13        Section 90.  Severability.  The provisions  of  this  Act
14    are severable under Section 1.31 of the Statute on Statutes.

15        Section 999.  Effective date.  This Act takes effect upon
16    becoming law.

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