Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of Public Act 095-0122
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Public Act 095-0122




Public Act 095-0122
HB0566 Enrolled LRB095 06863 HLH 26981 b

    AN ACT creating the Southwest Suburban Railroad
Redevelopment Authority.
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
Southwest Suburban Railroad Redevelopment Authority Act.
    Section 5. Legislative declaration. The General Assembly
declares that the welfare, health, prosperity, and moral and
general well-being of the people of the State are, in large
measure, dependent upon the sound and orderly development of
municipal areas. The Southwest Suburban area, by reason of the
location therein of vital roadways and their use for vehicular
travel in access to the entire southwest metropolitan Chicago
area, as well as commercial and industrial growth patterns and
accessibility to manufacturing and freight-related facilities,
has become and will increasingly be the hub of transportation
from all parts of the region and throughout the southwest
metropolitan area. Motor vehicle traffic, pedestrian travel,
and the safety of both motorists and pedestrians are
substantially aggravated by the location of railroad grade
crossings. Additionally, certain development opportunities may
exist in the project area that would stabilize and enhance the
tax base of existing communities, maintain and revitalize
existing commerce and industry, and promote comprehensive
planning within and between communities. The presence of the
railroad grade crossings are detrimental to the orderly
expansion of industry and commerce and to progress of the
region. To alleviate this situation it is necessary to relocate
the railroad tracks, to separate the grades at crossing, to
acquire property for relocation or submergence of the railroad
or highways, to create an agency to facilitate and accomplish
that relocation, and to direct infrastructure and development
improvements in the Southwest Suburban area.
    Section 10. Creation; duration. There is created a body
politic and corporate, a unit of local government, named the
Southwest Suburban Railroad Redevelopment Authority, embracing
the townships of Bloom, Thornton, Calumet, Bremen, Orland,
Worth, Rich, and Palos. The Authority shall continue in
existence until the accomplishment of its objective, the
relocation of railroad tracks and roadways and the grade
separation of railroads from the right-of-way and at-grade
crossing closures within the Southwest Suburban area, or until
the Authority officially resolves that it is impossible or
economically unfeasible to fulfill that objective.
    Section 15. Acquisition of property. The Authority has the
power to acquire by gift, purchase, or legacy the fee simple
title to real property located within the boundaries of the
Authority, including temporary and permanent easements, as
well as reversionary interests in the streets, alleys, and
other public places and personal property, required for its
purposes, and title thereto shall be taken in the corporate
name of the Authority. All land and appurtenances thereto,
acquired or owned by the Authority, are to be deemed acquired
or owned for a public use or public purpose. The Authority may
not acquire property by eminent domain.
    Section 20. Sale or exchange of property. The Authority
has the power to sell, transfer, exchange, vacate, or assign
property acquired for the purposes of this Act as it deems
    Section 25. Acceptance of grants, loans, and
appropriations. The Authority has the power to apply for and
accept grants, loans, advances, and appropriations from the
federal government and from the State of Illinois or any agency
or instrumentality thereof to be used for the purposes of the
Authority, and to enter into any agreement in relation to the
grants, loans, advances, and appropriations. The Authority may
also accept from the State, any State agency, department, or
commission, any county or other political subdivision, any
municipal corporation, any railroad, any school authority, or
jointly therefrom, grants of funds or services for any of the
purposes of this Act. The Authority shall be treated as a rail
carrier subject to the Illinois Commerce Commission's
jurisdiction and eligible to receive money from the Grade
Crossing Protection Fund or any fund of the State or other
source available for purposes of promoting safety and
separation of at-grade railroad crossings or highway
    Section 30. Taxing powers. The Authority may not levy real
property taxes for any purpose whatsoever.
    Section 35. Board; compensation and expenses. The
Authority shall be governed by a 5-member board consisting of
members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent
of the Senate. Two members of the Board must reside within the
territory of the Authority. Two members must be former public
officials who served within the townships of Bloom, Thornton,
Calumet, Bremen, Orland, Worth, Rich, or Palos. One member must
have previous employment and management experience with a major
railroad company that has significant ties to the Authority.
Each member shall take and subscribe the constitutional oath of
office and file it with the Secretary of State. The members of
the board shall serve without compensation, but may be
reimbursed for actual expenses incurred by them in the
performance of duties prescribed by the Authority. However, any
member of the board who serves as secretary or treasurer may
receive compensation for services as that officer.
    Section 40. Organization; chair and temporary secretary.
As soon as possible after the effective date of this Act, the
board shall organize for the transaction of business, select a
Chair and a temporary Secretary from its own number, and adopt
bylaws to govern its proceedings. The initial Chair and
successors shall be elected by the board from time to time from
among members. The board may act through its members by
entering into an agreement that a member act on the board's
behalf, in which instance the act or performance directed shall
be deemed to be exclusively of, for, and by the board and not
the individual act of the member or its represented person.
    Section 45. Meetings; quorum and resolutions. Regular
meetings of the board shall be held at least quarterly, the
time and place of those meetings to be fixed by the board.
Special meetings may be called by the Chair or by a majority of
the members of the board by giving notice thereof in writing,
stating the time, place, and purpose of the meeting. The notice
shall be served by special delivery letter deposited in the
mail at least 48 hours before the meeting. A majority of the
members of the board shall constitute a quorum for the
transaction of business. All action of the board shall be by
resolution and, except as otherwise provided in this Act, the
affirmative vote of at least a majority shall be necessary for
the adoption of any resolution. The Chair shall be entitled to
vote on any and all matters coming before the board.
    Section 50. Secretary and Treasurer; oaths; bond of
Treasurer. The board may appoint a Secretary and a Treasurer,
who need not be members of the board, to hold office at the
pleasure of the board, and fix their duties and compensation.
Before entering upon the duties of their respective offices,
they shall take and subscribe to the constitutional oath of
office, and the Treasurer shall execute a bond with corporate
sureties to be approved by the board. The bond shall be payable
to the Authority in whatever penal sum may be directed by the
board conditioned upon the faithful performance of the duties
of the office and the payment of all money received by the
Treasurer according to law and the orders of the board. The
board may, at any time, require a new bond for the Treasurer in
any penal sum that may then be determined by the board.
    Section 55. Deposit and withdrawal of funds; signatures.
All funds deposited by the Treasurer in any bank or savings and
loan association shall be placed in the name of the Authority
and shall be withdrawn or paid out only by check or draft upon
the bank or savings and loan association, signed by the
Treasurer and countersigned by the Chair of the board. Subject
to prior approval of the designations by a majority of the
board, the Chair may designate any other member or any officer
of the Authority to affix the signature of the Treasurer to any
Authority check or draft for payment of salaries or wages and
for payment of any other obligation of not more than $2,500.
    No bank or savings and loan association shall receive
public funds as permitted by this Section unless it has
complied with the requirements established under Section 6 of
the Public Funds Investment Act.
    Section 60. Delivery of check after executing officer
ceases to hold office. If any officer whose signature appears
upon any check or draft issued pursuant to this Act ceases to
hold office before the delivery of the check or draft to the
payee, the officer's signature nevertheless shall be valid and
sufficient for all purposes with the same effect as if the
officer had remained in office until delivery of the check or
    Section 65. Rules. The board may adopt all rules proper or
necessary and to carry into effect the powers granted to it.
The rules shall be consistent with the guidelines, objectives,
and project scope as set out by the Illinois Commerce
    Section 70. Fiscal year. The Authority shall designate its
fiscal year.
    Section 75. Reports and financial statements. Within 60
days after the end of its fiscal year, the board shall cause to
be prepared by a certified public accountant a complete and
detailed report and financial statement of the operations and
assets and liabilities as they relate to the projects
undertaken by the Authority. A reasonably sufficient number of
copies of the report shall be prepared for distribution to
persons interested, upon request, and a copy of the report
shall be filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission and with
the county clerk of Cook County.
    Section 80. Construction. Nothing in this Act shall be
construed to confer upon the Authority the right, power, or
duty to order or enforce the abandonment of any present
property of the railroads or the use in substitution therefor
of any property acquired for the railroads in the absence of a
contract duly executed by the railroads and the Authority
setting forth the terms and conditions upon which relocation of
the right-of-way and physical facilities of the railroads is to
be accomplished. No such contract shall be or become
enforceable until the provisions of the contract have been
approved or authorized by the Illinois Commerce Commission.
    Section 85. Existing contracts, obligations, and
liabilities. No contract, obligation, or liability whatever of
the railroads to pay any money into the State treasury, nor any
lien of the State upon or right to tax property of the
railroads, shall be released, suspended, modified, altered,
remitted, or in any manner diminished or impaired by the
contract with the Authority, and any such charter provisions
applicable to the property on which the railroads are now
located shall be deemed in full force and effect with respect
to any property on which the railroads are relocated in
substitution therefor pursuant to the provisions of this Act or
any such contract with the Authority pursuant thereto.
Notwithstanding, upon order of the Illinois Commerce
Commission, the Authority shall succeed to and assume the
performance and actions of the represented persons under the
terms of the order and amending orders previously entered
relative to projects undertaken by the Authority and consistent
with the objectives of the Authority.
    Section 90. Severability. The provisions of this Act are
severable under Section 1.31 of the Statute on Statutes.
    Section 999. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
becoming law.

Effective Date: 8/13/2007