CRETE | Tired of outside parties who do not understand their position on the proposed south suburban airport, officials from several communities have decided to ask for a locally controlled airport authority.
At its last board meeting, the Crete Village Board unanimously approved a joint resolution asking for that.
According to Village President Michael Einhorn, the villages of Peotone, Beecher and Monee will adopt the same joint resolution at their next respective board meeting.
“This resolution, along with a letter sent today to Sen. Toi Hutchinson, is the result of hundreds of hours of work among the four communities,” Einhorn said. “For a long time, outside parties have tried to represent us on the matter of a Will County airport. None of these parties has a clue as to what we want.”
What the communities want is a nine-member airport authority, with six of those members residing in Will County. The resolution stipulates each of the four communities has one board member. There would also be a member appointed by the Kankakee County Board, the Will County Board, one member from the township supervisors of South Cook County, and two appointed by the governor. One of the governor's appointees would have to reside in Will County.
According to Einhorn, Hutchinson had asked the communities for input regarding two Senate bills, which both deal with the airport proposal.
“We will make sure that the state legislators know exactly what we want and what our position is,” Einhorn continued. “We have spelled it out very clearly in both our letter to Sen. Hutchinson and our joint resolution.”
The letter to Hutchinson also recommends that the Kankakee River Valley Airport Authority be abolished by repeal.
Einhorn said the four communities were advised by certain state legislators the airport proposal would be brought up in the next legislative session. They decided to work together and draft a joint resolution to send to both legislative chambers.
Village Administrator Tom Durkin stressed the resolution was not an endorsement to build the airport.
"The resolution is neutral on the position of whether or not building the airport is a good idea,” Durkin said. “What we are saying is that if an airport is ever built, we need to have local control.”
Einhorn said the most recent proposal for an airport authority only gave the four communities a total of one seat.
“Every community needs to be represented,” Einhorn said. “Each of the four communities is unique, and has their own identity."