Apr 18, 2012 2
Mayor Emanuel’s proposed infrastructure trust will be discussed at a community meeting on the Red Line extension in Roseland on Thursday.
Representatives of Grassroots Collaborative, the NAACP, AFSCME and other groups have been invited for a panel on “threats and opportunities” related to the infrastructure fund at the quarterly meeting of the Red Line Oversight Committee of the Developing Communities Project, said organizer John Paul Jones.
The meeting takes place at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 19 at Lilydale First Baptist Church, 649 W. 113th Street.
DCP has been pushing since 2003 to extend rapid transit service to the city’s last unserved area. After being on hold for decades, the project was approved by the CTA in 2009.
The project — which would extend the Red Line from 95th to 130th Street and add four new stations — is proceeding steadily, Jones said, with an environmental impact study and public outreach now underway. Consultants conducting the environmental study are expected to report tomorrow.
Earlier this year the CTA hired Goldman Sachs, Loop Capital, and Estrada Hinojosa to serve as financial advisers for the modernization and extension of the Red Line. Jones said it’s possible the infrastructure trust, if passed, could also come into play.
DCP executive director Gwen Rice said the group wants to weigh the benefits of public-private financing and make sure the community is at the table when decisions are made. One of the group’s priorities is making sure that work on the extension goes to local residents, she said.
When the infrastructure trust was first announced on February 29, the city’s chief financial officer Lois Scott created a small stir by saying private financing for the Red Line extension could be paid for with distance-based fares.
In her new blog for the Center for Neighborhood Technology, CTA vice chair Jackie Grimshaw rejects the idea.