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Trucks and Baseball

Wayne Horne | 9/20/2018, 6 a.m.
Too many trucks on the road are a common refrain in the Will County area and it packs a lot ...

Too many trucks on the road are a common refrain in the Will County area and it packs a lot of reality. The County’s road infrastructure is inadequate considering the amount of usage required on a daily basis. Any mention of adding to that truck volume often brings out protests from residents most affected by the additional traffic a new commercial development brings.

Thus, the opposition to the proposed Loves Truck Center. Not every proposal involving trucks can be considered unwanted and unnecessary, however. The proposed site for the truck center is located next to a major interstate and opens up the possibility of additional development on the 300 acres of available land. There has never been any other probable use for that stretch of property that would not involve trucks. The zoning for the parcel supports commercial development. It is unrealistic that the land would remain vacant or used for residential.

The Development should be closely watched for compliance of all relevant codes and ordinances and special consideration given to nearby owners who will be most affected by the increased traffic. The possibility of revenues that may exceed $1 million per year can’t be ignored. The vote to approve or reject the development is now set for the October 2 City Council meeting.

The City needs all the revenue it can muster. According to a report given by City Finance Director James Ghedotte, gaming revenues continue to decline and retirement costs are exceeding budget projections by over $1 million this year. In addition, the City is on a course to be the entertainment capital of Will County. Leading that effort will be a new five- year lease for the Joliet Slammers baseball organization. The lease increases the rent from $25,000 to $75,000 and allows the organization continued management of the facility.

According to Councilman Larry Hug, who voted against the document, it’s the worst lease in the Frontier League. Some teams pay as much as $300,000 per year. The team also retains all revenues generated by all other users of the stadium. The expense generated for upkeep of the stadium exceeds $200,000 in some years. That doesn’t count the $2 million major upgrades for the artificial turf and the replacement scoreboard. Yeah, its quite a deal for the Slammers. Not so much for Joliet taxpayers. In spite of a winning season, the team only managed a paltry 88,198 fans for the 47 games this season. They did win the championship this year for those who are interested.

One last thing…National POW/MIA Recognition Day will be observed this year on September 21. According to the Vietnam War Commemoration bulletin for September there are 1,594 Americans unaccounted for from the Vietnam War. There remains a total of over 82,000 Americans still unaccounted for from past conflicts.

The State of Illinois issued a Proclamation dated September 10, 2018 that listing the following number of Americans from past wars in addition to those from Vietnam: 7,704 from the Korean War, 126 from the Cold War, and 72,934 from World War II. The Department of Defense lists less than 50 personnel who remain missing from conflicts in Iraq and other Mideast encounters. While the Department of Defense wages an ongoing mission dedicated to the fullest accounting of all POW/MIA Americans, the willingness to fund those efforts by the federal government remains a challenge.

Stay tuned…

Contact Wayne with comments at wayneswords@thetimesweekly.com