IDOT acquisition of Algonquin's contaminated Toastmaster factory and nearby property is still in negotiations but a call for cleanup contract bids remains on the schedule for July, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation's Region One design and land boss. Toastmaster is Job One in the plan for the Route 31 Western Bypass at Algonquin.
"At least the money's there," John Fortmann told FEN Friday referring to allocations in IDOT's new fiscal year budget to purchase, tear down and cart off Toastmaster and adjacent land which have been found to be contaminated with industrial solvents and lead. July bids would imply work on that would actually begin in September based on IDOT schedules and paper shuffling averages.
Fortmann said revised designs had brought to 31 the number of properties needed for bypass right of way. Some of those only amount to bits of residents' backyards, however, and some have already been acquired, anyway.
Fortmann said owner privacy considerations limited how much he could say about current negotiations for the Toastmaster area properties but the presence of stray chemicals and the moribund condition of the commercial real estate market are two obviously complicating factors. "We consider (the offers) fair," was all Fortmann was able to say.
"The goal is to get it all cleaned up by next year," he added.