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Kane urged to push conversion of rail line into path

Updated: September 19, 2012 4:24PM

As part of its 2040 plan, Kane County stresses connectivity and building more pedestrian connections.

Now, at least one Kane County Board member wants the county to evaluate an option that would accomplish just that.

Phil Lewis, R-St. Charles, suggested to the board’s Transportation Committee on Tuesday that the county front $400,000 in the purchase and conversion of the Union Pacific Railroad through St. Charles into a pedestrian pathway.

“I’d just like us to make a stronger commitment,” Lewis said.

The railroad line cuts through St. Charles between Kirk Road on the east and Randall Road on the west. The city of St. Charles took the lead, and Lewis wants the county to support it at this level.

The board previously proposed dedicating $60,000 to the project; Lewis said he wanted to see a stronger commitment to connectivity as discussed in the 2040 plan.

He estimated that $250,000 would be needed for the purchase of the line, and that $150,000 may be needed for improvements to convert the railroad line into a trail. He proposed using motor fuel tax, property tax and sales tax revenues to help pay for the project.

Lewis said that the $400,000 number was an estimate on his part.

“We’ve implemented bridges and trails in the forest preserves, and $400,000 goes a long way,” he said.

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