LITH fears cost of Randall Road project

Village officials object to price tag for continuous flow intersection

LAKE IN THE HILLS – According to a village analysis of the county’s continuous flow intersection plans, the project will cost taxing bodies an extra $35.8 million over the course of 20 years.

Lake in the Hills officials, who are fighting the proposed configuration, said a conventional intersection would only cost $12.6 million to build and there would be no loss in tax revenue. The continuous flow intersection would have a total cost of $48.6 million when including the construction and the lost revenue.

“There’s quite a difference there,” Village President Paul Mulcahy said.

The analysis is based on the cost to build the intersection, the cost to buy land necessary for the project, and the estimated loss of property tax and sales tax revenue.

As part of the county’s continuous flow intersection plan, the county needs to acquire the Bank of America building at the northeast corner of Randall and Algonquin roads and the Citgo Gas station at the southwest corner.

The village based its estimates for the bank purchase off documents from when the bank bought the land in 2004 and constructed the 4,500-square-foot building.

If the county bought the land, there would be a loss of $2.37 million in property tax revenues over 20 years, village officials estimated.

It based the gas station purchase estimate off how much Citgo bought the gas station for in 2004.

The village also said there would be a loss in sales tax revenue to Algonquin and to the Regional Transportation Authority.

Lake in the Hills estimates there would be a loss of $4.1 million in local sales tax, $1.75 million of RTA sales tax and $12.3 million lost in state sales tax over 20 years.

“There’s quite a bit of revenue lost from a gas station,” Mulcahy said.

Village Administrator Gerald Sagona said the lost revenue from the Citgo was based off the average revenue of two gas stations in Lake in the Hills in 2013.

Sagona said he could not disclose which gas stations he used to estimate the Citgo revenue because of confidentiality agreements. He did say one was a high-volume gas station and one was a “not as high” volume gas station.

Sagona said it was a conservative estimate.

Lake in the Hills has been adamant about its opposition to the proposed continuous flow intersection because it limits access to retail businesses at the intersection.

Sagona said the information has been distributed to McHenry County Board members via email.

County Administrator Peter Austin said he has yet to digest the Lake in the Hills analysis.

The county has hired a firm to look at the issues of balancing commerce and transportation issues and concerns at the intersection, and there are many scenarios of “what-ifs.”

“We’ll be looking at all the angles,” Austin said. “The County Board wants to be thoughtful about it and all the scenarios. We’ll do that.”

The county is in the second phase of design and engineering for the proposed Randall Road improvements. Part of the 3.5-mile corridor improvement, which calls for widening Randall Road from County Line Road to Ackman Road, is a controversial continuous flow intersection at Randall and Algonquin roads.

In a continuous flow intersection, those turning left move into turn lanes earlier than in traditional intersections, and the separate lanes allow them to go left at the same time other vehicles are proceeding straight through. The county estimates the delay at the continuous flow intersection would be 38 seconds compared with 93 seconds for a conventional intersection.

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