A long-sought $2.5 million from Metra finally will be released to the city of Elmhurst.
The grant, which first was authorized in December 2009, will help pay construction costs of the city's new parking deck at First Street and Larch Avenue. The grant was held up after much-publicized leadership changes at Metra and financial uncertainty from state government.
One stipulation in the deal is that Elmhurst lease to Metra 125 spaces, which will be designated for daily commuter use from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday for the next 40 years. City officials get to choose which spaces are leased, but Metra has final approval over the rate Elmhurst charges for designated spots.
Resident Claude Pagacz was not shy when sharing his thoughts on the agreement.
"I think we got a raw deal," he said Monday.
But city officials felt payment from Metra was overdue after more than 18 months of negotiations.
"We had a series of discussions at length with (Metra) and finally re-convinced them and retooled the document. I believe this will be a good form for you to take forward," said Nick Peppers, a partner with City Attorney Don Storino, at the Public Works and Buildings Committee meeting last week. "
The city is expected to assign Metra's 125 spaces at the top of the deck.