Reknowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright envisioned dense developments connected by various transportation options. Belvidere and Boone County are taking that concept to the next level.
"We're in a growth corridor, rather than try to stick our head in the sand and think that growth isn't going to come here, we need to put together some plans to try and attract the highest quality of growth that we can," says Belvidere Mayor Fred Brereton.
Belvidere Mayor Fred Brereton says we need to convince Metra that it makes economic sense to bring passenger rail to the Stateline and the mayor says two developing plans would reinvigorate the economy...the downtown transit center.
"Right across the street from what will eventually be the new city hall. That area will again begin to spur some economic development. It will spur redevelopment of existing properties," says Brereton.
And the Flora neighborhood station which would be situated along 3,000 acres on the south side of I-90. It would be a transportation hub as well as a regional employment center.
"Bike paths, as well as a new interchange off of I-90 at Irene Road...and a passenger rail station," says Planning Department Director Adam Tegen.
Federal money has been secured to conduct the alternative analysis, the next step in attaining rail service. Brereton just hopes the support for rail continues once people realize the potential costs associated with it.
"It's not unlikely that we'll be looking at something comparable to the collar counties, where it's a quarter of a percent or a half of a percent for sales tax in order to fund the operations," says Brereton.
Brereton says the Stateline has the potential to become a vibrant transportation corridor.
"We really think this is going to get national attention. And as you get to that level, your opportunities and chances for attracting a good size investor is enhanced," says Brereton.
Once the Belvidere city council and Boone County board adopt the projects, they will become part of the county's land use plans.