Chicago and Bensenville on Monday announced a $16 million settlement that ends opposition to the city’s $8 billion expansion of O’Hare International Airport.
The agreement allows the city to acquire and demolish properties in the village. Under the pact, the village will drop its court case challenging the acquisition of properties and their demolition and a portion of the land will be annexed to the city. The village had challenged the demolition, winning court delays over environmental issues. The city will pay the village $16 million.
“This settlement is a significant accomplishment, allowing the city to continue its efforts to improve efficiency and add capacity at O’Hare, as well as the national aviation system,” Department of Aviation commissioner Rosemarie Andolino said in a statement.
Bensenville village President Frank Soto said in a statement: “Working with the city we have ensured that the Village has a strong voice in the city’s demolition plans, and in future development in the village of Bensenville.”
The village had long opposed the O’Hare expansion and participated in litigation that stalled portions of the project and contributed to its increasing price tag. The village’s shift in its position came after the April election when residents chose Soto over former president John Geils. He decided to negotiate a settlement. The city still faces litigation from the owners of St. Johannes Cemetery which lies in the path of one of the new planned runways.
The Chicago City Council is expected today to approve the issuance of up to $1.5 billion of new money and refunding O’Hare International Airport bonds in a sale slated for early next year that would provide ongoing funds for the project.