Will County vetoes Homer Township's vote to reject 143rd Street expansion; residents voice concern

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Saturday, February 24, 2024
Will County vetoes Homer Township's rejection of road expansion
Homer Township's vote to reject the 143rd Street expansion was vetoed by Will County. Homer Glen residents voiced their concerns Friday.

HOMER GLEN, Ill. (WLS) -- A meeting was held Friday morning on a controversial road expansion in the south suburbs.

Homer Glen residents say 143rd Street can be a busy road, and the county's plan to expand it to five lanes would make it even busier.

"It's a rural area," resident Connie Brink said. "I don't want to see an expressway."

Brink lives about a block away from 143rd, on five acres of land. She said she loves the rural area there. She was one of several hundred residents who spoke out against the proposed road expansion at the Will County board meeting last week.

They won. The board voted 12 to 9 to halt the expansion plans.

"Everybody applauded, we walked out," Brink said. "It was a done deal."

However, the next day, the Will County Executive vetoed the results. The veto prompted a meeting Friday morning by the Homer Township board, considering their options.

"The township will be doing everything it can to stop this," Homer Township Supervisor Steve Balich said.

Supporters say vetoing the results of a board vote sets a dangerous precedent.

"The biggest concern for me is the county executive vetoing after the fact," said Dr. Cornel Darden Jr. with the Chicago Southland Black Chamber of Commerce. "That's bad."

A spokesperson for Will County board executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant said until recently, the Township supervisor had supported the road expansion. The spokesperson released a statement saying in part, "This resolution has been vetoed with the goal of improving safety for Will County residents and ensuring $6 million of public dollars are not wasted."

The Homer Township Supervisor said he's following the will of residents who want to keep 143rd as it is. He said he'll give the Will County executive until Monday to withdraw her veto before he files a lawsuit.