[Photo courtesy of Rock Run Crossing]
IDOT has estimated the total cost of the interchange and roads at $126 million.
Joliet plans to create a tax increment financing district that could use property taxes from the development to offset local costs and a special business district that could use a portion of sales tax dollars as well.
Meanwhile, just planning for the project is expensive.
The city council in June approved a letter of intent to pay $5.4 million of the total $7.5 million in phase one engineering costs for the project. The state would pay the other $2.1 million.
City officials say those numbers are high because they believe Joliet will be able to lower its share of engineering costs.
Jones said the entire project will ease traffic congestion on Jefferson Street, a road managed by the state. Once that is demonstrated, the city hopes to negotiate a lower share of the engineering costs by showing the benefit the project has for the state.
Jones said Cullinan is committed to contribute $750,000 for phase one engineering.
"Phase one engineering is going to be the critical path that determines a lot of things," Jones said. "It determines whether the revenues from the development are enough to pay for the infrastructure."
Joliet can issue bonds to pay for its share of infrastructure costs but would do so with a plan to ensure the bonds are paid off with tax dollars generated by Rock Run Crossings, Jones said.
"All this has to work," he said. "The city isn't going to issue bonds if they can't be paid."