The Kendall County Board agreed Tuesday to increase the amount of funds given for the Kennedy Road trail in Yorkville.
The county voted last May to provide the city of Yorkville with $50,000 in county Transportation Alternatives Program, or KC-TAP, funds to go towards the construction of the 2.72-mile-long trail, planned to go from Route 47 to just east of Mill Road. The board agreed Tuesday to increase the amount of funds to $80,000.
Board Chairman Scott Gryder and board members John Purcell, Lynn Cullick, Bob "H.D." Davidson, Matthew Prochaska and Elizabeth Flowers voted in favor of the measure Tuesday, while board member Matthew Kellogg voted present and board member Judy Gilmour abstained. Board members Audra Hendrix and Tony Giles were not present for Tuesday's meeting.
Gilmour, who voted against giving the TAP funds to the city last year, said she was concerned that the county was not following the guidelines of the TAP fund, which is supposed to be for projects along county or state highways. She said it's "going to be hard to say no to another group that comes in."
County Engineer Fran Klaas said that while Gilmour's concern is legitimate, the county's transportation sales tax, which funds the TAP program, is "supportive of all modes of transportation," including biking and other means. He said it's the only time in the history of the program that they have gone over a self-imposed $50,000 limit.
"This is a unique project, unique location, but super important, kind of a missing-link piece, so the Highway [Committee] was very supportive of the project even though it did go over our normal limit," Klaas said.
Purcell said the project would give the county a "real link" between Oswego, Bristol and Kendall townships, and "between those three townships, that's probably 80 percent of the population of the whole county."
Gryder said the intent of the KC-TAP fund was to support regional projects.
"There's nothing really more regional than this," he said. "What a huge connection this is ultimately going to be."
Talks of a Kennedy Road trail have been enhanced following the tragic death of Darlene McCue of Bristol Township, who was struck and killed by a pickup truck in July of 2009 while riding her bike along Kennedy Road. Her stepdaughter, riding beside her at the time, was injured but survived.
The Yorkville City Council voted in 2012 to accept a $1.3 million Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program grant to pay for the trail's construction, but with the understanding that private donors would raise the city's share of the trail's funding. The Push for the Path nonprofit organization was formed around that time to help raise money for that local match of $357,000.
Since then, organizer Lynn Dubajic, who is also the city of Yorkville's economic development consultant, and members of the McCue family have held golf outings, 5K races and other events to raise the funds. Dubajic has said the county's contribution and an upcoming 5K fundraiser could help make the goal.
Dubajic attended the meeting Tuesday morning along with Yorkville City Administrator Bart Olson and Billy McCue, Darlene McCue's brother-in-law.
"I just wanted to thank everyone for your consideration," Dubajic said. "This is the missing link."
The next Push for the Path fundraiser is the PeppeRUNi 5K Run/Walk on May 13. The race starts at 8 a.m. For more information or tickets on that event, visit yorkvilleparksandrecreation.com or pushforthepath.org/events.