Mayor Aaron Shepley was adamant that the City of Crystal Lake would not pursue a plan to hook up North Shore Drive to the intersection of Crystal Lake Avenue and U.S. Route 14 after hearing concerns from residents.
City Councilman Jeff Thorsen, who lives north of the lake, sat in the audience in the Council Chambers with his neighbors. His seat up at the dais was empty for most of the meeting.
The scrapped plan included a possibility of combining the roadway realignment with a drainage project. Motor-fuel tax would be used to pay for the combined projects, according to officials.
Shepley had gotten word prior to the start of Tuesday’s meeting that residents living north of the lake were not happy with the plan and clearly there was some animosity behind the scenes.
The mayor got a consensus from City Council members that the project ought to be scrapped immediately, truncating discussion on the issue.
“We’re not bent on making a change,” Shepley said. “ … The City Council is not here to wreck your lives or your neighborhood."
“We never wanted to shove anything down anybody’s throat,” Councilman Ralph Dawson said.
Timothy P. O’Neill, who represented a group of north-shore homeowners, said he was glad the City Council dropped the realignment plan.
“We don’t want that road going through,” O’Neill said. “It would traumatize the wildlife and not help with lake ecology.”