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May 22, 2010

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Shocking, isn't it, to discover that the biggest backers of this project were scoundrels. Some of us knew that years ago. Makes you wonder what's in it for them (beyond the past someof them got payoffs).

We'll see which developers make out like bandits once the tracks are removed.

The original backers were not scoundrels, only ordinary people who are bikers and hikers. They stand nothing to gain.

They say they were duped by Leiter et al, who told them that private money, not tax money, would buy out the railroads.

Some are so upset they have resigned from the Recreation Trail Advocates. Others decided to go along, as actually they have no choice and couldn't stop the deal by the time they found out what was happening.

The trail will be a great amenity for Peoria. IDOT will contract to build it, Bonnie Noble said, so I doubt anyone involved with its advocacy will make money off it.

The Peoria City Council played the dominate role in the payments, and declined to pursue the trail with vigor, which prompted Leiter et. al. to act.

Apparently they decided to use state tax money rather than city money to develop the trail.

The thing to watch will be any campaign contributions to them from the railroad/Leiter group. That's the way they could benefit from the deal.

Elaine, the event was attended by Mike Carr, CEO of Pioneer Railcorp, and he was acknowledged at one point in the program. I would have greater confidence in Rep. Schock had he not referred in his comments to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) as the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board), a totally separate agency.

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