Local News

Village of Manhattan sues village of Elwood over NorthPoint project

A sign opposing Compass Business Park development sits in the window of a truck Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, during a protest parade in Jackson Township, Ill. Nearly two dozen trucks, tractors and farm implements, including a manure spreader, circled in parameter of the proposed site for Compass Business Park in opposition.[]

JOLIET – The village of Manhattan officially filed a lawsuit against the village of Elwood on Monday over the proposed Compass Business Park by NorthPoint Development.

The lawsuit is asking the court to stop further action by Elwood on the project because of violations of the boundary agreement between the two villages. The proposed 2,200-acre industrial park would occupy land designated to Manhattan, according to a news release.

The village of Manhattan is asking the court to make ruling on multiple points, including:

• Elwood’s actions associated with the planning of NorthPoint’s development, which did not include Manhattan, violate the boundary agreement and related joint resolution between the two villages.

• Elwood’s involvement with specific infrastructure planning for the project on Manhattan’s side of the boundary line is a breach of the boundary agreement and joint resolution.

• Elwood should be prohibited from taking further action on the project because of its past and ongoing violations of the boundary agreement and joint resolution.

“By the Village of Elwood’s clear actions of discussing, planning, assessing and evaluating NorthPoint’s proposal for the Compass Business Park, which includes land designated to Manhattan under the border agreement, we believe Elwood has violated their agreement with the Village of Manhattan which is in effect until 2026,” Jeff Taylor, an attorney representing the Village of Manhattan, said in the release.

Manhattan Village Administrator Kevin Sing also said in the news release that the village has not taken an official position on the project.

“We favor responsible growth, more employment opportunities, and a broader local tax base,” Sing said in the release. “But unless we’re at the negotiating table to get all the facts, we cannot determine if the development is in the best interest of Manhattan residents.”

Manhattan Mayor James Doyle argued in the release that Elwood should have honored the agreement and brought Manhattan to the negotiating table more than a year ago.

“When we first heard of the NorthPoint project months after the discussions began, we in the Village of Manhattan took numerous steps to be good neighbors and attempt to join the discussions,” Doyle said. “Unfortunately, our numerous requests to be actively involved were ignored, so we have no choice but to ask the court to step in and project the village’s rights.”

Kenneth A. Carlson, an attorney representing the Village of Elwood, said he had no comment Monday afternoon because he had yet to receive and read the official complaint.

No date has been set for an initial hearing yet.