Press release from:
Navistar Making Concessions for Possible Move
Navistar officials say they will no longer pursue a diesel engine testing facility as part of plans to move its headquarters to the former Alcatel-Lucent site in Lisle
Navistar officials said Tuesday they are no longer pursuing a much-maligned diesel engine testing facility as part of its revised proposal to move the company’s headquarters to Lisle.
But the attorney for a nearby school catering to autistic children said his clients still won’t support the proposed move, because the truck equipment manufacturing giant won’t promise to never build the facility at the 87-acre complex formerly owned by Alcatel-Lucent along Warrenville Road.
“If it’s going to be off the table now, we want it off the table forever,” attorney Shawn Collins said Tuesday during a meeting of the DuPage County Board economic development committee. “We want something in writing that we can go to court and enforce.”
The operators of the Lisle school said the children who attend are extra-sensitive to noise and other sensory disruptions the testing facility might create. Residents whose homes are near the proposed headquarters also have complained about the testing facility plan, raising concerns about the safety of storing diesel fuel on site and noise pollution.
Navistar spokeswoman Marsha Burton said the testing facility isn’t part of the forthcoming proposal “at this time.”
Navistar is in the process of seeking approval from the village of Lisle to relocate its corporate headquarters from Warrenville to the Lisle building. Company officials pulled the proposal more than a month ago and are expected back before the village next month with revised plans.
The county and Lisle committed $1.5 million to buy a ring road around the campus from the forest preserve district to help spur the company’s move, which is expected to add 2,000 jobs.
County board Chief of Staff Tom Cuculich said Navistar promised to provide county board members with a presentation of the revised plan when it is ready, but hasn’t set a date. Cuculich said he expects Navistar to provide an environmental evaluation detailing the impact of its proposal.
Burton said the company expects to be back in front of Lisle officials by late February and will subsequently offer presentations to the county and forest preserve.
While the county board has given preliminary approval to spend money for the road, the deal isn’t finalized. Cuculich said the county is waiting on commitments from Navistar regarding job creation and the minimum number of years Navistar will use the complex as its headquarters.
Cuculich said county finance officials estimate it will take less than five years for the county to recoup the $1 million it would spend on the road from sales tax revenue generated by the new employees Navistar adds.