Elwood sues former arsenal developer over wage issue
Thursday, August 29, 2013 5:52 AM
ELWOOD — The village of Elwood has asked a judge to require CenterPoint Properties to provide documentation to determine if the developer is in compliance with state law in paying workers a prevailing wage.
Although state law and the Tax Incremental Finance agreement between the village and CenterPoint require that it pay prevailing wages, CenterPoint has refused to reveal any payroll documents that would confirm that workers are receiving prevailing wages at its Deer Run Industrial Park development, which is the focus of a TIF, according to the village.
The court filing is the latest development in an ongoing dispute between the village and developer, Elwood officials took action earlier this year after they claim CenterPoint failed to provide information on how it spent $110 million in village dollars for the redevelopment of the 1,820-acre site at the former Joliet Arsenal.
“We find it troubling that CenterPoint refuses to hand over public documents that would reveal if prevailing wage laws have been violated,” said Elwood Mayor William Offerman. “Because taxpayer dollars and public records are at issue, the village has a duty and obligation to ensure that prevailing wage statutes are enforced and that local workers are getting paid what they deserve and what is required by law.”
CenterPoint is owned by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, a public pension fund based in California.
The prevailing wage statute is a state law requiring a minimum wage and benefits threshold for workers on taxpayer-financed projects. The statute helps ensure good jobs are created for Illinois workers and protects those workers against unscrupulous contractors who pay low wages.