Minority Firms Should Have Share Of O'Hare Project, Aldermen Say

Craig Dellimore
March 15, 2018 - 7:48 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Chicago City Council's Aviation Committee gave its unanimous approval Thursday for Mayor Emanuel's $8.5 billion plan to upgrade facilities at O'Hare Airport.

But some Aldermen are expressing concerns, WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports.

No one voted against the proposal for a new terminal, more gates and other enhancements.

But some African-American and Latino aldermen asked about efforts to make sure the people constructing the airport will reflect the diversity of the city.

Budget Committee Chair Carrie Austin says $8.5 billion is a lot of money. She says aldermen should be kept current with how officials are spending those funds and how well officials are doing in making sure minority-owned companies get a fair share of the contracts.

Fellow Ald. David Moore wants to see some formal language on oversight.

City Chief Procurement Officer Jamie Rhee didn’t rule that out. She told the Aviation Committee that she is ready to have a conversation about what that oversight would look like. 

Two Aldermen says they expect to craft language to bring back to their colleagues.

The full council will likely approve the plan later this month.