Now that the village passed the half-penny referendum in March for infrastructure projects, it’s time to roll out a plan to use the money, Village Administrator Tim Gillian told the Village Council at its May 27 meeting.  

With  Jim Amelio, of Christopher Burke Engineering, the village’s engineering contractor, Gillian unveiled a five-year infrastructure plan for the village based on the roughly $1 million predicted annually from the new sales tax, as well as funds from the VIP fund, the water fund, grants and TIF districts. 

“We wanted to have a path forward that made sense to the council for spending that revenue,” Gillian said. Focus will be on storm sewers, alley upgrades, water main and sewer line replacement and sidewalks. 

Plans for the 2014 construction season include the installation of a sidewalk from 19th Street to the cemetery along Desplaines Avenue, a street patching program, seal-coating the CTA parking lot and resurrecting the “50/50 sidewalk program” where residents chip in half for their sidewalk replacement, Amelio said.

The village, with Burke Engineering, will undertake a sewer evaluation study to develop a “tiered plan” to replace 4-inch water mains and sewer pipes with larger 8-inch pipes and map out a way to detach from the combined sewer system. The regional network of sewers has been inadequate and caused flooding into the basements of Forest Park homes in recent years.

The first water main replacement and upgrade for this year will be in the 800 block of Lathrop Avenue, where a road will also be resurfaced, Amelio said.

Other planning and engineering will take place as Christopher Burke develops a plan for the upgrade of the Roosevelt Road streetscape. Those repairs will begin in 2016, Gillian said Monday. 

In addition, three alleys will be reconstructed and traffic calming devices will be installed near Forest Park schools, he said. Amelio did not specify which alleys or which schools would be affected.  

Commissioners were enthusiastic about the plan. Mark Hosty asked for a street patching program to fill potholes created by the extreme winter get started “right away” before the council even votes on the plan.

In upcoming years, the plan gives a guideline for projects, although Gillian said emergencies might take precedence. 

The projects for the next four years include: 

2015: Madison Street streetscape west of Desplaines Avenue and water main replacement, three alleys and more sidewalks with the 50/50 program.

2016: Resurfacing Madison Street, beginning work on Roosevelt Road streetscapes. Road repair and water main replacement in the 400 and 500 blocks of Hannah Avenue, two alleys and various sidewalks.

2017: Road reconstruction, water and sewer upgrades for the 1000 and 1100 blocks of Dunlop Avenue, sidewalks. 

2018: Road reconstruction of the 800 and 900 blocks of Dunlop, along with sewer and water upgrades, 50/50 sidewalks.

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...

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