Despite COVID-19, despite its impact on village finances, even without a full-time administrator, Forest Park will move forward with $5 million in infrastructure investments during 2021.

That’s good. And it is possible because village government has done a good job over five years in crafting an annual capital improvement plan, in finding dedicated revenue streams to help foot the bill, and then just sticking with it.

The construction season ahead will see demolition at the Altenheim of derelict buildings on village-owned property. Been waiting a long while for state funding to come through for that project. Focused this year on the north end of the village, work will include water main replacements, street work, a walking/biking path on Van Buren and, happily, the repainting of both the north and the south water towers.

Forest Park, like other small communities, had a catch-as-catch-can approach to infrastructure for a long time. That doesn’t work in an aging community where water and sewer are aging, where streets need perpetual attention. While the amount spent annually is still inadequate, it is being spent with purpose and forethought.