Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin (1st) addresses community members during a July 15 town hall held at village council chambers, 125 S. 5th Ave. in Maywood. | Michael Romain/VFP
Friday, July 28, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
During a town hall meeting he convened in Maywood on July 15, Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin (1st) announced that the county board was set to approve a grant of around $206,000 to install a bike path along Washington Blvd.
The county board unanimously approved the grant, which is part of a $7.2 million county-wide highway improvement project, at a regular meeting on July 19.
Formally called the 2017 Invest in Cook Awards, the projects are designed to provide incentives to municipalities to encourage “non-auto” forms of transportation.
According to a county primer about the program, the grant funds “preliminary engineering for roadway resurfacing, new curb and gutter, the potential for bike lanes, and improved drainage” on Washington Boulevard in Maywood.
“An improved Washington Boulevard will enhance access to the forest preserves and Pace bus service,” the primer states.
In addition to Maywood’s grant, Melrose Park received a $203,000 grant to improve Armitage Avenue. The funds will help partially cover the $350,000 that the engineering phase of the project is estimated to cost.
“This preliminary engineering grant will enable the preparation of a multimodal concept for the road’s reconstruction that addresses: local industry’s needs to ship materials and products by truck, residents’ desire to bike and walk, and flooding associated with Silver Creek following major storms,” the county’s primer reads.
In addition to the Invest in Cook grant, Boykin also touted a $5.5 million county grant he helped secure for Loyola University Medical Center “to help relieve the flooding that exists in this area,” Boykin said. “[The grant will allow them to] put underground water tanks on campus to help take water off of First Avenue.”
“I’m excited about all of the money that has flowed to this area since we’ve been elected,” Boykin added. “I’ve been in office for two years and seven months. We’ve still got a little more work to do. Proviso has been making out pretty good based on the representation you have on the county board.”
Maywood Metra station to get cameras
Roughly a month after village officials cut the ribbon on the new roughly 900-square-foot Metra station on 5th Ave. and Main St., the Maywood Board of Trustees voted for a video surveillance system to be installed at the station.
Based on the recommendation of Maywood Police Chief Valdimir Talley, the village voted to allow its in-house IT consultant Accutron to install a camera system at “$3,000 or less.” Accutron also installed a camera system at the Fred Hampton Aquatic Center.
As part of his recommendation, Talley suggested that the board move forward with an alternative plan of $7,286 from Naperville-based Tactical Video in case a backup proposal was necessary.
In other infrastructure news
Maywood has roughly 10 miles of alleys that need to be paved, according to Village Manager Willie Norfleet, who provided that piece of information during Boykin’s July 15 town hall.
Norfleet’s data bite came at the prompting of Maywood resident Edward Howard, who after noting that Hillside, Bellwood, Broadview, Forest Park and Melrose Park are all communities that, unlike Maywood, have paved alleys, wanted to know, “Why?”
“All other villages have paved alleys throughout and we stopped at paving maybe a half or a third. Why?”
“Less than probably a month and half ago, an alley was completed between 6th and 7th Avenues between Main and Lake. Currently, about we’re able to do about five alleys in the Madison St. TIF [Tax Increment Financing district].
“Next season we’ll begin to pave those alleys with concrete. We have about 10 miles of un-improved alleys. It takes, literally, about $13 million to pave all those alleys. We are chipping away at it. We’ve got plans to address that right now and we’ve received comments about trying to do alleys between 2nd and 1st Avenues, right at Madison and Green. We’ll consider adding those, but right now we’re already [limited] with what we’re able to do.” VFP