Tuesday, November 14, 2017 || LETTERS || @maywoodnews
I want to briefly respond to the article, “After a Missed Season, the Maywood BUCS Are Fighting for Their Lives,” published on Nov. 5.
I’m the president of the Proviso Township Bills, the new youth football program that was referenced in the article that featured the Maywood BUCS and its founder, Edward “Speed” Alexander.
Coach Speed is my first ever football coach and I hold him in high regard. In fact, I approached him multiple times with an offer to come to an agreement on how we all could come together. Our focus was on unifying Proviso Township youth football, but because of Coach Speed’s need to have the program be under his full control, those talks fell apart and we started the Bills.
Our emphasis in forming the Bills organization was to focus on the kids. We weren’t trying to throw money at kids in order to lure them from the BUCS. We simply took it upon ourselves to have silent sponsors pay for the kids who could not afford the program registration. Our purpose never was and never has been to shut down the BUCS — a program that all of us who currently run the Bills cherish to this day.
We believe that the Bills is a positive presence for kids in the township, despite the incident that happened this season that resulted in us getting kicked out of the UYFL. The decision to remove all of our teams from the league was unfair and not sensitive to the reason the incident even happened — someone from an opposing team called one of our players a racial slur.
Despite that, we’re pressing ahead and will be joining the AYF next season, presenting our children with the opportunity of a lifetime — the chance to compete for a national championship.
Again, no disrespect to Coach Speed or the BUCS, but we believe that the Bills is a force for good. That being said, though, I’m still willing to sit down with Coach Speed to talk about how we can come back together and make youth football in the place we both love great again.
— Dominique Banks, president, Proviso Township Bills
Don’t let Congress remove the Federal Historic Tax Credit
In want to thank Village Free Press for an article published online on Nov. 10 and in this current print edition, entitled “GOP Tax Plan Would Axe Tax Credit — Cutting Maywood.”
We should all be contacting our legislators to put the Federal Historic Tax Credit back into the federal budget. Removing the tax credit promotes sprawl by making it more economically attractive to convert farmland to commercial/industrial and abandons old infrastructure — a formula we’ve come to see doesn’t really work for the long haul.
Let me take this opportunity to remind people that the Maywood Home for Soldiers’ Widows is a local landmark and as such would be eligible under the Cook County Class L tax incentive for reducing the property tax rate from commercial to residential for a period of 10 years, with increasing but still reduced rates for the next two years.
The Baptist Retirement Home at 316 Randolph was listed this year on the National Register of Historic Places and could benefit from Class L as well. The Oddfellows Building is an excellent candidate for landmark designation, as are so many of our commercial/industrial buildings in town — ones we hardly notice.
And the buildings need not be large. The Maywood Express Hot Dog Stand at 5th & St. Charles was a Pure Oil Gas Station originally and its historic architecture is all still there — only the colors have changed. Class L is a great tool to attract investment and economic development here, but it needs to be paired with the Federal Historic Tax Credit.
Now, more than ever, Illinois needs to adopt a statewide State Historic Tax Credit. Currently there is a state HTC only for 5 river cities: Aurora, Peoria, Rockford, East St. Louis and Elgin. With the exception of Michigan, Illinois is surrounded by states with State Historic Tax Credits, diluting our ability to be competitive.
Contact your legislators: federal, state and local. Encourage state senators and representatives to become members of the Historic Preservation Caucus, a bipartisan caucus that can work for re-investment within Illinois. Talk to your friends and ask them to do likewise. For additional information on these topics, follow Landmarks Illinois.