Cook County Commissioner Richard R. Boykin (1st), Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios, Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins, the Maywood Board of Trustees and Rev. Marvin E. Wiley (pastor of the Rock of Ages Baptist Church in Maywood) will co-host a property tax appeal workshop on Monday, Aug. 7, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m., at the TH Wade Building, 1405 Madison St. in Maywood.
Thursday, July 27, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
MB Financial has replaced the defunct Seaway Bank & Trust as Maywood’s largest account holder. During a regular meeting on July 18, the Maywood Board of Trustees voted on a resolution designating MB Financial a public depository for the village.
Less than two years ago, according to village records, Maywood was parking funds from at least nine different accounts at Seaway, including the corporate, water, motor fuel and general fund and payroll accounts. On Nov. 29, 2015, the total ending balance of village funds at Seaway was over $2.5 million. At the time, MB Financial was not an authorized public depository for the village.
Sunday, May 28, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || Photos provided
An apparent multiple-alarm fire reportedly broke out on Sunday afternoon on the 1000 block of South 14th Ave. in Maywood, according to witnesses.
Witnesses said that they saw fire departments from Maywood, Bellwood, River Forest and Hillside on the scene. It isn’t known when, precisely, the fire started but by 6 p.m., it appeared that the fire was extinguished, according to witnesses.
So far, it isn’t known whether or not anyone was injured. Emergency officials couldn’t be immediately contacted for comment.
More as this story develops. VFP
Thursday, April 6, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
A wine club could be coming to Maywood, according to Mayor Edwenna Perkins. The possibility was brought up after Maywood resident Loretta Robinson said during an April 5 regular meeting that she discovered a mailer in her mail slot advertising a wine club.
“It’s a young lady in the 1600 block of 15th who wants to start a wine club,” Robinson said.
Perkins said that the young lady, whose identity hasn’t been confirmed, recently got her idea for a wine club approved by the village’s liquor commission, which recommended that the Board of Trustees approve a license for the club.
The Board of Trustees has the final say-so on whether or not the young lady will be granted the license necessary to operate the club, which would be the village’s first, Perkins said.
“She’ll be going to different homes and selling the wine,” Perkins said. “It’s like operating a tupperware club. You know how you have a tupperware party and you demonstrate [with the product]? That’s what she’ll be doing.”
Here’s a neat description offered by Wikipedia:
“Wine clubs are designed to provide customers with a series of wine bottles on a monthly or quarterly basis that they would otherwise have to find and purchase on their own. Wine clubs often behave in a themed manner, providing recipients with red wines, white wines, or a mixture of the two. Wine clubs are most frequently offered by vineyards or specialty wine shops, but they can also be found as independent bodies.”
Wine clubs are gaining in popularity, with even Martha Stewart recently getting in on the act. Vogue Australia reported today that Stewart has launched a wine club with its own subscription purchase.
Martha Stewart, however, doesn’t live in Maywood. VFP
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A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Maywood officials, Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways Superintendent John Yonan and Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin (1st) pose with a blow-up check for $250,000. | Michael Romain /VFP
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
At a March 29 Legal, License and Ordinance Committee meeting, Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin (1st) dropped off a $250,000 dummy check with the village’s trustee board. The funds will be used to pay for roadway improvements along 18th Ave., from Madison Street to Washington Blvd.
At a Dec. 20 regular meeting, Maywood Village Manager Willie Norfleet Jr. said that village officials were anticipating the funds, adding that the county was “highly considerate of Maywood.”
Village officials didn’t give any timeframes for the project, which totals $351,600. The village will pay all of the costs related to design and construction engineering, which amount to an estimated $101,600.
The work will include “the removal and replacement of deteriorated concrete curb and gutter and sidewalks, the installation of hot-mix asphalt pavement leveling binder and surface courses,” among other improvements, according to the text of the Intergovernmental Agreement.
The 18th Ave. improvement project amounts to one of three major roadway improvement projects the village could embark on this year. In December, the village board approved $240,000 worth of services related to street, sideway, driveway apron and drainage improvements, among others, made to 17th Ave., from Madison St. to Washington Blvd.
In January, the board approved $1.15 million worth of roadway improvements for streets on 19th Ave., Quincy St., 4th Ave. and Wilcox.
At Wednesday night’s LLOC meeting, Boykin was accompanied by Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways Superintendent John Yonan.
“When I came into this job two-and-a-half years ago, I asked folks how much money had each part of the [1st District] been receiving and that number was very, very low,” Boykin said. “Since we’ve been in , we’ve been able to get that number increased.”
Yonan said that Boykin was putting it mildly, adding that the amount of money that was being directly allocated for roadway improvements in the 1st District was “pretty much zero,” before praising Boykin’s advocacy at county board meetings on behalf of communities like Maywood.
“This wouldn’t have happened without the village manager and his work, making sure he dotted all the ‘I’s’ and crossed all the ‘T’s’ and without the mayor and trustees’ support,” Boykin said, before praising Yonan for “transforming” his department.
“Nobody has done a better job at leading this agency than John Yonan,” Boykin said. “He’s always prepared and he runs a great, top-flight department.”
“Commissioner Boykin, many times when I’m up there appropriating millions of dollars, has raised his hand and said, ‘What’s my district getting,'” Yonan said, after also praising Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle for her focus on infrastructure improvements. “The answer was pretty much zero for his suburban communities.
“Under Commissioner Boykin’s leadership this is hopefully only the start of making public investments that are really significant … in Maywood,” Yonan said.
The Maywood Board of Trustees unanimously voted to move the IGA agreement solidifying the $250,000 grant to the next regular board meeting on April 4 for final approval. VFP
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A former auto repair shop at 1142 S. 17th Ave. that could be torn down if the village board authorizes fast-track demolition on March 7, which it’s likely to do. | All photos by Village of Maywood
Thursday, March 2, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || Updated: 12:54 p.m.
During a March 1 Legal, License and Ordinance Committee (LLOC) meeting, the Maywood Board of Trustees voted unanimously to consider authorizing village staff to demolish 12 vacant properties that village officials have deemed unsalvageable and threats to public safety. The board is likely to approve the measure at its next regular meeting on March 7.
Most of the vacant properties are single-family homes. One property is a former auto repair shop located at 1142 S. 17th Ave. Village officials said that the owners of the properties have been unresponsive to calls to repair the properties.
The village will utilize a process called “fast-track” demolition, which allows municipalities to bypass the courts and demolish properties, no higher than three stories, that are “open and vacant and determined by the Village to be continuing hazard to the community,” according to a recent memo drafted by the village’s contract law firm, Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins. The board approved the process last July.
Attorneys with KTJ have stated in the past that they “do not generally recommend the use of the fast-track demolition process due to concerns about due process and its general constitutionality,” the memo adds.
There are, however, some exceptions in which the legal risk of using fast-track demolition is relatively small and the process is appropriate; particularly, in cases where the owners of properties that are “demonstrably dangerous or unsafe” appear to have abandoned them.
“These properties have been an eyesore and create an immediate danger,” said Assistant Village Manager David Myers during Wednesday’s LLOC meeting.
Myers said that the village has budgeted $15,000 for demolitions and was recently awarded $75,000 in grant money to use for demolitions. In addition, Myers said, Cook County will assist during the demolition of the 12 selected properties.
Myers added that the first priority of village staff with respect to vacant and abandoned properties is to determine whether or not the properties can be salvaged and, ultimately, restored. In the case of the 12 listed for demolition, he said, that wasn’t a possibility. Myers said the village had tried contacting owners and had spent money maintain the properties.
The fast-track process requires the village to notify the owners that the properties need repairing. That notification is then followed up by a letter to each owner warning them that, if they don’t repair the properties, then the structures will face demolition. The owners have 30 days to respond and, if they don’t respond with that time, the village has 120 days to demolish the properties, Myers explained.
Myers added that there are more properties throughout the village that could probably be subject to fast-track demolition in the future.
The board voted 4-0 to move the matter to the next regular board meeting to put the authorization of the fast-track process to a binding vote. Trustees Antonette Dorris, Michael Rogers and Ron Rivers were absent.
Maywood properties scheduled for fast-track demolition
1304 S. 21st Ave.
2108 S. 8th Ave.
440 S. 14th Ave.
1205 S. 16th Ave.
1242 S. 16th Ave.
1142 S. 17th Ave.
1817 S. 20th Ave.
419 S. 21st Ave.
1248 S. 21st Ave.
1420 S. 21st Ave.
1821 S. 21st Ave.
1825 S. 22nd Ave.
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Seaway Bank & Trust’s Maywood Branch. | File
Friday, January 27, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || Updated: 1/28/17
Seaway Bank & Trust, the state’s largest black-owned minority bank and the sixth largest in the country, was shut down today by state bank regulators, according to multiple reports. According to a Crain’s report published today, all of the bank’s deposits and a majority of its assets will be transferred to State Bank of Texas, effective Saturday.
According to a report by the Chicago Tribune, “All 10 branches of Seaway Bank and Trust will continue to be open during normal business hours under the new ownership, the FDIC [Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation] said. During the weekend, people with deposits will be able to access their money by writing checks or using ATMs or debit cards. Deposits will continue to be insured by the FDIC.”
Crain’s reports that State Bank is based in Dallas and owned by Indian-Americans, not the kind of fate that Seaway’s African American owners had hoped for the 52-year-old institution. In the wake of recent financial struggles, the bank’s owners had sought out black investors to come to the rescue. Ultimately, however, that didn’t happen.
The bank’s failure means that the Village of Maywood, which still has hundreds of thousands of dollars in deposits at Seaway, could go shopping for another place to park that money even though the amount the village has with the failed bank is insured by the FDIC and isn’t required to be collateralized.
“Essentially, the money that’s held at Seaway is below the [$250,000] federal [threshold], so if there is a failure we don’t lose any money nor are we at a capacity where the money has to be collateralized,” said Village Manager Willie Norfleet, Jr. during an interview today.
Late last year, the village transferred funds from its corporate, water and escrow accounts from Seaway to Hinsdale Bank.
“Several months ago, the issue was to get us below the level at which funds need to be collateralized,” Norfleet said. “Hinsdale Bank came in and we moved money from those accounts and only wired money to Seaway when checks had to be cleared, so if the bank failed we’d be covered by federal insurance.”
Norfleet said that the village still banks with Seaway to cover payroll and water payments, among other matters. Last year, he said, Seaway officials approached Maywood requesting that the village take out any money that would put it over the level at which it would need to collateralize its deposits.
For the bank, the collateralization meant additional costs that only added to its already strained finances.
“They were trying to say, ‘Hey, it’s not like we’re kicking you out, but you can’t be here and have a risk because [the bank] will have a problem, too,'” Norfleet said, adding that the village might consider other banks to park its deposits.
“That’s always on the board, continuously, it’s just that we didn’t formally bid out [to other banks] to take all of our funds,” he said. “Eventually, though, we’ll have to take [our money out of Seaway].
“The issue, however, is that Hinsdale doesn’t have [a sufficient amount of readily available] checks. We have to have a whole bunch of checks to keep operating. If you’re going to switch over, you have to have those checks from the other bank to cut. Another thing with Hinsdale is that there isn’t a close physical location to take deposits. So, there are logistical challenges.”
When asked if the village would consider transferring its deposits to nearby U.S. Bank, which has a Maywood branch at the corner of Madison St. and 5th Ave., Norfleet said that the possibility prompts other concerns.
“How much do they really want to take?” Norfleet said. “We think banks are just happy to take money, but they have to pay service fees, accumulate charges and then they have to collateralize because that costs money. So, they have their own expenses associated with [large accounts]. The bank is a business, too.”
Seaway has branches in Maywood, at 150 S. 5th Ave., and Broadview, at 2100 Roosevelt Rd., both of which will be affected by the closure.
According to Crain’s, with Seaway having failed, only one black-owned bank remains in the Chicago area — Illinois Service Federal.
“That bank, also in danger of failing, was rescued early last year with $9 million from a Ghanian-American family, keeping it black-owned,” Crain’s reported, adding that the FDIC has estimated that Seaway’s failure “would cost its insurance fund $57.2 million. The FDIC retained $52 million of Seaway’s assets for later sale.” VFP