By John Hubbuch
I checked out the renovation of South Marion Street. It looked pretty cool I must admit. Lots of taxpayers like me had been very critical of the decision tp pour $5.4 million dollars into a project that disrupted business and traffic in the area for months this year.
It reminded me of the argument I got into Marsha when we added a back porch and renovated the kitchen of our new home in Oak Park when we downsized a couple of years ago. I being the cheap minimalist I am thought the expense and disruption was stupid. Predictably the work cost more and took longer than expected. But in the end Marsha was right. The spaces are much nicer now. We use them all the time, and will get the benefit of the improvements for hopefully a long time.
Now I know that a $5.4 million profect financed by taxpayers is very different from an individual's renovation of his home. On the other hand tens of thousands of people will now enjoy an enhanced shopping experience for a long time in this area of Oak Park. Maybe sales will increase and the project will eventually recoup some, if not all, of the expense. As always, time will tell.
Just as I fessed up to Marsha that perhaps she was right about her home improvement ideas, I guess I better make a similiar admision to the Village trustees: The renovation looks great, and it wasn't such a bad idea. In fact I'm beginning to think it was a pretty good idea. Maybe we need to take the long view on the improvement of public spaces. I'm sure the Eiffel Tower and the Pyramids had their detractors when they were being planned and built, but they seem to have worked out all right.
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