Street redos on tap for Roosevelt, Madison, Marion

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

Oak Parkers may want go get out their walking shoes in 2011, because a number of high-profile street repavings will likely make it difficult to drive around the village.

Officials are planning pricey construction projects next year along Roosevelt, Madison and on Marion, just south of the CTA Green Line. These would be more than just a new layer of asphalt as they'll include fancy planters, decorative streetlights, bike racks and even a possible walled-off bike lane along Madison.

Both the Madison and Marion projects are being put together in a hurry, with the village hoping to get them done before the TIF fund expires.

The village hopes to capture some of the same magic as the restreeting project on the 100 block of North Marion.

The 2007 redo of the former pedestrian mall has been a boon, as Marion has seen retailers flocking to fill vacant storefronts.

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John M from Oak Park  

Posted: December 29th, 2010 1:56 PM

None of this is really vetted before or reviewed after. Gap/Old Navy when netted out produce no more rev than the old Pie House. We need to be aware that a full pkg lot is not success. I don't mind if it doesn't pay fully, but lets have that discussion with all costs revealed. To make this pay they need a store of GAP caliber. I won't go to thurs night anymore as it is not safe for my kids. I fig about 1k of my tax goes to this. They can't close the street for 4hrs? Frusrating.

Adam Smith  

Posted: December 29th, 2010 12:58 PM

The best thing Village government can do is to get out of the way %u2013 less is more. I liken the Oak Park government to the Hillside landfill. Despite all the incentives of the past, retail failed in Hillside. Once the landfill was sealed and the stench removed %u2013 retail flourished. Let's remove the stench of Oak Park governmental overregulation, parking experiments and land planning and give capitalism a chance.

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: December 29th, 2010 11:32 AM

Final const. cost for Marion St. was $6.12M, which included Pope spending $266,000 of contingency funds (required to be returned to the village budget) on heated walks and planters. Not included was $1.02M for design consultant fees, bringing the total to $7.14M. Also does not include sales tax revenue loss during 8 months of const. Marion St. was funded with TIF funds, which could have been used to pay down current TIF debt obligations, or returned to school districts (example: $2.14M to D97).

John M from Oak Park  

Posted: December 28th, 2010 11:59 PM

Even if the claim is made that this was funded with cash, that was cash that could be used for other purposes. Any borrowing directly or indirectly would rob the schools parks police etc, until that period ended. Tom Barwin and David Pope can't have it both ways. You can't spend money like this and say you are broke. Put another way the TIF doesn't really end when they say it does as the revenue will be earmarked to pay the investors years beyond the expiration of the actual TIF. Ugh!

John M from Oak Park  

Posted: December 28th, 2010 11:39 PM

How about some analysis of the take sales tax and parking fee's since the upgrade? It was 6 mil to renovate. The increase in Oak Park's 1% share would have to cover some percentage of interest and principal and fee's for the bonds or whatever scheme we're signed up for. If the Village borrowed the money at 4% for 30 years it would take at least $28,000 a month from parking, sales tax receipts and "tax increments" to come any where close to paying this off. Can Pope and Comp explain this?

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