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Oak Park's village government continues its economic development strategy in full backwards mode with its appointment last week of a committee to oversee planning for new streetscaping along Lake Street in the newly christened Downtown Districts.
What's backwards? Let's see: The committee is designated to work with a consulting firm — a very good one, we'd note — that was hired in a misguided $100,000-plus Hail Mary to obtain a multimillion-dollar federal grant. So we got the bill for the consultant but we didn't get the grant that would have paid for the streetscaping.
What direction are we giving the committee? To replicate the excesses of Marion Street that we can never possibly afford to repeat? Or to create a much-scaled-back model that might work both on Lake Street and on Oak Park Avenue near Lake? Actually the board didn't offer much direction, though it did require that the committee report back at reasonable intervals. That's something.
Since the village has no plausible source of money to pay for the streetscaping upgrades at either modest or grand stratas, we'd call this backwards, too.