You know a municipality is about fed up with a development partner and its endless delays when board members begin to talk about the tax money that has been lost to those multiple construction extensions.

That conversation began last week at the Oak Park Village Board table when a representative of Pete’s Fresh Market hinted and dodged at the high likelihood that the family-owned grocery chain would ask for yet another extension on starting/finishing the grocery store, long promised for the corner of Madison Street and Oak Park Avenue.

The next extension to the planned development agreement between the village and Pete’s would be the sixth. It would take the completion date out a full year from now.

Eugene Grzynkowicz, Pete’s general contractor, again put the full blame for the perpetual delays solely on Com Ed, the utility which must move its electrical lines as the new project calls for closing Euclid Avenue at Madison.

Trustee Lucia Robinson started toting up lost sales and property taxes directly attributed to the delays. She said the store was estimated to generate more than a million dollars a year in local taxes. That is money lost, she said. And it does not reflect the various ways the village has already favored Pete’s with donation of land, underwriting soil remediation, and effectively paying to demolish a building on the site.

We hope that Pete’s, largely tone deaf to date, is hearing the upset.

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