Alderman Gardiner announces TIF-funded improvements for Wilson Park & Jefferson Park library, Engine 108 firehouse
by BRIAN NADIG
Wilson Park, the Jefferson Park Library and Chicago Fire Department Engine 108 firehouse will be the recipient of almost $1.15 million in infrastructure improvements, according to Alderman James Gardiner (45th).
The projects are being funded through the Jefferson Park Tax Increment Financing District, which expires at the end of 2022.
TIF districts, which typically run for a term of 23 years, are funded through the property taxes collected on the increased assessed value of property within a district’s boundaries. When the Jefferson Park district was created in 1998, city officials hailed it as a tool to attract private development to the area by providing subsidies, but it has been primarily used to pay for roadway and other public infrastructure improvements.
About $345,000 has been earmarked for a new spray water feature at Wilson Park, 4630 N. Milwaukee Ave., Gardiner said. New underground piping for the 1,726-square-foot space will be part of the project, which is expected to be completed this year.
“I am ecstatic to play a role in helping our community meet its full potential. By investing in our parks, we are inevitably making an investment in our youth,” Gardiner said.
Also planned is a $200,000 allocation for upgrades to the lighting and boiler pumps at the library, 5363 W. Lawrence Ave., Gardiner said. This follows a recent $1.5 million renovation project that included the creation of new flexible work spaces for the 51-year-old facility.
In addition, $600,000 of improvements is planned for the Jefferson Park firehouse at 4625 N. Milwaukee Ave., Gardiner said. The work will include electrical, mechanical and plumbing upgrades and handicapped accessible improvements.