Winning participatory budget projects in 39th Ward announced
by CYRYL JAKUBOWSKI
Alderman Samantha Nugent (39th) announced the winning infrastructure projects that will be funded through the second cycle of participatory budgeting in the ward.
More than 1,500 residents age 14 and older voted recently on how to spend $500,000 to improve their communities that include Edgebrook, Sauganash, Forest Glen, Mayfair and Peterson Park areas.
The participatory budgeting process allows residents to decide how to spend a portion of the ward’s annual allocation of $1.32 million in discretionary funds.
All of the funds must be used for infrastructure improvements, and each ward gets the same amount.
Of the 22 projects on the ballot, eight projects will be funded. Planning for implementation will begin in April with construction happening as soon as the summer for many of the projects, Nugent said.
The winning projects are:
Beautification in Edgebrook at 5423, 5405 and 5363 West Devon Avenue for $25,000.
Residents, business owners and visitors will benefit from the beautification of the streetscape along this stretch of Downtown Edgebrook, which requires attention after a lengthy construction project in 2018, according to organizers of the proposed project.
Sauganash Park baseball diamonds improvements for $140,000.
Frequent flooding even after moderate rain, overgrown weeds and small holes have become all too common in recent years on the two diamonds causing frequent cancellation of games, according to project organizers.
The baseball league that plays at Sauganash Park at 5861 N. Kostner Ave., is one of the five largest leagues in Chicago, and the park hosts camps during the summer months, organizers said.
Little Gompers path improvements for $110,000.
Sinking pathways have led to frequent flooding that cuts off access to this natural public space. Menu funds will be used toward an engineering study of the pathway sinking problem and the study and construction of an accessible path leading from the parking lot.
North Park Village Nature Center, 5801 N. Pulaski Road, renovation for $30,000.
The lobby and discovery room were originally built 105 years ago, and it was converted to a nature center 40 years ago, Nugent said.
This project will repurpose the ash wood from fallen trees for walls in the lobby, remove old cabinets and fixtures in the discovery room, allow room for updated nature displays, and improve the overall setting for nature education. A donor has provided a $30,000 matching grant.
Mural installation at select 39th Ward schools and a viaduct at Peterson near Keeler avenues for $173,900.
This will consist of a ward-wide project for five new murals on Chicago Public Schools elementary campuses and two new murals at the viaduct, one for Northtown Academy and one for Northeastern Illinois University.
The five elementary school campuses would be Solomon, Palmer, Peterson, Belding and Volta.
Two bus stop benches at Pulaski Road and Argyle Street for $6,000.
The benches will accommodate commuters who are carrying bags from a nearby grocery store.
Two bus stop benches near the community entrance at North Park Village, 5801 N. Pulaski Road.
Two bus stop benches at Peterson and Rogers avenues $6,000.
Senior citizens and students at nearby schools will benefit from this project, according to organizers.
For more information, call the 39th Ward service office at 773-736-5594 or send an e-mail to ward39@cityofchica go.org.