Monday, March 4, 2019 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Featured image: Part of the roadway along Washington Boulevard, near 13th Avenue, in Maywood. The village is looking to upgrade that street in the next several years, according to officials. | File
Last year, more than $3.5 million in infrastructure improvements were completed in the village of Maywood, but now village officials are looking at the next five years of capital needs across town.
During a regular meeting on Feb. 19, the Maywood Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to update the village’s 5-year Capital Infrastructure Plan, which was created in 2017. Bill Peterhansen, of Hancock Engineering, presented the updated plan to the board during last month’s meeting.
Last year’s completed work included roughly $1 million spent on alley improvements, nearly $2 million spent on 5,900 feet of linear roadway improvements and more than $500,000 worth of sewer system improvements.
From 2019 through 2023, village officials will focus improving some of the 78 alleys in Maywood that still need to be paved — roughly half of the village’s total. Peterhansen said in a memo that it costs around $120,000 to improve “one short alley.”
Last summer, the village was selected to receive grant funding to resurface six alleys in the village with material that will more effectively capture stormwater runoff and reduce residential flooding and basement backups.
In June 2017, the board voted unanimously to approve an intergovernmental agreement with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Greater Chicago, which awarded the grant.
Under the agreement, the reclamation district will cover 70 percent of the total cost of, estimated at around $1.2 million, for resurfacing the six alleys, which include four alleys from 12th to 14th Avenues between Oak St. and Washington Blvd., and two alleys from 15th to 16th Avenues between Washington Blvd. and Warren Ave.
In order to secure the 70 percent share, which comes to around $841,000 of the total estimated cost of the project, the village would need to secure a 30 percent matching portion of the estimate project cost, or around $360,000.
Peterhansen said that the village “will pursue Green Infrastructure grants to assist in financing future alley improvements” in areas that are outside of the Madison Street TIF [Tax Increment Financing] district. Capital projects within TIF districts are eligible for TIF funding while the village often has to rely on money from its general fund or matching grants like the one it received from the reclamation district to pay for projects that aren’t in TIF districts.
The other major project that is not located within a TIF district, but that the village nonetheless wants to tackle within the next five years is improving an infamously rugged stretch of Washington Boulevard, from 9th to 21st Avenues.
During the Feb. 19 meeting, Maywood Village Manager Willie Norfleet said that the village will need to save around $1.4 million within four years in order to pay the local matching share of any grant that may become available to help fund the total cost of the improvements. Norfleet recommended that the board opt to “tuck away” at least $300,000 a year for the next four to five years to accumulate that local share.
“You’ll have to do that each year until that project is complete,” he said. “It’s no different than when we saved money for the engine truck over two years.”
Norfleet said that, barring a plan of gradually saving funds each year, he said that the boar could possibly cut other capital-related costs in order to have money for Washington Boulevard improvements.
“At some point, we’re going to have to have money to pay our local share without going out for a bond issuance,” he said.
Peterhansen said that “an aggressive approach has been taken to improve roadways,” particularly those engineers classified as being in “‘Very Poor Condition’ within the north and south ends of the Village that can be improved with a limited budget.”
The average cost to improve those “Very Poor” roadways “on a block-by-block basis would be approximately $50,000,” Peterhansen said, adding that the work would entail full-depth patching and resurfacing “while keeping the existing curb.”
He said that some examples “where this option would be feasible” include the “north-south blocks of 8th Avenue, 7th Avenue, 6th Avenue, and 2nd Avenue north of Chicago Avenue; as well as some north-south blocks south of the Eisenhower Expressway in the southeast corner of the village.”
Last year, the board approved a motion to begin the design phase of water main improvements along First Avenue, from Harrison Street to Washington Boulevard. Over the next five years, Peterhansen said, the village will focus on needed improvements that are eligible for funding through the Roosevelt Road TIF.
Peterhansen said that engineers met with village staff “to inventory critical areas where water main breaks have been frequent over the past 10 years,” adding that any “investment made within the water system will pay dividends by both reducing the strain on public works to perform costly emergency repairs as well as reducing the water losses on the system overall.”
He said that there is approximately 1,000 feet of water main that needs replacing between 13th Avenue and 10th Avenue.
“This is a priority due to the complications of traffic control when making repairs along Roosevelt Road, as well as recent breaks experienced in the near vicinity and shut down challenges,” Peterhansen said.
He added that around 3,000 feet of “aged cast iron water main is ready to be abandoned and removed from the village’s system along Roosevelt Road between 10th Avenue and 1st Avenue.”
In addition to improving the water system, the capital plan explained that village officials also plan to continue replacing commercial water meters and “targeting the highest volume users.”
Peterhansen recommended that the village set aside $50,000 in contingency funds for sewer repairs and an additional $50,000 to fund an annual maintenance program designed to “extend the serviceable life of recently improvement pavements.” The maintenance would include “crack sealing treatments for newer pavements, refresh striping, and a pavement patching program for pavements that have reached their mid-life.”
He said that a “key focus for 2019 is to address Madison Street from the west village limits to 1st Avenue.”
Peterhansen said that the village’s capital plan is “fluid and should be revisited” each year. Board members select projects within the plan to fund and implement, he added.
“If the village is interested in performing additional capital projects in 2019, we encourage selecting the projects soon so we may review those projects in high detail, and prepare agreements to begin designing improvements for construction in summer of 2019,” he explained. VFP
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