Local News, Opinion

The weeks | Sept. 18

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A few articles submitted by partner organizations in the Democracy Day project:

Week ->

Flossmoor Board of Trustees meeting originally scheduled for Monday, Sept. 19, has been cancelled because of scheduling conflicts.

Homewood Public Library Board of Trustees will hold a public hearing on the budget at 6:45 p.m. and its regular meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 21. The board will meet in the large meeting room or second floor Makery or Multipurpose Room.

  • Find the budget hearing agenda here.
  • Find the regular meeting agenda here.
  • Highlight: The board will consider its position on the Homewood School District 153 tax increase referendum. 

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District virtual tour from 2 to 3:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 20, will provide a look behind the scenes: “Travel back in time to early Chicago to see how we reversed the Chicago River and developed wastewater treatment technology. Go behind the scenes and under water to see how we transform water; descend 300 feet into the Deep Tunnel System, and watch our electrofishing crew at work sampling fish on the Chicago River.” Tours are free but registration is required

Homewood Planning and Zoning Commission will host a workshop at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, on the proposed revisions to the village zoning code. The commission and village staff will lead a review of the draft code. The commission will invite public questions and suggestions. The final version of the code will be presented to the Board of Trustees in November.

Fall Fest featuring the Chili Cook-off. Ten contestants are expected to compete for the coveted honor of being Homewood’s best chili chef at annual fall festival on Saturday, Sept. 24. The event runs from noon to 9 p.m. and will include live music, food and activities, including a pumpkin patch and horse-drawn wagon rides. Judging of the chili contest will begin at 2 p.m. and the public will get a chance to sample entries for a donation starting at 3 p.m. Donations will benefit the Homewood Arts Council.

Save the date:

  • Anew: Building Beyond Violence and Abuse Sneaker Ball fundraiser will be on Friday, Oct. 7.
  • Homewood Fire Department open house will be Saturday, Oct. 8.
  • Recyclepalooza in Flossmoor will be Saturday, Oct. 8.
  • Homewood Farmers Market’s last summer session will be Saturday, Oct. 8.
  • Dia de los Muertos festival on Martin Square in Homewood will be Saturday, Oct. 15.
  • 5TH Rabidaversary Box Battle Bash-O will be Saturday, Oct. 15.
  • Cancer Support Center “Pink-a-Boo” Walk of Hope will be on Sunday, Oct. 16.
  • Homewood Science Center‘s Walk Walton fundraiser will be Sunday, Oct. 23.

<- Week

CED Talks
Antonia Urbanski has been on the job as Homewood’s communication and community engagement manager for just a few weeks, but she is already starting new initiatives aimed at improving transparency in local government.

One new project, CED Talks (for Community and Economic Development), launched this past week. Urbanski interviewed Economic Development Director Angela Mesaros to find out how tax increment financing districts work. TIFs are key tools in the village’s efforts to attract new businesses to town and to support existing businesses. Their use can be controversial. Learn more here

What’s happening with …
I checked in with Mesaros for updates on a number of economic development projects or potential projects around town.

  • The empty lot at  1744-1748 Ridge Road. The buildings were demolished in March 2017. The village has long hoped to see the site redeveloped, but Mesaros said the process is being held up by a dispute among owners. 
  • 17924 Halsted. The office building just south of PetCo has been empty for some time. At one point, the village listed the building with a land bank for acquisition, but Mesaros said an owner came forward. The building remains vacant.
The village had hoped to acquire 17924 Halsted St. for redevelopment, but an owner came forward and the
building remains empty. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
  • Brunswick Zone. Mesaros said the village should be able to acquire the former bowling alley building at 3043 183rd St. by the end of the year. That will help with recruiting a developer for the site.
  • Savoia T’Go site. A developer has submitted plans for a transit-oriented development where the restaurant once stood. The site was acquired by the village in 2015 and the building was demolished in 2016. Mesaros said the site plan review was planned for last week and the proposal is expected to be on Appearance Commission and Planning and Zoning Commission agendas in October. 
The former site of Savoia T’Go at 18136 Dixie Highway is now a parking lot, but a developer
has submitted plans for building there. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
  • The Wind Creek Casino. Village officials have been informed that work should be starting this month on the casino that will be located in Homewood and East Hazel Crest between 174th Street and Interstate 80/294. No exact date has been set.
  • Hibbing Building. Renovation work is proceeding on second floor apartments at 18121-18123 Harwood Ave. After work is completed upstairs, the owner plans to build out the first floor and hopes to attract food businesses. 
Renovation work continues at the Hibbing Building on Harwood Avenue. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

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