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5th Ward Voters to Decide Which Neighborhood Projects to Fund

By Sam Cholke | April 30, 2013 8:09am
 Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) is letting residents decide how $1.3 million in descretionary infrastructure dollars are spent.
Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) is letting residents decide how $1.3 million in descretionary infrastructure dollars are spent.
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

HYDE PARK — Voters in the 5th Ward are getting their say in how $1.3 million in infrastructure dollars from the city are spent in the ward.

Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) has put the decision in the hands of ward voters on how to spend her portion of a pool of discretionary funding distributed to each alderman.

The participatory budgeting process started in October with residents brainstorming and researching possible improvements for the ward. It culminates Saturday at Gary Comer College Prep, 7131 S. South Chicago Ave., as residents vote on a list of projects to fund.

“Participatory budgeting is a process that promotes the transparency, accountability and democratic oversight that Chicagoans deserve,” Hairston said.

Any resident 16 or older who can provide proof of residency in the 5th Ward can vote for six of 13 options for public art, road resurfacing and other projects.

The options include:

Awa Community Development Artists Group Community Mural

Estimated Cost: $190,000. A large-scale mosaic using recycled materials would be created for under the Metra overpass at 67th Street and Dorchester Avenue.

56th Street Viaduct Mural Restoration

Estimated Cost: $40,000. The murals under the viaduct at 56th Street and Lake Park Avenue would be restored to their original condition.

71st Street Urban Garden

Estimated Cost: $120,000. A garden would be planted at 2301 E. 71st St. to grow produce for the neighborhood and to serve as a community gathering place.

Jackson Park Track Safety Fence

Estimated Cost: $50,000. A six-foot fence would be installed around the running track at Jackson Park to improve safety for children playing at the park.

Metra Underpass Lighting

Estimated Cost: $45,000. Improved lighting would be installed under the Metra underpasses at 59th Street and Harper Avenue, 57th Street and Lake Park Avenue and 75th Street and South Chicago Avenue as a possible deterrent to crime.

Security Cameras

Estimated Cost: $22,500. Security cameras would be installed at 68th Street and East End Avenue to improve residents’ sense of security and to possibly deter crime.

Street Lights

Estimate Cost: $448,000. New street lights would be installed at 68th Street and East End Avenue, on Oglesby Avenue between 71st and 74th streets, on Ingleside Avenue between 71st and 73rd streets and on 71st Street and Cottage Grove Avenue. The project will improve visibility and possibly deter crime.

Curb Repair

Estimated Cost: $32,750. Cracks and holes in sidewalks and curbs would be repaired in sections of the 2300 block of East 70th Street and the 7000 block of South Oglesby Avenue.

Resurface Dorchester

Estimated Cost: $21,600. A section of Dorchester Avenue from 67th to 70th streets would be resurfaced to allow for fewer speed bumps.

Resurface Woodlawn

Estimated Cost: $7,200. Woodlawn Avenue would be resurfaced from 71st to 72nd streets to eliminate potholes and uneven pavement.

Resurface University

Estimated Cost: $14,400. A section of University Avenue would be resurfaced from 55th to 57th streets to eliminate cracks, holes and uneven pavement.

Sidewalk Replacement

Estimated Cost: $32,750. Broken sidewalks would be repaired and would be made handicapped-accessible on 73rd Street from the corner of University east to the alley.

Street Safety on Cornell

Estimated cost: $60,000. Dividing lines and reflectors would be installed on Cornell Avenue in Jackson Park from 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive to 63rd Street.