LITTLE VILLAGE — This is the first year 22nd Ward residents will get to decide how some city money is spent in the ward, and on Thursday the public got a first look at the projects that could potentially be funded.
Participatory budgeting — a system in which ward residents have the opportunity to vote on how to spend $1 million in ward money — is already used in several areas around the city, including in wards run by Alds. Joe Moore (49th), Leslie Hairston (5th), John Arena (45th) and James Cappleman (46th).
While residents of the 22nd Ward — run by Ald. Ricardo Munoz — won't actually cast their votes until early May, a list of potential projects was available for community viewing at Little Village High School Thursday evening.
Of the $1 million available for projects, a certain percentage must be reserved for street repairs. Those voting in the 22nd Ward will first determine that percentage — anywhere from 40 to 100 percent — before casting their votes on a variety of other projects in the ward.
"A lot of our seniors have no place to go, no place they can walk to. A park would be a place for them to go," said Alice Stallworth, who's coordinating plans for a park at 4232 W. Ogden Ave., now just an empty, unused lot.
Stallworth's requesting $36,000 for the park, which would help cover the cost of benches and planters made from recyclable materials. Other proposals include a mural on the South Central Park viaduct between 22nd and 23rd streets (a little more than $60,000), lights for the sports field at Piotrowski Park ($250,000), and updated playgrounds at Gary and McCormick elementary schools ($350,000 and $500,000, respectively).
Other projects include urgent sidewalk repair — including a particularly bad stretch along the 3200 block of South Karlov Avenue — and additional street lights throughout various parts of the ward.
A full list of projects is available on the People's Budget 22 Facebook page.
Actual voting on the projects will take place May 1-6 at various locations within the ward. Any ward resident age 14 and older is allowed to vote. Voters should bring a photo I.D. and proof of address.
Voting will take place:
• 12:30-7:30 p.m. May 1 at 4339 W. Cermak Road
• 9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 2 at the 22nd Ward Office, 2500 S. St Louis Ave.
• 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 3 at Hearst Elementary, 4640 S. Lamon Ave.
• 12:30-7:30 p.m. May 5 at Toman Library, 2708 S. Pulaski Road
• 12:30-7:30 p.m May 6 at the 22nd Ward Office, 2500 S. St Louis Ave.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: