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47th Ward Voters Have 100s of Possibilities to Choose From for Menu Money

By Patty Wetli | March 16, 2015 9:48am
 Alley resurfacing was the top issue identified in 47th Ward block audits.
Alley resurfacing was the top issue identified in 47th Ward block audits.
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DNAinfo/Mark Konkol (File)

LINCOLN SQUARE — It's tough enough sometimes to choose between two candidates, much less hundreds.

That's the conundrum facing 47th Ward residents who are heading to the polls — actually an online survey — to determine which projects will receive funding in 2015 from the $1.32 million pot of aldermanic menu money.

The ward office received 176 block audits from residents, listing everything from street lights in need of replacing to requests for curb or gutter repairs. Alley resurfacing was by far the top issue identified in the audits.

Residents have until April 3 to complete the survey and can indicate their support for as many projects as they'd like.

In the 47th Ward's version of participatory budgeting, which gives residents a say in directing menu dollars, potential projects are determined not only through block audits but from 311 requests and calls to the ward office.

Ald. Ameya Pawar also has his staff traverse the entire ward in search of trouble spots not submitted via block audit.

Selected projects are only finalized after a review by the Chicago Department of Transportation and the Water Department.

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