What a whirlwind of a year it has been in Elmwood Park. The Village administration has worked tirelessly to support our businesses, lay the groundwork to attract new businesses and to keep our community economically vibrant.
One of our biggest projects of 2017 was the redevelopment and streetscape on Conti Parkway. Earlier this year, the village purchased four properties in the Circle that will be redeveloped to continue to build momentum and make the area more appealing to pedestrians and businesses. The investment hasn’t been limited to the Circle though. We’ve also built on the success of the popular Restaurant Row on North Avenue, adding much needed public parking for patrons of those businesses.
Speaking of Restaurant Row, we were happy to launch our Dine Elmwood Park video series this year featuring our many popular eating destinations. If you haven’t seen them yet, check out our YouTube channel: www.YouTube.com/VillageOfElmwoodPark. This year, Elmwood Park will take our commitment to dining to the next level with our first ever Restaurant Week Feb. 16-26. Combined with our biggest and most successful Taste of Elmwood Park ever, our village continues to cultivate a reputation as a premier dining destination in the Chicago area.
The railroad grade separation at Grand Avenue remains on the forefront of our agenda and in October, I traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with Senator Tammy Duckworth and other members of Congress to discuss the underpass as well as other infrastructure improvements. We have secured $4.2 million of the $7 million needed to complete the engineering for the grade separation, and we are working with Cook County and the Illinois Department of Transportation to come up with the remaining $2.4 million. Once we complete the engineering, the project will be shovel ready and well positioned for construction funding.
Home sales and property values also continue to grow and we’ve invested in our reputation as a family friendly community with things like a new splash pad in Central Park. People know that our village is safe, clean and well maintained. Elmwood Park has great cultural events, famous restaurants, great access to downtown Chicago and a strong business climate. It’s no wonder people choose to live here.
Residents and business owners can rest assured that their village officials have continued the record of fiscal responsibility that they’ve come to expect. By pursuing partnerships, grants and low interest loan payments, Elmwood Park has saved taxpayers an estimated $18.2 million over the past four years on projects ranging from road resurfacing and street beautification to flood mitigation and the ongoing railroad grade separation project on Grand Avenue.
This year has been a tremendous one and we look forward to making 2018 just as memorable.
Angelo “Skip” Saviano