29th Ward residents asked to vote on community projects

May 30, 2016
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It’s time to vote.

Ald. Chris Taliaferro wants 29th Ward residents to decide which of eight neighborhood projects should be funded with the ward’s so-called menu money. In most wards, this money is spent at the discretion of the alderman, and it continues to be in other West Side wards.

Taliaferro expects to spend about $700,000 of his $1.3 million aldermanic menu money on one or more approved projects, the first-term alderman said.

In community meetings held last month, residents narrowed down some 20 potential projects down to current eight. Residents are being asked this week to rank projects from one to eight, with one being their favorite.

Voting ends Saturday, June 4th, and a final tally is expected to be announced Monday, June 6.

Voters must be residents of the 29th Ward and 16 years or older; voting takes place at the alderman’s ward office at 6272 W. North Ave.

Taliaferro said he hopes to a significant number of residents vote; this is the alderman’s first foray into “participatory budgeting” since beating incumbent Ald. Deborah Graham in the April 2015 runoff.

A North Side alderman – Joe Moore of the 49th Ward – was the first of the 50-member Chicago City Council to spend menu money in this way. Since 2009, nearly a dozen other aldermen have given their constituents a role in spending the money, according to the Austin Weekly News.

The eight projects to be voted on are:

  • Community gardens at three locations in the ward (to be determined)
  • Dog park at Rutherford Sayre Park
  • A permanent community sign
  • Artist-designed neighborhood street pole banners
  • Outdoor exercise equipment at Amundsen Park
  • Two pedestrian refuge islands on North Avenue and Central Avenue
  • Mural at Central Avenue and Lake Street
  • Mural at Austin Boulevard and Corcoran Place

Residents may vote Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. For more information, call (773) 237-6460.

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