Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Monday night, the village board voted to extend for one year the reimbursement program for sound mitigation for the Eastgate Neighborhood. The program was first launched in 2013 to provide funds from the Canadian National settlement to residents living near the CN tracks. The funds would be available to those who paid on their own to mitigate sound from the CN trains.
Canadian Nation has said in the past that they plan to increase the number of trains crossing Western Avenue to as many as 32 per day. That number has not been reached yet.
From the memorandum provided to the village board by Larrie Kerestes, Director of Community Development:
On September 16, 2013, the Board of Trustees approved Resolution R-13-38 creating a Phase 2 for CN Sound Mitigation/Home Improvement Program for the Eastgate Neighborhood. That action was in response to feedback from a Neighborhood Meeting that took place in the Eastgate neighborhood. On July 20, 2015, the Board took action to approve an extension of the program for a one more year period until December 31, 2016.
The Phase 2 Program mirrored the Phase 1 Program which was adopted September 27, 2010 for properties West of Western Avenue with a tier system of reimbursement levels base on property distance from the CN rail tracks. The Phase 2 Program for the Eastgate neighborhood includes 153 Properties totaling $519,100.
Of the 153 eligible properties, to date, only 25 have participated in the program for a total of $93,109, according to Kerestes, and a total value in improvements of $116,004.
The program has been advertised to eligible residents, Kerestes said in the memo, “It should be noted that Village Staff has prepared promotional reminder mailings twice per year for all property owners who still have not participated.”
This program is funded, not from tax dollars but from the settlement vigorously negotiated primarily by Village Manager Tom Mick.
So, the money sits, waiting for residents to take advantage.
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