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posted: 8/22/2011 5:00 AM

Must Wheeling build on every square inch?

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Here we go again. Wheeling's trustees crushed an opportunity for open green land. Instead they opted for paving over land in the floodway.

Although Sheila Schultz eloquently reminded the board of the obligation and benefit to use parcels located at 635-769 S. Milwaukee for open space to a river walk, the board voted 5-1 to convert the village owned property to -- guess what? More restaurants! (See page 5 of Request for Board Action in the Addenda Packet).

Although most our trustees are unsuspicious looking, they have a dark commonality. They abhor any vacant green parcel of land preferring to convert it to tax revenue real estate. Remember their effort to convert the northeast wetland protected by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources into condominiums? Do you remember which two trustees denigrated the natural land as a "swamp"?

What can conservationists do to fight this?

• Assure that their plan to remove 38 trees is not in violation of Village code 12.08.090.

• Request a second inspection of soil contamination; the old car lot and prior junk yard were notorious for contaminants leaching into the ground.

• In the next village election, remember which trustee has been the strongest opponent of green-land. Hint, review his rabid promotion of Prairie Park.

• Write citizen concerns to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources that the floodway should not be developed.

• Ask the village president and each trustee why they believe that we need more restaurants.

Let's try to show respect and not giggle at their answers.

Jack Caldwell