Wheeling officials decided Tuesday that the corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Dundee Road in front of the new Fresh Farms development will be getting a makeover later this year, reversing an earlier decision to postpone the project.
By a 4-1 margin, the village board instructed staff to move forward with an earlier bid of about $330,000 to build a clock tower, additional parking, several benches and an LED-lit sign reading "Village of Wheeling" near the development. The board rejected the proposal by a 5-1 vote in April.
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Several trustees said if the project isn't completed now, it will continue to be put off in the future.
"We're trying to show the world that Wheeling is a world-class community," Trustee Ken Brady said. "This is the time to do it. Finish the project, so (the intersection) doesn't look like a three-legged dog."
Trustee Dean Argiris, who had earlier expressed concerns about the cost and timing of the project, was absent Tuesday, as was Trustee Ray Lang. Trustee Bill Hein voted against the plan both times.
Finance director Michael Mondschain said the project, which is in the Crossroads tax increment finance district, will be funded by transferring money from other TIF districts and will not impact the village's budget.
The village also will look into allowing organizations and nonprofit groups in town pay about $1,200 to sponsor a bench in the park area with the group's name on it.
Village staff will have to check with Schaefges Brothers Inc., which submitted the lowest bid this earlier spring, to determine if the price is still valid before the board can approve a contract to start construction this summer.
"It will be a wonderful thing that people will stop and look at as they're coming down the street," Village President Judy Abruscato said.