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updated: 6/26/2012 8:51 PM

Wheeling reverses course on clock tower again

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  • After endorsing the project just last month, Wheeling officials reversed court this week and narrowly decided against a $330,000 facelift for the intersection of Milwaukee Avenue and Dundee Road. The project would have included a clock tower, LED sign and benches.

      After endorsing the project just last month, Wheeling officials reversed court this week and narrowly decided against a $330,000 facelift for the intersection of Milwaukee Avenue and Dundee Road. The project would have included a clock tower, LED sign and benches.
    Courtesy of the Village of Wheeling

 
 

Wheeling officials again reversed their decision about adding a clock tower to the corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Dundee Road, voting Monday against spending money on a project they endorsed just a month ago.

The project was postponed in April by a 5-1 vote because of costs, but on May 29 the board decided to resurrect the original plan and asked staff to prepare a formal resolution approving it.

That resolution fell one vote short Monday.

The $330,00 project outside the new Fresh Farms development on the village's main corner would include a clock tower, additional parking, several benches and an LED-lit sign reading "Village of Wheeling."

Trustee Dean Argiris. an outspoken critic of the plan who was absent from the May vote, expressed his disappointment with the project.

"I'm surprised to see this come back," Argiris said Monday. "I think a lot of people forget there's other parts of town that desperately need beautification, especially on the west side of town where we've done nothing. There's more to this town then just Milwaukee and Dundee."

Argiris also pointed out that the project, though paid for through TIF money, would not generate any revenue for the village.

"I'll just caution that we're still not out of this recession, things are still on the negative side," added Trustee Bill Hein, who's consistently opposed the project.

In May, trustees said if the project wasn't completed now, it would 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 at the time. "This is the time to do it. Finish the project, so (the intersection) doesn't look like a three-legged dog."

After heated discussion of the project on Monday, the village board voted 4-2 to pass the resolution, with Village President Judy Abruscato providing the fourth vote.

However, as the village attorney pointed out, measure needed the support of four of the six village trustees to pass. With Trustee Ray Lang absent on Monday, the motion only had three trustee votes and failed.

Without enough votes, the project seems unlikely for the foreseeable future.

"This is getting crazy with people keep saying no then saying yes," Brady said. "I'm tired of talking about it."

"There's no sense in week after week debating about the corner of Milwaukee and Dundee," Abruscato added. "We wanted to do it, now we don't want to do it, so it's dead."

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