As 2015 wrapped up – that seems like another world, doesn’t it? – the great minds at the Riverside-Brookfield Landmark had some thoughts about where public officials should focus their energies in the coming years.
We picked three subjects:
Let’s get going on the Brookfield pump station at Washington and Forest. It’s been more than a year since a partnership was announced between the village and MWRD for this flood-control measure.
The agreement needs to be finalized and moved on.
The lawsuit between RBHS and the village over the parking lot rejection needs to end. The money being used to fight this suit can be put to better use.
We look forward to a clean, easy transition to a new administration in District 96 and a continuation of the calm that has come to that board of education.
We’re happy to report that, while it may have taken longer than normal, positive outcomes resulted from these situations, which were in no way slam dunks at the time.
As 2016 closes, the village of Brookfield has made great headway on constructing the pump station and storm water detention facilities in and around the 3500 block of Forest Avenue.
Earlier this year, the project appeared to be headed for something of a crisis as neighbors pushed back on the plan, especially the above-ground storm water facility on the west side of Forest Avenue.
To its credit, village officials held a special meeting to illustrate the flooding issues, show plans of the proposed facilities and generally calmed fears. In late summer, workers broke ground.
It hasn’t always been easy. Traffic was tied up due to the closure of Washington Avenue, buses had to be rerouted and the neighborhood was turned into a full-fledged construction zone.
But that plan, which took so long to get off (or under) the ground, is well on its way to completion and ought to help homeowners avoid the kind of basement flooding that’s accompanied big storm events in the past five or six years.
Just last week, Riverside-Brookfield High School and the village of Brookfield agreed to settle the lawsuit over the parking lot, a deal that we called a win-win-win for the school district, village and neighborhood.
The expense of taking the suit to trial was avoided and an expedited zoning review process ought to mean construction of the parking lot and new tennis courts will be complete later next year.
The construction zone that’s been something of an eyesore for the past couple of years will give way to the new, much-needed facilities. And perhaps this will lead to a better working relationship between the village and high school.
And that transition to District 96 stability? It’s continued to the point that the three candidates who swept to office four years ago amid administrative chaos have chosen not to run for second terms.
It’ll be a competitive race in District 96, but things have come a long way and the focus of the board is back on education and not on itself. That’s progress.