By Bob Uphues
When Brookfield trustees passed their 2020 budget late last year, one of the larger line items in it was $100,000 earmarked to come out of the Ogden Avenue Tax Increment Financing (TIF) fund for a comprehensive planning study of that key commercial corridor.
The baby of then-Community Development Director Ross Klicker, the Ogden Avenue Corridor Study would assess the market realities on the busy state highway, come up with a land-use plan and identify realistic development opportunities that sought the highest and best uses for those sites.
According to an RFP sent to planning firms back in late March as the COVID-19 pandemic started to tighten its grip in the Chicago area, "The master plan should provide flexibility to allow the village to react and adapt to the changing marketplace and potential opportunities."
At the time, Klicker had hoped a planning firm to lead that study could be identified and chosen by the end of June. However, Klicker himself decamped to the northwest suburbs for a new job in May, putting a crimp into that plan.
Village Manager Timothy Wiberg told the Landmark last week that while the planning study has been delayed, it's still on the radar.
Wiberg replaced Klicker by hiring Martin Bourke, a veteran administrator, on a part-time, contract basis. Bourke had previously filled that role in 2019 while Wiberg conducted a search for a community development director that brought in Klicker.
Meanwhile, the village's RFP for the Ogden Avenue Corridor Study drew an enthusiastic response. Brookfield received 16 responses from planning firms, said Wiberg. However, instead of going through them right now with an interim director in place, Wiberg said he's going to wait until Klicker's full-time replacement is in place.
"One of that person's first tasks is to pare down the list and figure out the process to get the planning firm for the project," Wiberg said.
Last week, Wiberg began interviewing seven candidates for a permanent community development director position. He said he hopes to have a finalist identified by mid-month and to have that person on board by mid-September at the latest.