Cook County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

Cook County Commissioner Peter N. Silvestri served as master of ceremonies at the annual West Central Municipal Conference Legislative Breakfast Feb. 17. More than 300 local officials attended the annual legislative breakfast, including (from left) Schiller Park Mayor Nick Caiafa, River Forest President Cathy Adduci, Norridge President James Chmura, Silvestri and Franklin Park Mayor Barrett F. Pedersen.


Reuse-A-Shoe program underway at Rec Center

The Deerfield Park District and Sachs Recreation Center, 455 Lake Cook Road, have partnered with the SWALCO (Solid Waste Agency of Lake County) Reuse-A-Shoe program to collect used shoes from members of the community during regular business hours. Accepted footwear includes athletic shoes, dress shoes, fashion shoes, casual shoes, dress and fashion boots, cleats, children’s shoes (including light-ups), work shoes, work boots, hiking boots, slippers, loafers, rain boots, Crocs, sandals, flip-flops, clogs and more. Shoes can be new, gently worn or used/worn, and should be paired together with tied shoelaces or rubber bands. Any size and brand will be accepted. The only footwear not accepted includes moldy or wet shoes, ice skates, roller blades or snow boots. For more information about the Reuse-A-Shoe program, call SWALCO at (847) 377-4954 or visit


Village nets lofty honor for solar energy efforts

The village recently received a SolSmart Silver designation for its efforts to reduce barriers to solar energy growth, and to make it easier for homes and businesses to utilize solar energy. SolSmart — led by The Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office — uses objective criteria to award communities points based on actions taken to reduce barriers to solar energy development. Communities that take sufficient actions are designated either Gold, Silver or Bronze. SolSmart Silver designation recognizes the village for taking bold steps to encourage solar energy growth and remove obstacles to solar development. Specifically, Schaumburg streamlined its permitting process and updated the Solar Energy Systems Code. The village also created a new webpage ( that offers resource guides, templates for plan preparation, and informational resources for funding and incentives, as well as consumer protection resources. The actions Schaumburg has taken are intended to encourage solar companies to do business in the area, thereby driving economic development and creating jobs. For more information, call (847) 895-4500 or visit

Oak Park

Villlage announces loan program for home fix-ups

The village announced that income-eligible, single-family households may be eligible for no-interest home rehabilitation loans of up to $25,000 to correct health and safety issues, and building code violations, such as broken pipes, a leaking basement or roof, crumbling entry stairs, dangerous electrical systems or accessibility obstacles. Related projects involving peeling or damaged lead paint surfaces may be covered under a separate grant of up to $12,000. No monthly payments are required, and loans are repayable after 20 years or when the property is transferred. Grants do not have to be repaid. Eligibility is determined by income limits set for the greater Chicago area by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. As an example, a family of four with a total household income of below $63,200 would qualify for a loan and a grant. For more information, call (708) 358-5410, send an email to or visit

Elmwood Park

Village scores high ranking on national real estate list 

The village announced that Elmwood Park recently was ranked No. 5 on a national list of 25 Neighborhoods that “Have it All,” compiled by Redfin, a national real estate company. Redfin took data from 80 major U.S. markets and analyzed it to find neighborhoods with highly desirable characteristics, such as home affordability, an easy commute, low crime and good schools. In particular, Redfin analysts considered zip codes where the median home price was below the national median of $291,700 in the following categories: affordability; home-selling speed; neighborhoods with a GreatSchools rating of 5 (average) or higher; transit scores on Walk Score of at least 50; and low crime rates. For more information, call (708) 452-7300 or visit


City opens annual art contest to 3rd-grade students    

The city is hosting its annual art contest for 3rd-grade students in celebration of National Drinking Water Week (May 6-12). The purpose of National Drinking Water Week is to celebrate water as our most precious natural resource. This year’s theme is, “Protect the Source.” Participating students are invited to showcase their ideas of what the theme means to them. Submissions of artwork should fit on a 8.5-inch by 11-inch piece of paper or smaller. Hard copies of submissions should be delivered to the Evanston Water Production Bureau, 555 Lincoln St., by 4 p.m. March 5. Community-wide online voting will occur from March 26 to April 6. Winners of the art contest will be announced at the Administration & Public Works Committee Meeting of the Evanston City Council at 6 p.m. April 23. Awards will include Evanston beach tokens for this summer, a plaque of recognition and a chance to have the artwork displayed at the Main Library during National Drinking Water Week. For more information, call or text (847) 448-4311 or visit


Public Works offers wood mulch delivery program

The village announced that the Palatine Public Works Department will begin scheduling appointments for its annual wood mulch delivery program on March 1. Appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis and fill quickly. The cost is $14 per cubic yard, with a 3 cubic yard minimum and 10 cubic yard maximum for orders. To schedule an appointment, call the Public Works Department at 847-705-5200 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, starting March 1. Deliveries to residents’ driveway aprons will take place every half-hour from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 6, 13 and 20. For smaller amounts of mulch, residents can bring their own containers and shovels and visit the mulch bins at the village’s holding site, located at 550 N. Smith St. (near the Smith Tank Water Tower). For more information, visit


–Cook County News Briefs–