Wilmette trustees gave the green light Tuesday to seek a federal grant to improve the streetscape along the Ridge Road corridor, between Elmwood and Wilmette avenues.
The village is applying for a $1.24-million grant from the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP), which covers 80 percent of the total project cost and is the maximum the village is allowed to apply for. The Ridge Road Streetscape project is estimated to cost a total of $1.57 million.
“As a distinct yet sometimes forgotten business district, we all thank you at Village Hall for continuing to insure our safety and help us in our continuing struggle to sustain our small businesses (and provide much needed revenue from our sales tax),” Zier's Prime Meats and Poultry wrote on its Facebook page regarding the grant application.
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If the village were awarded the grant, it would be responsible for the remaining 20 percent or some $329,000 for the project, which would be budgeted in 2013 and funded through a future bond issue, according to village documents.
The approved resolution reserves the village’s right to refuse the grant in the event that funds are not available to pay the local portion of costs.
The grant request is for the Ridge Road corridor to get new roadway, pedestrian lighting, decorative sidewalks, planters, street furniture, parkway trees and landscaping.
About 40 percent of the grant would be used to replace the more than 60-year-old lighting infrastructure on Ridge Road. The lighting system would be high efficiency such as LED or induction lighting to conserve on electricity and reduce maintenance hours, according to village documents.
The village has not yet designed the new lighting system so it does not have specific information on potential energy or maintenance cost savings, according to Brigitte Mayerhofer, director of engineering for the Village of Wilmette.