By Ginny Skweres
Zion-Benton News staff
Following the death of another pedestrian on Sheridan Road in Beach Park, the village board is upset with the situation and lack of response from the Illinois Department of Transportation about issuing a permit for a crosswalk. The village has reached out to local politicians and Springfield to help get a response.
"It's a challenge. You can't have crosswalks at every intersection, but we certainly can improve it,” said Trustee Don Jensen. The village would like to install a signalized crosswalk and a walkway along the sides of the road, but needs a permit from IDOT.
Trustees complained that people use the center lane as a bike path or walkway. They are asking for increased patrolling of the road by the sheriff's office. However, places where people could walk are often covered with snow in the winter.
Village Administrator Jon Kindseth said the village is contracting with ComEd to add streetlights along Sheridan Road. There are only about nine streetlights along that long stretch now, but the village plans on adding a dozen, Kindseth said. All of the new lights, plus existing lights, will have higher wattage bulbs than are now being used. Com Ed will be the one to get the permits.
"We don't know if that's going to pan out. Is that right?" Trustee Regina Miller asked.
"No. We believe it will," Kindseth said. "We just have to determine which specific locations will have the lighting.”
Kindseth said he anticipates that the project will be completed in February.
Gas station owners
Some of Beach Park's gas station owners addressed the board following the meeting. Since they are no longer allowed to sell alcohol, other than wine and beer, they said they have been negatively impacted.
At least one station owner is on the verge of closing because he loses money every month and is about to be evicted. The owners said they earn only up to three cents a gallon. Without alcohol to draw in customers to buy that and other items, they are hurting they said.
The decision was originally made because the owners of liquor stores said were hurt by the sale of alcohol at gas stations and mini-marts, even after the board amended the ordinances that aligned the hours and liquor licenses of the gas stations.
They asked the board to reconsider its decision. In order for that to happen, one of the trustees would need to ask that it be put on the agenda for a meeting.
The board approved an agreement that will bring street lights to Adam-Major Road. The Cambridge Homeowners Association of detached and duplex homes. will pay for two street lights and Com Ed will install three more. The village will pay for the electricity, just like it does for the rest of the subdivision.
Mayor Hucker said the use of LED lights in village has lowered the cost of street lighting significantly, making this an easier decision.