33rd Ward's Weekly Newsletter
December 15, 2018
Winter Coat Drive,  
Shared Cost Sidewalk Program + More
Dear Neighbor,

Last weekend, Matthew Hoffman and the great people over at You Are Beautiful cut the ribbon on their new home in Avondale. Located at 3368 Elston Avenue, they are open everyday from 11-7. Stop in and check out the gorgeous space. Please join us in welcoming the team to he 33rd Ward!

Community Safety Alert: Burglaries
  • This week, the 17th District shared information about burglaries in the ward.
  • If you have any information about these or other crimes, please call 911.
Monday Evening Ward Hours
  • Most Mondays we are open 8am - 6:30pm.
  • If you'd like to meet with me personally, please email my office to make sure we get a chance to talk: ward33@cityofchicago.org.
This newsletter is for you. If there is any way we can improve it, please let us know by emailing us: ward33@cityofchicago.org


Deborah Mell
Chicago's 33rd Ward
Congrats to Moo Goong Terrance
December 13th was the 35th anniversary of the Moo Goong Terrace housing complex in Albany Park. Moo Goong serves 96 Korean American seniors but is open to all seniors and people with disabilities looking for affordable housing.

This was a special anniversary that reflected on the history of Albany Park as a hub for Korean immigrants, and celebrated their oldest living senior at 103 years old! Alderman Deb Mell was an honored guest and spoke about the strong sense of community found in the housing complex, which is now managed by the HANA center since its merger.

Community News & Events
From CACC: Pet Adoption Fees Waived Through Saturday + Holiday Party

Planning on a new pet this holiday season? Through Saturday, adoption fees are being waved at Chicago Animal Care and Control.

On Saturday, join them for a holiday party 12 - 4pm.

12/18: CPS Regional Assessment Meeting
Get an up-to-date assessment of the performance of local schools at this Annual Regional Analysis Briefing at Roosevelt High School on Tuesday, 12/18, 6 - 8pm. 

Stay Up-to-Date with CPS Events
Don't miss out on the many exciting upcoming events and programs at the CPS Parent University campuses across Chicago. Follow CPS Parent University and the CPS Office of Family and Community Engagement in Education (FACE2) on social media to stay informed.

Facebook: @CPSFACE

Winter Coat Drive Through 12/20 

Senior Housing: Independence Apartments 

Independence Apartments located at 4022 N Elston, just above the new Independence Library, will open in early 2019. Independence Apartments is a 100% affordable senior building. Applicants must be age 62 or over and have incomes below 60% of the Area Median Income.

Units will be available with rents starting at $850 for 1-bedroom units and $1,000 for 2-bedroom units and will be leased directly through Evergreen Real Estate Group. Additional units will be available with rental assistance from the Chicago Housing Authority. The leasing process for those units will be administered via the Chicago Housing Authority through their website.
Evergreen will begin the leasing process in January 2019. Applications will be accepted via mail or online at www.independenceapts.com beginning January 4, 2019. Applications will be processed on a first come-first served basis.

APPLY TODAY! Individuals interested in receiving Chicago Housing Authority rental assistance for this building can apply via the CHA website now.
  • Got to the CHA website.
  • Click "Apply for Housing-Public Housing & PBV Applicants Only!"
  • After you enter your personal information, the next screen will say "search for public housing." Instead of searching, select NEXT.
  • The following screen will have RAD and PBV properties. That is where the library sites will be found. Choose "Independence Apartments/Northtown Apartments."
If anyone needs assistance with filing the online application or have questions, please contact our office at (773) 478-8040.
Shared Cost Sidewalk Program 2019

The City's popular Shared Cost Sidewalk Program will open for applications on January 8th, 2019. The program often fills up quickly, so we encourage you to prepare ahead of time and sign up as early as possible on January 8th.

Volunteer Opportunity: Tax Prep Chicago 

The City of Chicago offers free tax help to thousands of Chicago residents each year who need assistance filing their returns. If you are looking for a way to use your skills to help Chicago families and individuals save their hard-earned money, we invite you to join the 1,400+ volunteers who provide tax assistance in Chicago each year.

Feedback Needed: Chicago Fines, Fees & Access Collaborative

Chicagoans who struggle with poverty can attest that the current system for fine, fees, and debt collection greatly impairs socio-economic mobility. This means that families who live at or below the poverty line often have to choose between settling their debts and providing the basics for their families.  
No one should have to decide between buying groceries and paying for a parking ticket. In response, Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia has assembled a working group called the Chicago Fines, Fees & Access Collaborative in order to identify interdepartmental ways in which the current system can be improved. I have been asked to be part of that group, and I want to hear from you about how the current system can be better.  
Please email your thoughts to ward33@cityofchicago.org. Thanks in advance for your feedback!

Property Tax Appeal Period Now Open

Property Tax Appeals for West Chicago Township will be open until January 8, 2019.  If you live within this Cook County Township and need assistance on filing, please reach out to our office or visit the Cook County Board of Review's website .

We can be reached at 773 / 478 - 8040. You are also welcome to email us: ward33@cityofchicago.org
Infrastructure Update from Deb: Ongoing Peoples Gas Project
Over the last few months, my office has received a number of calls about the ongoing Peoples Gas work throughout the ward, and I wanted to share some information on project. Peoples Gas is working to replace all of their gas mains and service lines to improve the reliability of gas delivery and to prevent leaks due to aging infrastructure. This is a very large project that impacts every neighborhood in the ward. The construction can be frustrating, and we appreciate everyone's patience. We want to make sure the work is completed correctly, the crews are respectful of the neighborhood, and any issues are quickly addressed. 

Starting in spring of 2017, Peoples Gas began working on the first phases of this project in Ravenswood Manor and Avondale. They start with camera inspections of each sewer before installing the new gas mains in the sidewalks and parkways on each side of the street. Once the mains are installed, Peoples Gas installs new service lines to each home. With the new mains and service lines installed, they set an appointment with each household to transfer the gas service from the old lines to the new lines. After everyone is transferred to the new lines, they can retire the old mains and begin restoration. Restoration usually includes replacing affected sidewalks, re-sodding portions of the parkway, repaving some intersections, and repairing any damage to private property. 

On a few streets, such as portions of Sacramento and Kedzie, they will also install large diameter gas mains that supply gas to the parkway mains on the surrounding blocks. These larger mains are usually in the street instead of the parkway or sidewalk. These installations will take longer than the normal gas main installations and are usually more disruptive.

During most of this work, there will be a number of cuts in the sidewalks around the water and sewer lines for each house and around the new service line locations. These are needed to make sure the new main is safely installed and doesn't interfere with the water and sewer lines. During construction, these sidewalks cuts will be temporarily filled with gravel or sand. The sidewalk squares will be replaced as part of restoration. 

As we go into the winter, Peoples Gas is working to complete as much sidewalk restoration as possible especially on main streets. They're also changing the temporary sidewalk fill so that it is easier to clear after snow. We're also working with them to confirm parking restrictions around holidays, so they don't leave unneeded parking restrictions posted. 

Large utility projects like this one are disruptive and can cause a number of issues while underway. Please don't hesitate to contact us about anything that may come up. I want to resolve those issues as quickly as possible  and minimize the frustration. Please keep an eye on the infrastructure update included in the newsletter every week for information on the progress of the work.

Thank you for your patience.
March 1st Cook County Property Tax Bill is Online
In response to a high volume of requests by taxpayers, accountants and tax advisors, Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas said today she has posted next year's First Installment property tax bill to cookcountytreasurer.com, nearly three months before the due date.
This is the earliest that First Installment payments have been accepted. Property owners should consult with a tax professional about income tax deductions for 2018.
Tax Year 2018 First Installment taxes, due March 1, 2019, are 55 percent of the prior year's total tax.
You may look up your tax bill on cookcountytreasurer.com by using your address or 14-digit Property Index Number (PIN). Here's how to pay:
           *   Go to cookcountytreasurer.com and select "Make an Online Payment"
*   Download and print your bill from the website and either:
           *  Mail it to the Treasurer's Office, or
           *  Pay in person at a Chase bank branch or the Treasurer's Office

Keep Your Sidewalks Clear of Ice and Snow
Snow clearing info in English (PDF)

Snow clearing info in Spanish (PDF)

Application Period for LIHEAP Now Open
Learn more.

Emergency Heating Repair Program

The City's popular Emergency Heating Repair Program is now open for applications. This program will be open through April 1 or until funds run out. Apply soon to get your shot. If you need assistance with the application call our office (773 / 478 - 8040) or call 311.

Sign up for Smart911

Today, 75% of 911 calls are made from cell phones, making it difficult for call takers to determine the exact location of an emergency. By creating a Smart911 Safety Profile with up-to-date information, 911 dispatch staff is better prepared to help you and your family in an emergency.

Sign up at Smart911.com or download the free app in the iTunes & Google Play stores now and have life-saving capabilities at your fingertips, 24/7.
Announcements from APCC 
Spots Open for Early Education and School Age Programs
Spots are still available in the center's Early Education and School Age programs for children ages 2 to 12-years-old. Families throughout the Albany Park community and across Chicago are eligible to register including Child Care Assistance recipients and Head Start children.   
Families interested in registering children for the APCC Early Education or School Age Program can contact Dina Evans, Sr. Director of Children and Youth Programs, APCC at devans@apcc-chgo.org or call 773.509.5657, Ext. 415.  
Needed: Male Mentors
APCC is seeking men to mentor at-risk male youth, ages 12 to 14 years of age who are participating in the APCC new mentoring programming this Fall.  The teen participants will meet the mentors after school once a month.   
Interested mentors can apply by contacting  Kathy Maher, LCSW, Director of Counseling, Mentoring, and Family Support Services at kmaher@apcc-chgo.org or call 773-509-5657 Ext. 456.   
Needed: Tutors
Consider becoming a Volunteer Tutor with Adult Education students studying at the Albany Park Community Center! A flexible schedule and three locations to choose from make volunteering easy!

Call or email Claire for more information! 773-509-5657 ext 441 & cgilbertsen@apcc-chgo.org
Free Counseling for Youth Between 10 - 24 from APCC 
Albany Park Community Center (APCC) program just announces its expanded community based counseling program providing free counseling, in English or Spanish, to individuals 10 to 24 years old. APCC's counseling team is now accepting new clients. Services are available for both day and evening hours, including Saturday hours, at 5101 N. Kimball Ave.  
For more information or if interested in APCC's Community Based Counseling please contact Jessica Acosta, LCPC at 773.509.5657 Ext. 435 or jacosta@apcc-chgo.org
Infrastructure Updates
Greenway Project

Some parkway restoration may be delayed until Spring 2019. If you notice any needed restoration, please contact our office to make sure it is included.  
Tree Removals at River Park

Tree removals began November 19 along the North Branch Chicago River's east shoreline of through River Park from Argyle St to Foster Ave. This is part of the larger River Riparian Connectivity and Habitat Section 506 project that Chicago Park District is working with the USACE to restore riverbanks along the North Shore Chicago River and North Shore Channel.

River Park Dam Removal  

Dam removal underway.

The first phase of a multi-year river restoration project will begin by removing a 100-year-old dam where the river splits northwestward between Foster Avenue and Argyle Street at River Park. Its replacement would be a series of man-made "riffle pools" that would allow fish to traverse freely along the waterway. Fencing around the project area is being installed prior to the start of the project.

We will share further updates as we receive them.
River Run

Construction crews have completed the access paths and causeway necessary to build the river bridge. The contractor continues to procure materials necessary for the construction of the piers. The pier installation is pending final approval. Fabrication of the terrace block wall is underway and the bridge railing has been approved for fabrication.


Peoples Gas will NOT be working on 12/24 through 12/25 and 12/31 through 1/4/19. They are updating their parking restrictions to make sure no confusing signage posted.

Albany Park:
  • 3000 W Wilson - Main installations underway.
  • 3100 W Wilson - Main installations underway.
  • 3200 W Wilson - Main installation underway at Kedzie and Wilson intersection.
  • 3300 W Wilson - Main installation complete.
  • 4400 N Kimball - Main installation complete. Service line installation to begin shortly.
  • 4500 N Kimball - Main installation complete.
  • 4400 N Christiana - Main installation complete. Service line installation is underway on the west of the street. Service lines on the east side to follow.
  • 4500 N Christiana - Main installation complete. Service line installation is underway on the west of the street. Service lines on the east side to follow.
  • 3900 N Whipple - Main extension near Irving Park complete. Ally apron restoration expected to begin next week.
  • 3500 N Kedzie (from Elston to Addison) - Large Diameter main installation expected begin shortly. Unlike other blocks of Kedzie, this installation will be done by a continuous opening on Kedzie. Expect traffic delays while installation is underway.
  • 3600 N Kedzie - Main installation expected to be completed by 12/21.
  • 3700 N Kedzie - Main installation expected to be completed by 12/21.
  • 3800 N Kedzie - Main installation expected to be completed by 12/21.
  • 3900 N Kedzie - Main installation expected to be completed by 12/21.
  • 4100 N Kedzie - Service line installation delayed until January 2019.
  • Alley north of 3300 W Irving Park -  Meter transfers underway.
  • Alley north of 3200 W. Irving Park - Meter transfers underway.
  • 3700 N Sacramento - Large diameter main installation in the street delayed until early 2019.
  • 3800 N Sacramento - Meter transfers underway. Large diameter main installation in the street delayed until early 2019.
  • 3900 N Sacramento - Meter transfers underway.
  • 4000 N Sacramento - Main installation underway.
  • 4100 N Sacramento - Main installation underway.
  • 4200 N Sacramento - Main installation complete.
  • 4300 N Sacramento - Main installation complete.
  • 3300 W. Cuyler - Concrete restoration nearly complete.
  • 3200 W Belle Plaine - Sidewalk restoration underway.
  • 3300 W Belle Plaine - Parkway restoration delayed until spring 2019.
  • 3200 W Warner - Sidewalk restoration expected to begin shortly.
  • 3300 W Warner - Parkway installation delayed until spring 2019.
  • 3200 W Berteau - Sidewalk restoration underway.
  • 3300 W Berteau - Parkway restoration delayed until spring 2019.
  • 4000 N Sawyer - Concrete restoration to begin shortly.
  • 4200 N Sawyer - Sidewalk restoration nearly complete.
  • 4300 N Sawyer - Sidewalk restoration nearly complete.
  • 4000 N Troy - Meter transfers underway. Concrete restoration expected to begin shortly.
  • 4300 N Troy - Meter transfers underway. Concrete restoration expected to begin shortly.
  • 4000 N. Albany - Service line installation underway.
  • 4100 N Albany - Service line installation underway.
  • 4200 N Albany - Service line installation underway.
  • 4300 N Albany - Service line
    installation nearly complete. Meter transfers underway.
  • 2900 W Montrose - Main installation complete.
  • 3000 W Montrose - Main installation complete.
  • 4000 N Whipple - Meter transfers expected to begin shortly.
  • 4100 N Whipple - Meter transfers expected to begin shortly.
  • 4200 N Whipple - Meter transfers underway on west side.
  • 4300 N Whipple - Meter transfers underway on west side.
  • 4000 N. Richmond - Meter transfers underway.
  • 4100 N Richmond - Meter transfers underway.
  • 4200 N Richmond - Meter transfers underway.
  • 4300 N. Richmond - Meter transfers underway.
  • 4100 N Mozart - Service line installation underway
  • 4200 N. Mozart - Service line installation expected to begin shortly.
  • 4300 N. Mozart - Service line installation expected to begin shortly.
  • 3000 N Cornelia - Main installation complete.
  • 4000 N California - Main installation expected to begin shortly.
  • 4100 N California - Main installation expected to begin shortly.
  • 4200 N California - Main installation underway.
  • 4300 N California - Main installation underway.
  • 3000 W Belmont - A short main extension underway near Belmont and Whipple. Work will be mainly inn the sidewalk on the south side of the street.
  • 3100 W Belmont - Concrete restoration nearly complete.


Albany Park:
  • Leland / Sawyer / Spaulding Water Main - Concrete restoration and street resurfacing expected to begin soon.
  • Eastwood (from Kedzie to Spaulding) - Concrete restoration and street resurfacing expected to begin soon.
Have a question about work being done in your neighborhood?

Check out our interactive infrastructure map.

Problem Buildings Progress
In an ongoing effort to keep our neighborhoods safe, we are dedicated to addressing vacant and otherwise problem buildings. Below is a partial list of properties that are currently in court. If you see issues with a vacant (or other otherwise problematic) building on your block, send the specific address and your concerns to ward33@cityofchicago.org.         

2833 N. Mozart, 9/4*    
A separate bankruptcy case will conclude soon and the trustee will sell the property. No specific buyer has been identified yet. The building was found to be secure; case continued to 9/4/18 for status of sale.    
4301 N. Whipple, 11/9     
The receiver is finalizing their bids to clean up the junk and debris at the property. They plan on presenting their bids to the court at the next court date on November 9th. The city will likely ask the court to appoint the receiver to clean up the junk at that time if the property is in the same condition. In addition, the owner of the property has already been found in contempt of court and there are daily fines running against him. We have started contempt proceedings against the owner's son as well.   
2915 N. Rockwell, 11/20     
Last update was that the owner's attorney stated the project will be done within 2 months (the basement recently flooded and the building was open while they had fans airing it out). We are currently waiting for the city's law department to provide us with a more timely update.  

* Updates on these parcels are forthcoming.  

If you would like more information about these properties or would like to attend hearing for these properties, contact our office: 773 / 478 - 8040  

Thank you to everyone who reports vacant and problem buildings. You are helping us make the 33rd ward more safe.
City News
A Change in How You Pay for Street Parking 
Street parking in Chicago just became even more convenient with the installation of new touch-screen pay boxes that eliminate the need to place paper receipts on your dashboard.
The new pay boxes come equipped with a touch screen that resembles a tablet. After you park, you'll enter your information at a nearby pay box:
  1. Type in your license plate number
  2. Insert a credit card or coins to pay
  3. Choose how long you intend to park
  4. Opt for paper or text receipt
That's it! Your license plate number identifies that you've paid.
The new pay boxes will give you the option of receiving a printed or text receipt that indicates when parking expires, but the receipt no longer needs to be displayed.
The new system only affects motorists who pay for parking using a pay box. The ParkChicago app, which allows drivers to pay for parking using their smartphone and add time to a parking session from remote locations, will remain in place.
All 36,000 metered spots will have the new pay boxes in place by mid-year 2019. A list of where the new pay boxes have already been installed is available at ChicagoMeters.com .
You can visit ChicagoMeters.com or call the customer service hotline at 877-242-7901 if you have any questions. 
Community Events

Job Opportunities / Resources
IT-Ready classes begin in February. Apply before January 11. (PDF) 
Work for the U.S. Census Bureau 
The U.S. Census Bureau is hiring workers for temporary jobs available in Cook County, Illinois starting this year in advance of the 2020 Census . The 2020 Census Jobs website is now accepting applications for Recruiting Assistants in Cook County metropolitan area and surrounding counties. Recruiting Assistants travel throughout geographical areas to visit with community-based organizations, attend promotional events and conduct other recruiting activities. Learn more here.

Support IMF's Campaign
  • Illinois Manufacturing Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) Vocational Training school located on S. Kedzie, is in the midst of a Scholarship Awarding Crowdfunding Campaign. Learn more here.

Construction Boilermaker Apprenticeship
Engineer Apprenticeship

The Apprenticeship Office for Local 150 Operating Engineers is opening applications for the trades of Heavy Equipment Operator, Heavy Equipment Repair Technician, Geothermal Well Driller, and Construction Material Inspector. Learn more about how to apply (and when) here.

J at School
The J at School program is looking to strengthen their impact at schools within the ward. They have put out a call to anyone 18 years or older interested in a part-time job that has the opportunity to lead to full time jobs in before/after school care within schools.
Candidates need to be responsible, reliable and enjoy working with children.
Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
  • Monitoring and supervising free play.
  • Creating engaging activities to support academic learning.
  • Opportunity to gain experience especially on a pathway to a degree in education.
For Business Owners
On-Premises Signs
Small Business Workshops
  • Own a small business? Want to? The Chicago Small Business Center offers FREE workshops weekly to help you get on your feet. Find their calendar here.
Minimum Wage Increases 
  • On December 2, 2014, the Chicago City Council approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel's ordinance establishing a minimum wage of $13 in Chicago by 2019. All employers operating within the city are subject to the new minimum wage.
  • Find the wage increase schedule and more here in English, in Spanish, in Mandarin. (PDFs)
  • Find information for employers in English and in Polish. (PDFs) 
More BACP Resources:
2018 Facade Rebate Program in the Special Service Area #60

Applications are now being accepted for 2018 facade improvement projects. All business owners and property owners on Lawrence, Montrose, Irving Park, or Kedzie within the SSA boundaries are eligible for the rebate program.

The Facade Improvement Program is offered through the Albany Park & Irving Park Special Service Area #60 (SSA), a special taxing district. The program is designed to help property owners and tenants within SSA#60 beautify the front of their buildings. The program provides a rebate of 50% of your costs, and the maximum rebate is $7,500 (or up to $20,000 for 3+ storefronts) for each eligible project. 

Examples of previous approved projects: New store front windows or doors, tuck pointing or facade restoration, signage improvements, new canopy/awning etc. 

For more more information contact Duka  ddabovic@northrivercommission.org or 
Have an event or resources you'd like to share in our newsletter?
Contact us: Ward33@cityofchicago.org
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