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Palos Heights Ald. Jerry McGovern, shown at a meeting earlier this year, is still peeved with a lack of post-construction progress at Crawford Park. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Heights Ald. Jerry McGovern, shown at a meeting earlier this year, is still peeved with a lack of post-construction progress at Crawford Park. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

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McGovern angry over mess left after water project

By Jeff Vorva

Jerry McGovern was mad about it in the summer.

He is madder about it in the fall.

The Palos Height alderman (4th Ward) said he knows its important for sewer and water projects to be done in his area, but he is disgusted with having to wait so long for post-construction repairs at Crawford Park to be made.

Construction of the Oak Lawn Regional Water System, an estimated $271 million project, was needed because pipes and other infrastructure are several decades old. The water system serves 12 south suburban communities including Palos Park, Palos Heights and Orland Park, and the project is eyed to be complete by 2025.

Construction has been going on throughout Palos Heights in the spring and the summer and it has left a mess in his area and McGovern said it’s time for that mess to finally be cleaned.

“This has been going on way too long,” McGovern said at the October 5 city council meeting at City Hall. “They said it’s going to take 30 days for the asphalt on the basketball court to cure before they can paint it. Now, the asphalt that they put on Harlem Avenue from 167th Street to 111th Street – I didn’t see a 30-day wait for that to cure for cars to [drive on it].

“We’re only talking about a half a dozen kids playing basketball on it. The poles aren’t up and it’s not painted.”

McGovern had a list of other complaints.

“The soccer field is not up,” he said. “At 131st Street and 76th Avenue is still waiting for some electrician to turn around and put in some wiring so they can put the cement corner in to the Tinley Park trail can continue on. It’s a piece of property that is probably no longer than one of these tables.

“They can’t get their act together. This is the most mismanaged thing I have ever seen. They don’t know what they are doing.”

McGovern said there was some progress with the baseball field after 11 truckloads of dirt arrived.

Mayor Bob Straz said it’s out of the city’s hands as it is not Palos Heights’ project.

“This is an Oak Lawn project,” he said. “We’ll have to bear with it. I can make a phone call to the mayor of Oak Lawn, but that’s about all we can do.”

McGovern hopes something can be done soon because he said that many people use the park.

He said it’s the only park for the Ishnala, Palos Pines, Oak Hills, Misty Meadows and Ponds of Palos subdivisions.

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