NORTH CHICAGO, Ill., Dec. 18, 2017 — The City of North Chicago recently received a prestigious innovation award from the Lake County Municipal League. This award acknowledges municipalities that developed strategic programs to solve municipal challenges and increase the effectiveness of local government. North Chicago's neighborhood revitalization and blight busting program was recognized.
“It is an honor to receive this award for our program that deals with vacant and blighted properties,” said Mayor Rockingham. “Every derelict building had its own unique issues and we worked strategically to either demolish the properties or put them into productive use.”
North Chicago's program surveyed every property in the city. Then, the identification of “Action Properties” was completed starting with those that posed the greatest health and safety risk to the community. “Action Properties” were initially put into various tracks: (1) Owner to repair and get the property into productive use; (2) Owner to demolish; (3) Abandonment deed – demolition; and (4) Fast-track demolition.
The city demolished 19 properties in 2017. Four properties were voluntarily demolished by their owners. Another ten were put into productive use by working with the owners and crafting an improvement schedule.
Throughout the process the city engaged in a “radical transparency” effort where an external interactive mapping tool was designed to allow the public to view the demolition pipeline and before and after photos. This turned into its own microsite: www.NorthChicagoProgress.org.
“Revitalization of vacant and blighted properties are an important component to furthering neighborhood development and increasing property values in the city,” said Alderman Kathy January, Chairperson of the Building Committee. “We are proud to be recognized for our efforts by winning this prestigious award from the Lake County Municipal League.”
About North Chicago
Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, North Chicago is home to the only training center for United States Navy recruits. With the involvement of its citizens, the city provides effective and responsive municipal services to a population of 32,574. Nearly 300,000 people visit the city each year to attend Navy recruit graduations, visit the world renowned Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie Pharmaceutical Company, receive treatment from the James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, attend medical school at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine, and visit other places, making it one of the busiest destinations in Lake County, Illinois.
SOURCE City of North Chicago
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