Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Filing deadline for flood relief extended again through Nov. 17

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The Office of the President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners,
Todd H. Stroger, President
Cook County Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management
Media Advisory:  For Immediate Release
Media Contacts: Ray Rubio, Public Information Officer 312-603-8180, 312-523-8601,
James Ramos, Public Affairs and Communications, 312-603-0365, cell 312-590-4209,
Cook County Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management announces additional time to Cook County residents to apply for disaster assistance
Chicago – October 19, 2010 – Cook County residents have additional time to apply for disaster assistance for damages from the severe storms and flooding that occurred on July 23 and 24, 2010.
In Cook County alone more than 123,000 households have applied for assistance and more than 1,000 people a day are still applying. FEMA has approved $260 Million dollars for Cook County residents.  “This is the biggest disaster in the history of FEMA’s region”, said David R. Ramos, Executive Director, Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management. Due to the size of the disaster and the continuing number of people applying for disaster assistance, the deadline to apply has been extended by FEMA to Wednesday, November 17, 2010.
The Disaster Recovery Center locations are:
• Chicago State University, Emil and Patricia Jones Convocation Center,
9501 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, Chicago, IL 60628
• Stephenson County Highway Administration Building, 295 West Lamm Road
Freeport, IL 61032 (near County Road 12 – South Walnut Avenue.
• Cicero Public Safety Building, 5410 West 34th Street, Cicero, IL 60804
• St. Joseph High School, 1840 Mayfair Ave., Westchester, IL 60154
• Austin Area, (former Old Navy building), Washington Square
4905 West North Ave., Chicago IL 60639
Applications can still be made online at or by calling toll free 1-800-621-3362.  
69 W. Washington St. – Suite 2630 · Chicago, Illinois  60602 · 312-603-8180 · Fax 312-603-9883

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cicero purchases foreclosed homes, rehabs them and resells them to the public

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Cicero purchases foreclosed homes, rehabs them and resells them to the public
(Note event date change to Oct. 28)

Town President Larry Dominick will break ground Thursday on the conversion of a bank-foreclosed property that has been acquired by Cicero that will be offered for public subsidized sale.

Cicero has so far purchased three bank-foreclosed properties in the past two years, rebuilding them and offering them to the public with a subsidy from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP).

The groundbreaking with take place Thursday (October 28, 2010) at 10:30 am at the site where the new homes will be built, 5111-13 W. 29th Place.
The first foreclosed home Cicero purchased is located at 2725 S. 58th Court. 
The second foreclosed home Cicero purchased is at 2724 S. 58th Court, across the street from the first home. 
The newest foreclosed home Cicero has purchased is a home at 5111 W. 29th Place and a vacant lot next door at 5113 W. 29th Place that together will become a future duplex, town home.

“We do not want these foreclosed properties to go unattended and turn in to hangouts for gangs or drug dealers,” Dominick said.

“We do not want to see anyone lose their homes. But once the bank takes a property, their record is not very good at maintaining them. I do not want these homes to turn into eyesores that impact their neighbors. This program will insure that the properties are renovated and in some cases rebuilt from scratch and then resold to the public as family residences.”

Cicero has purchased three foreclosed properties and rebuilt or renovated them to be sold as public subsidized housing. The first property has already been purchased by a family, stabilizing their block. The second property, located at 2724 S. 58th Court, has been renovated and is now on the market.

“This second home is being sold right off of the Town’s web site at,” explained Tom Tomschin, grant administrator for the Town of Cicero Housing Department.

“The third property is actually one home that was foreclosed on that the town purchased from the bank. It has an adjacent vacant property and we are going to convert that single family home in to a Town House duplex.”
Tomschin said buyers must meet income ceiling criteria. For example, one person buying the home must have an income of no more than $63,650. A four-member family could earn up to $90,000 and qualify for the home purchases under NSP. A six-member family could earn up to $104,000. Tomschin said prospective buyers go through a rigid criteria to determine their status and incomes. 

“We are working to get the homes placed on the MLS system to increase public awareness but we have some hurdles to overcome. But they are available to anyone who meets the NSP criteria and are income-qualified,” Tomschin explained.

The proposed duplex will provide two residences each with three bedrooms and two and one-half baths. Each unit will also have a two-car garage. They will sell for $160,000 each, including all appliances. It will be located at 5111 and 5113 W. 29th Place.

The property at 2724 S. 58th Court is listed at $182,000 which is now available for purchase. It has 3 bedrooms, two baths, unfinished basement, two and one-half car garage, is energy efficient and includes all major appliances (stove, refrigerator, microwave, dish washer and granite countertops.)

Both the 29th Place and 58th Court properties are demolitions and rebuilds. The first house sold for $179,000 was a gut rehab, rather than a demolition or rebuild. It is located at 2725 S. 58th Court, across the street from the 2nd foreclosed home.

Tomschin said through NSP regulations, the town is prohibited from making a profit on any of the sales, but can recover acquisition costs and costs of construction. All proceeds collected at closing are recycled back into the program to continue the process of acquisition, redevelopment, and sale.

For more information on purchasing one of these rehabbed homes, visit the Town of Cicero web site.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Cicero Police Superintendent Receives Honor

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Cicero Police Superintendent Receives HonorLawndale News
By: Ashmar Mandou
         Young Latinas across the city can learn a thing or two from Cicero Police Superintendent Lori Lelis.  Not only has she worked through the ranks for 26 years to become Superintendent, Lelis also dedicates her time to keeping the streets of Cicero safe for families to enjoy, reaches out to women who have suffered through domestic violence, and is actively involved with non-profit organization Mujeres Latinas en Acción.  On Tuesday, Oct. 5th Lelis’ contributions were honored by the Latinos of Berwyn and Cicero organization, in which Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez led the ceremony.  “Every year we highlight individuals who shown done admirable amount of support to our community, especially the Latino community,” said Charlie Hernandez, president of Latinos of Berwyn and Cicero (L.O.B.O).  “She was honored for her innovative programs in law enforcement and the ‘Safe Our Streets’ program.  She goes beyond just being a Cicero resident.  Lelis is committed to public service.” 

            L.O.B.O was established in 1984 as a way to showcase Latino leaders making an impact in their community.  It also aims to inspire youth to get involved with local organizations by offering services and workshops to augment leadership skills, and offering seminars to educate the communities of Cicero and Berwyn about the various services that are available to them.  Its mission is to continue education and inspiring residents and showcasing Latinos who continually strive for change.  “Through our efforts to highlight hard working Latinos, we hope we are able to inspire younger generations,” said Hernandez. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chicago business to expand in to Cicero

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Chicago business to expand in to Cicero

Cicero, Il – Cloverhill Bakery, which employs more than 900 people at its bakery in Chicago on south Narragansett Street will move its distribution center from Chicago to Cicero, bringing as many as 40 new jobs.

William A. Gee IV, Executive Vice President of Operations for Cloverhill Bakery, told members of the Town of Cicero board that they are excited to be expanding into the western Chicago suburb and relocating the distribution to 1540 S. 54th Avenue.

“We’ve been working on this for quite a while and we want to express our gratitude to President Larry Dominick and to the Town Attorney Mike Del Galdo for their help,” Gee said.

William A. Gee IV, Cloverhill Executive Vice President of Operations
addresses the board as (from left) TIM Hakin (COO) and attorney Brian Liston look on

“We've been making individually-wrapped pastries for quite some time and very successfully. It’s a wonderful aroma and you will be able to smell the difference in Cicero when this becomes reality. It will definitely change the neighborhood.”

Gee said the company currently has 900 employees at its plant at 2035 N. Narragansett Ave. in Chicago. He said the company is expanding the line to include muffins which will be the first line to be introduced to the new location once expansion is completed.

He said Cloverhill will be closing down its current distribution facility at Pulaski Road near the Stevenson Expressway to relocate the 40 employees to Cicero.

Cloverhill has been in business since 1960. Since then, they have expanded the company twice.

“We need more space and we are landlocked where we are now located and we need to do bigger and better things.

Gee, who was accompanied by attorney Brian P. Liston and Cloverhill COO Tim Hakin, said that in past developments, the company has invested in helping to improve local infrastructure including repaving streets.

“We want to create an environment that is beneficial to our employees and mindful of the surrounding neighborhood and the Town in which we are proud to work in,” Gee said.

Gee said that in expanding in Chicago years ago, the company took over a property that was being used by street gangs as a crack house. “We took it over, cleaned it up and today that location has improved dramatically,” Gee said.  “We will be fixing up the property and adding new fencing. That area will look a lot nicer when we are done.”

Gee said that the company expects that many of the existing employees will choose to relocate with the company and move in to Cicero. He said that Cloverhill bakery will also work with the Town to promote new job positions to the town’s residents.

In response to questions from trustees Maria Punzo-Arias, Dennis Raleigh and Town Collector Fran Reitz, Gee said that great care will be taken to route delivery trucks away from any local schools where children might be present.


FEMA Workshop for homeowners to protect their homes from flooding Mon. Oct. 18, Cicero Community Center

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“Protect Your Property From Basement Flooding” Program

FEMA will host a workshop to help homeowners protect their homes from future flooding problems. The workshop will be held on Monday Oct. 18 at 6:30 pm at the Community Center, 2250 S. 49th Ave. (behind Town Hall).

This Program consists of a 22 minute talk using a PowerPoint slide show to discuss what homeowners can do to minimize basement flooding. A FEMA Mitigation specialist will introduce simple, affordable home maintenance/retrofitting ideas using graphics to show how to accomplish this and include information on the National Flood Insurance Program. A Question & Answer session will follow the slide presentation. Our talk will stress code compliance and remind residents to speak with their local building official for permitting requirements. Any highly technical questions will be referred to a contractor/professional, as we merely want to propose ideas.

This Program is targeting small groups such as homeowner’s association, service clubs, civic organizations, fraternal clubs and church groups in areas with significant basement flood damage.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wonderful profile of Maureen Carroll in the Berwyn-Cicero Life Newspapers this week.

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Wonderful profile of Maureen Carroll in the Berwyn-Cicero Life Newspapers this week.

Check it out. As director of Cicero’s Community Mental Health Board, Carroll began a support group for local military families.

In May 2009, she organized a military appreciation ceremony that is now a regular event at many of our Town Board meetings.

Click here to read the article