Right turn lane near Mariano’s draws criticism
Updated: December 2, 2012 7:09AM
HARWOOD HEIGHTS — Controversy continues to swirl around the construction of a Mariano’s Fresh Market in Harwood Heights.
At a committee of the whole meeting Oct. 25, trustees recommended creation of a right-turn lane off eastbound Lawrence Avenue onto southbound Oketo Avenue.
At the Village Board meeting following, Trustees Lester Szlendak, Demetrios Mougolias and Mark Dobrzycki voted to table the issue. Trustees Michael Gadzinski, Lawrence Steiner and Therese Schuepfer voted against doing so.
Mayor Arlene Jezierny broke the tie by voting against tabling.
Trustees eventually voted 4-2 to approve the deal to provide $41,000 to construct the turn lane, with Dobrzycki saying he hoped the village would abide by that amount.
Mougolias noted the village had debated the issue for more than a year.
“We knew about the traffic issues,” he said. “Why do we wait until the last minute?
“Why don’t we discuss this?
Dobrzycki also questioned the limited amount of time trustees had to discuss the approval, since it first was brought to the board at the committee meeting minutes earlier.
“We haven’t had a thorough discussion,” he said. “It’s difficult for me to vote for this.”
Dobrzycki noted construction manager Wayne Pesak, of MAPCO Construction Management in Melrose Park, said the village would benefit by moving quickly.
“I find it difficult to believe that we will pay less,” Dobrzycki said, noting rush jobs usually cost more. “What are the hidden costs?”
Residents were quick to deride the decision, noting the lane would benefit Mariano’s and not the residents.