Well, dear readers, when we left our story last time we were pondering some of the financial facts surrounding the DiMaria administration that just didn’t seem to add up. We wondered, for example how, according to the Morton Grove Champion , Morton Grove Village President Dan DiMaria said the 2017 budget will maintain the same level of services without additional fees or increased property taxes. Considering that twice in the life of this administration the major companies that monitor government financial affairs lowered Morton Grove’s bond rating.
DiMaria brags about saving money by having village workers take on multiple responsibilities while continuing to add six-figure “white collar patronage” employees and retaining more and more high-priced consultants. Something doesn’t add up.
Speaking of not adding up, what about the parcel of land on Dempster St known as the “Maxwell’s property”? To refresh your memory, the village originally had grandiose plans for a multi-use structure, but the original buyer was foreclosed on by the bank.
Through intervention by the village, the property was resold to a political contributor to mayor DiMaria for the purpose of building a restaurant. Those plans fell through, and the village repurchased a part of the parcel giving the mayor’s buddy a quick $500,000 profit.
Within the last year, the Moretti family, restaurateurs and friends of mayor DiMaria were given the opportunity of leasing the property from the village for a ridiculously paltry sum for an extended period. They were to build a large restaurant/banquet facility a literally no cost for the land. There was, however, a problem that raised it’s ugly head. This land was found to be contaminated and required EPA clean up.
The sweetheart deal was sweetened even further by the village taking responsibility for the clean up. Apparently Christmas came early for the friends of Mayor DiMaria. Do your own research. Look at the village board meeting minutes of December 7, 2015 and October 10, 2016 for exact agreements.
We have noticed that recently a construction fence has been erected on the site and heavy earth moving equipment is parked there also. The question then becomes, “Is this part of the clean up of the contamination on the site, or is it infrastructure construction in preparation of building the pizza restaurant?”
So, maybe… just maybe the new eatery will open by the end of 2017 as promised by DiMaria… or maybe not. If it does open Morton Grovers will have yet another pizzaria to enjoy but they might want to consider when they pay the check that they not only have paid for their pizza, but also for the land under the restaurant… the alleged contamination of that land… and who knows what else.
It sure is good to be politically connected in Morton Grove!
Tune in next time when we ask the question; “Does the change in the massage parlor ordinance mean an announcement of new businesses by the Mayor?”