Evergreen Park mayor: ComEd has hijacked businesses

  • Written by Sharon L. Filkins

plaza construction photo 11-24

Photo by Joe Boyle

Workers are putting up the interiors of buildings that will house retail businesses and restaurants by the new Carson’s for the new Plaza development near 97th and Western Avenue. Evergreen Park Mayor James Sexton is angry with ComEd over what he said are safety issues they are not addressing.




Evergreen Park Mayor James Sexton and the board of trustees are not happy with ComEd and its work in progress at the reconstruction of the new Evergreen Park Plaza at 95th and Western Avenue, claiming there are serious issues being ignored.

“We are very disappointed with ComEd’s actions,” said Sexton during the Evergreen Park Board meeting on Monday night. “ComEd has hijacked our businesses coming into the Plaza by overcharging them for work where electrical lines already exist and have not completed work on designated timelines. It’s very difficult to get work done when not everyone is paddling in the same direction.”

His comments were prompted by a report from Bill Lorenz, public works director, who stated that ComEd has created a dangerous, possibly life-threatening situation by burying primary power cables in three locations at the Plaza area without proper identification.

Lorenz said it poses a threat to any public workers who need to drill or excavate in the area.

“A JULIE locator (Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators) could come out and identify the presence of an Edison duct, but not realize there is a large loop of primary electric cable buried in the vicinity. Someone could be killed,” he said.

Lorenz stated that he had contacted Earl Washington, ComEd engineer in charge of the Plaza redevelopment Edison power installations and suggested that a splice pit box be installed directly over the buried cable, which would indicate to a JULIE locator that the cable was present.

According to Lorenz, the response from ComEd was “We do this all the time and that is the way Edison does it.”

“That doesn’t make it safe. If that is the way Edison does it, it needs to be changed,” said Lorenz

“They are a lot bigger than we are and pretty much do what they want, but we are going to make them do this,” said Sexton. “ComEd has not been neighborly, but this is a situation where someone could be killed.”

In other matters, a business certificate was approved for Arias Chicago World Group Corp., Arias Millwork and Cabinets (Millwork of countertops and cabinets) at 9340 S. Kedzie Ave.

Also approved was a payment of 2017 membership dues to the Illinois Municipal League in the amount of $1,500.