, 2023-04-25 11:45:00,
Past, present and future projects and programs in Morton were spotlighted last week at the annual Morton Forecast Breakfast.
Leaders from the village, school district, park district, library and Morton Economic Development Council spoke at the Morton Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event, attended by 125 at the Morton Knights of Columbus hall.
Here’s a sampling of what the leaders had to say:
Mayor Jeff Kaufman touched on a number of topics, including the village’s response to what he called “growing pains.” Morton’s population has grown the past two years and now is close to 18,000, Kaufman said.
- The village wants to hire five daytime full-time firefighters for the otherwise all-volunteer Morton Fire Department to address a shortage of volunteer firefighters who are available during daytime hours. Volunteer firefighters would continue to be the primary responders during nighttime hours and weekends. About 50% of the department’s calls come in between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. In 1978, the department responded to 198 calls with an average of 19.2 volunteer firefighters responding. There were 2,837 calls in 2022 with an average of 2.6 volunteer firefighters responding.
- There also are plans to hire additional police officers for the first time in 20 years. Morton’s population has increased 12% during that time.
- The village’s budget for 2022-23 has $17.025 million in extraordinary capital expenditures. The list of projects includes $4 million for an extension of Flint Street and $1 million for an expansion of the Birchwood Street and Erie Avenue intersection, both related to the construction of the 500,000-square-foot, 47-foot tall Precision Planting operations center on Erie. A $2 million IDOT grant will help pay for the Flint Street project.
- A storage and restroom building is planned for the Church Square, with construction in 2024. Also in 2024, Detroit Street will be repaved and a bike trail from Birchwood north to the intersection with Jefferson Street will be constructed.
To read the original article from www.wcbu.org, Click here