Action Will Be Taken in Near Future to Turn Sheridan Rd. Improvements Over to Board Which Will Assume Charge.
Sign Petitions South
Property Owners in Rogers Park and Along the South Circulating Pleas too North Shore District.
An important step in a plan of the Sheridan Road Improvement association to have the various public bodies and municipalities to the north relinquish to the Lincoln Park board the jurisdiction of Sheridan road, is to be taken within a short time has developed. The purpose of the plan is to enable the Lincoln park board to maintain the thoroughfare in uniform condition through the north side of the city, along the north shore, all the way to the Wisconsin state line.
Petitions have been circulated among property owners of Rogers Park urging the north shore park board to turn over to the Lincoln Park board the portion of Sheridan road it controls, lying between Hayes and Rogers avenues. It is planned to present the petitions to the commissioners of the district soon.
Speculation as to how the north shore park district commissioners will receive the proposition has caused considerable interest among those who are in favor of the plan. The situation in Rogers Park is regarded as vital in its relation to the whole plan because the north shore park district is the first public body to be asked to turn over the jurisdiction of the thoroughfare to the Lincoln park board.
Views of Members of the Board: Members of the district board, when asked for an opinion on the subject, declared that they would be in favor of any plan that would mean greater benefits for the district without an increase of expense to the taxpayers. They were able fully as well as the Lincoln park board to take care of the road. Possibility of legal complications which might prevent realization of the proposed plan were advanced bu the attorney representing the district.
Representatives of the Sheridan Road Improvement association pointed out that the plan would mean a great benefit to the whole city as well as other communities, and expressed a hope that the north shore park district commissioners would take the requested action.
Sees Benefit to City: E. L. Lobdell, president of the Sheridan Road Improvement association refuse to turn over their part of Sheridan road to the Lincoln park board they will make themselves a stumbling block to a plan which is for the great benefit of the whole city of Chicago as well as other localities to the north - namely, the construction of a well built and a well maintained thoroughfare through to the Wisconsin state line. The north shore park district never has maintained property its portion of Sheridan orad. The thoroughfare is in bad condition.
"No wonder the commissioners say they have been spending far less money on maintenance than the Lincoln park board asks to do the work. They have not maintained the road. As a matter of fact, the Lincoln park board can maintain the boulevard properly at just half of what it would cost the north shore park district if the latter kept it in proper condition.
Board Members Hostile: "We have circulated petitions and gained the consent of many of the property owners along the road. We have hesitated to present the petition to the park district board, however, because of the hostile position the members a[pear to have taken toward the plan.
"There is no need of arguing that legal technicalities will stand in the way of the proposed plan. That is not true. There is nothing to prevent the north shore park district from turning over the road to the Lincoln park board, if it so desires.
"That action would be for the interest of everybody concerned. The Lincoln park board could pave the road - something the north shore park district has never done. In patching up the road every little while the people have spent more money than it would have cost them to get one real job of paving that would last a long time. The Lincoln park board could do the work better and cheaper and maintain the thoroughfare in better shape at less expense to the people.
"The Sheridan Road Improvement association is unanimously in favor of the plan. The Lincoln park board, on Feb. 7, 1912, passed a resolution expressing its willingness to take over the boulevard if the consent of the municipalities effected is obtained, and if the board is put to no extra expense for the building of the roadway."
Discusses Legal Questions: The possible legal obstacles to be met were discussed by Charles Obermeyer, attorney for the north shore park district. He said: "The north shore park district was organized by the people of the district under a law of 1895. The board immediately became a municipal corporation with a taxing power. It proceeded to take over from the city the care of certain thoroughfares for boulevards. It was a sort of "home rule" for the people of the district. The new park district took over Sheridan road beyond the jurisdiction of the Lincoln park board, a part of Pratt avenue and a part of Ashland avenue.
"The district levies taxes for park purposes. The commissioners are elected and serve without pay. The boulevards have been kept in shape by the district.
"The Sheridan Road Improvement association wants to build a great highway, to be maintained by the Lincoln park board, and it wants to get the consent of the various munincipalities through which the highway will have to run. Next will come Evanston.
Doubts Rights of Board to Act: "Evanston might relinquish the maintenance of a boulevard to another body, but I doubt seriously that a park district, organized by the people for park purposes, ought to, or has the right to it if it wants to, delegate its powers to another body. It is our duty to maintain the boulevards of the district. That is the only purpose for which the district was organized.