Mayor David Gonzalez Continues Economic Development Success (Chicago Heights, IL) – The first Chicago Heights City Council meeting of 2022 was held by Zoom in order to comply with new Covid-19 restrictions that began Monday.
The city council heard a presentation by a group from Enterprise Leasing on its vehicle fleet management program. According to Mayor David Gonzalez, the city’s been in discussion with Enterprise for a few months about its program, which works with 75 Illinois government entities and 50 cities.
The Enterprise team told the city council that fleet leasing offers cost savings by using the vehicles for a shorter time, which means a higher resale value. By lowering the service cycle from 11 years to four years, the city would save in a few ways, such as getting better gas mileage with newer, more fuel-efficient vehicles, and it would receive a higher resale value because the vehicles are newer and in better shape.
The city’s fleet is aged and the used car market is up, Enterprise explained, so it make sense to capitalize on the strong resale market and use that revenue to lease newer, safer vehicles with better gas mileage. Enterprise added that better safety features, such as back-up cameras and better air bags help prevent collisions and injuries, another cost savings.
Gonzalez said the city has a fleet of 87 cars, not counting fire trucks, and Enterprise projects replacing 37 cars in 2022, and 18 cars in 2023.
He said that the city’s current practice is to recycle vehicles to different city departments and run them into the ground, which translates into no resale value. He said that keeping the fleet for only four years instead of 11 years would mean saving money on gas and repairs, in addition to higher resale value. The city is also considering using Enterprise’s mechanics to maintain the vehicles.
The council adopted five resolutions that focus on helping alleviate the abandoned building
problem in the city. The council approved:
- A 90-day option agreement for the exclusive right to purchase the city-owned surplus
land at 1399 Western Ave., site of the former BP Amoco gas station. The option was
submitted by Mid-America Real Estate Corp.
- An agreement with the Cook County Land Bank for the exchange of the city-owned land parcel adjacent to 1651 Halsted Ave. for the county-owned land parcel at 1648 East End Ave.;
- The acquisition of properties at 171 W. 10 th St. and 1646 Halsted St., from the Cook County Land Bank;
- The sale of the city-owned vacant commercial lot at 1613 Lowe Ave. Zak McGathy is the buyer. He plans on expanding his New East Side Gym on the sites, including landscaping and adding outdoor workout facilities. The council also approved the acquisition of six parcels of land from the Cook County Land Bank for transfer later through the city’s Abandoned Property Acquisition Program:
- 1215 Halsted St., the site of the former AAMCO transmission shop;
- 1300 Washington St., a residential site;
- 1317 & 1319 Center St., a residential site;
- 1316 Lincoln Ave., a residential site;
- 1320 Lincoln Ave., a residential site;
- And the residential sites at 1509 and 1511 Shields Avenue.
In other business, the council:
- Adopted an ordinance establishing Covid-19 mitigation mandates established by Cook
County Department of Public Health Order 2021-11;
- Approved a bid of $185,000 by KLF Enterprises to demolish the vacant commercial building at 1601 Otto Blvd., the site of the old post office and Walgreen’s drug store;
- Approved a $31,000 proposal for the purchase and installation of a Windows certificate-based remote access and multi-factor authentication technology.
Mayor David Gonzalez Continues Economic Development Success