City to decide on Walter Street removal

Cheyenne Roper
News Editor

Negotiations with Elmhurst College concerning the removal of Walter Street are currently underway, according to the City of Elmhurst.

EC is looking into purchasing Walter Street, the street behind the Alexander parking lot, in an attempt to alleviate the issue of a lack of parking spaces.

According to an October 13 Board of Trustees meeting, this purchase could make room for more than 100 parking spots for the campus.

“We received a letter from Elmhurst College requesting the City look at the feasibility of vacating Walter Street and determining the value for Elmhurst College consideration,” said James Grabowski, Elmhurst City Manager.

There is currently a commission consisting of city representatives and college representatives, which discussed Walter Street and  possible parking improvements in an October 18 commission meeting.

As stated by the City of Elmhurst website, the purpose of the City of Elmhurst and Elmhurst College Commission “is to enhance and strengthen relationships, communication and opportunities between Elmhurst College officials and its students and City of Elmhurst residents, elected officials and business and civic leaders.”

The Commission consists of eight members; four named by the president of EC ("College Representatives") and four named by the mayor of the City of Elmhurst ("City Representatives").

The commission's current members are Desiree Chen, Peter Griffin (Chairman), Thomas D. Marcucci, Diana Riekse, Richard W. Reichert, Sarah Diamond (Vice-Chair), Andy Joseph, and Gail Robertson.

“The Commission shall strive to address issues and topics that may include community relations, housing, the environment, economic activities, land use and development, charitable/volunteer programs, recreational and cultural events, health and safety issues and academic outreach, among others,” details the City website.

Various departments within the City Council will contemplate the Walter Street idea soon.

“The Public Works & Buildings Committee of the City Council will take this under consideration in the near future,” said Grabowski. “Once the feasibility of vacating or not is determined, we will respond to the college.”

EC has not yet heard back from the city.

“I have not received any updates yet,” said Kurt Ashley, vice president for Information Technology and Information Services.

However, the city and EC have a history of working together.

“The City and Elmhurst College have a long standing relationship of working together for the benefit of both organizations and the residents of Elmhurst,” concluded Grabowski.