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Suburban Conference BY WILLIAM GEORGE Last Saturday, May 1, 1954, representatives of 17 suburban communities met in a conference held at the Chicago Institute of Technology to discuss ways and means to prevent slums and to improve living standards in the communities of Cook County. Robbins was represented by an 8-man delegation composed of Mayor Theodore Hendricks, Trustees Edward A. Starks, and O'Dell Anderson, Village rlanner, Mr. Weyman, Mr. Harold Dorsey, Chairman of the Robbins Planning Commission, Mr. Fletcher Tillman and Mr. Bibbs, members of the Planning Commission and Mr. George, staff photographer of The Rob bins Eagle. The meeting was opened by Mr. H. C. Kinne, chairman of the Cook County Housing Au thority. After a brief discussion by Mr. Kinne, everyone was convinced that the price a com munity must pay for having a “slum area” is too high. The federal governmet is cognizant of this and is aiding the com munities in cleaning up their slum areas. Their representative is the Cook County Housing Authority. After a series of speakers highlighted ty a panel discus sion on ways of preventing blight and slums, the morning session ended. Keynote of the afternoon ses sion was “Suburban Programs to Preserve Neighborhood De sirability—How We Do it in Our Community.” This was led by a panel consisting of repre sentatives from the villages of Glenview, Lincolnwood, Chica go Heights, Evanston, Robbins, Maywood and Mr. A. Mullins, Director of Cook County Buil ding and Zoning bureau. Attention was focussed on Mayor Hendricks as he outlined some of the problems with which we are confronted here in the village — chiefly, sanita tion, water and housing. He explained how Robbins, laying at the bottom of a 6-mile water shed and depending upon open ditch drainage to remove surface water, had a number of pools of water laying about. At pres ent, he stated, only a small portion of the village is served by sanitary sewers. “We had an inedequate water supply,’’ he continued, “sharing it with a neighboring village had made it possible to have AT THE SUBURBAN Confer ence last Saturday were these Robbinites: (left to right) May or Theodore Hendricks, Harold Dorsey, chairman of Robbins Planning Board; Mr. Weyman, village planner; Harry C. Kinne, chairman, Cook County Housing Authority, who presided at the conference; Mr. Bibb, member Robbins Planning Board. O’Dell Anderson and Edw. A. Starks, Trustees of the Village of Rob bins and Fletcher Tillman, a member of Robbins Planning Board. —Photo by George Studio. water approximately 14 hours a day. Robbins has grown with out proper planning or zoning. Due to the lack of strong buil ding codes, we had quite a problem. “Under these conditions banks and loan agencies shied away from making home loans in the Robbins area. This, naturally, affected the housing situation in the village.” What Robbins is Doing About This “The village has obtained a loan of $1,135,000.00 from the RFC to install sanitary sewers and to erect a 250,000 gallon water storage tank and adequate water supply direct from Chica go. This work is now in pro gress and should be completed in the fall of this year.” “A Planning Board 'has been appointed and is operating un der the experienced guidance of our village planner, Mr. Wey man. Zoning laws and building codes have been strengthend and are being enforced. The Cook County Authority is buil ding a 100-unit housing project and as soon as it is completed the program to condemn sub standard houses will be speeded up. .” In conclusion, the mayor ex pressed his confidence in the trustee board and the citizens of the village in doing their part to further this program. After a question and answer period the meeting adjourned. 5 It was the expressed opinion of everyone present that the meet ing was worthwhile and that more meetings should be held in the future. MAYOR HENDRICKS tells the assembled audience at the Suburban conference about the conditions in Robbins and what is being done to relieve them. The mayor spoke at the after noon session and his address was one of the highlights of session. —Photo, George Studio.