Suffredin- Changing County Government  

Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine


  Office phone numbers:  

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.


Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

  Cook County has the largest unified trial court system in the world, disposing over 6 million cases in 1990 alone.

Cost to fix slides higher than thought

Thursday, March 22, 2007
Daily Southtown
by Jonathan Lipman

The popular but broken-down toboggan slides at Swallow Cliff and other Cook County Forest Preserve sites would cost $3.7 million to repair and put back into service, according to a report issued Wednesday.
That's far more than the $1.5 million in needed fixes that officials previously had cited. Prices have inflated since estimates first were made in 2001, the report says, and repairs are needed at all five toboggan sites.
Repairing just the six slides at Swallow Cliff near Palos Park -- the only site that has more than two slides -- would cost $1.3 million.
All slides have been closed due to disrepair since late 2004.
But Commissioner Elizabeth Gorman (R-Orland Park), an advocate for repairing the slides, is hopeful the family attraction has a future.
"There's a lot of different ideas out there," Gorman said. "There was an idea just sent to me from this company in England where they could keep it year-round."
Previous attempts to privatize the slides have failed, but Gorman started laying the groundwork for a new attempt when she quizzed district officials Wednesday about the effect of year-round activities. Officials said it definitely would boost the district's overall revenue.
LaGrange businessman Shawn Temple was in Gorman's office Wednesday pitching his idea to coat the slides in "snowflex," an artificial material that mimics snow and already is used in Britain.
"I'd like to create an urban snow sports center at Swallow Cliff," Temple said. "There's a huge investment we'd make, at probably no cost to the county."
Commissioners have been cold to other proposals for unorthodox use of the slides -- such as "zorbing," where people would roll down the slides inside giant inflatable balls. A plan for a districtwide concession management contract that would include the slides collapsed last year when the county broke off negotiations with the company that won the bid.
District officials have resisted attempts to include the money for the slide repairs in previous budgets, saying the facilities earn little revenue for the district and are expensive to maintain.
The new report says the slides require 4 inches of snow and consistent temperatures of 25 degrees or lower. Between 1998 to 2004, the slides were open only 44 times, earning just $54,927.
"Traditional toboggan slides, with structured runs, as opposed to open area hills that rely on natural snow, have virtually disappeared due to unfavorable weather conditions in conjunction with the expense of operations and liability," the report says.
"It is for these reasons that refrigerated slides have been installed where feasible or slide locations have been converted (to) sledding hills."
Artificially refrigerating the county's 14 slides would cover them in smooth ice from late November to early March, said a proposal written last month by an Indiana engineering firm and included in the report. The slides could be used any time it was less than 50 degrees.
But the slides still would need repairs first, and the company would install water pipes, electrical supplies and ice-making equipment. Total cost for all slides: $21.5 million.
The county has slides at Deer Grove Woods, Bemis Woods, Jens Jensen Preserve, Swallow Cliff and the Dan Ryan Woods. A detailed inspection report of each site lists dozens of problems as minor as peeling paint and as serious as crumbling concrete foundations.
The report will go to the district's recreation committee, led by Gorman, for further discussion.

Recent Headlines

Thursday, May 16, 2019
Special to

What's at stake in latest census numbers
Monday, April 22, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Legislation aims to make water rates across Illinois more affordable and equitable
Monday, April 22, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Dorothy Brown worker who allegedly lied to federal grand jury set for trial
Sunday, April 21, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Time is running out for an affordable housing fix
Friday, April 19, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Assessorís Office Publicly Releases Residential Assessment Code and Models
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Special to

EDITORIAL: Long in the MWRD pipeline, IG plan needs a yes vote
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Health Cuts Ribbon on Outpatient Center in Arlington Heights
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Celebrate Earth Day with the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Special to

Homeowners in Chicago have just a few weeks to get current on their 2017 property taxes - or risk losing their homes. WBEZís Odette Yousef reports.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
WBEZ Chiacgo Public Radio

Editorial: The Foxx-Smollett questions for Inspector General Blanchard
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County pet owners warned of spring coyote dangers
Monday, April 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County inspector general to review prosecutors' handling of Jussie Smollett case
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Foxx requests Cook County IG investigation into handling of Jussie Smollett case
Friday, April 12, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A challenge to one of Chicago's biggest draws for companies
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

What Evanston's assessments tell us about the new assessor's new math
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Vote for your favorite presidential candidate. The Illinois Democratic County Chairís Association wants to know who you want to be the Democratic nominees for President and Vice President. Vote here.
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

$3.85 million granted in lawsuit against ex-Cook County forest preserve worker charged in fatal on-the-job crash
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

A Day in the Life of a Cook County Burn Crew
Wednesday, April 10, 2019

EDITORIAL: Splitting up the regionís sanitation board is an idea that stinks
Monday, April 08, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.