Many of you have reached out with questions about the potential for increased rodents due to the demolition and construction of the old Children’s Memorial Hospital site. My office has been working to put a plan in place to proactively address this issue and hopefully reduce the problem. In January 2015, I introduced and passed a stronger abatement ordinance to combat rodent population influxes across the city whenever new construction occurs by imposing new obligations on builders to abate rodents during demolition and construction.
The Community Agreement we negotiated among developer McCaffery Interests, affected neighborhood associations, and the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce, also places increased responsibility for rodent control on the developer. Pursuant to that agreement, McCaffery Interests has hired a private pest control business to install above-ground bait boxes around the perimeter of the site, perform in-ground baiting, and re-bait throughout the project. The developer is also required to keep the project site debris-free and maintain separate secured trash receptacles for food waste.
Finally, acting on our request, the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation has been baiting areas within two blocks of the former CMH site and ordering garbage carts to replace broken carts. The department will remain vigilant over these areas throughout the construction and continue baiting public ways, alleys, and sewers.
This plan is the most aggressive plan undertaken in this ward. As always, residents play an important role in helping rid the ward of rats. If you need a replacement garbage cart, please promptly contact my office or call 311. Please make sure to pick up after pets and keep garbage in closed cans to deny rodents a food source. I’m pleased that many of you read our newsletter about the Cats at Work program which places sterilized and vaccinated feral cats to control rodents. If you’re interested in participating, please call Tree House at 312-446-1000.