Week Ending Oct. 13, 2017
Meetings scheduled for the next week
- Monday, October 16:
- Village Board Regular meeting, 7:30 p.m., room 201
- Tuesday, October 17:
- Citizens Police Oversight Committee, 7:30 p.m., room 102
- Wednesday, October 18:
- Community Relations Commission, 7 p.m., room 101
- Historic Preservation Commission Education Committee, 7:30 p.m. room 102
- Housing Programs Advisory Committee, 7 p.m., room 215
- Thursday, October 19:
- Building Codes Advisory Commission, room 215
- Friday, October 20:
Award nomination deadlines – Today, Friday (Oct. 13) was the deadline to submit nominations for the annual Historic Preservation Awards, but there is still another week to submit a Disability Access Award nomination. Fri., Oct. 20 is the deadline to nominate an Oak Park business, organization or other entity for the extraordinary accessibility provided for patrons with disabilities and their families. Nominations should acknowledge efforts to provide easy access to people with disabilities, create an inviting physical space and offer a welcoming, helpful, service-oriented attitude. Nominations may be submitted online – just click here.
North Avenue RFP issued – A request for proposals has been issued for developing the Village-owned property at 6641 – 6643 North Avenue. Proposals are due by 3 p.m., Fri., Nov. 3. The Village cleared and remediated the site in 2016 to eliminate possible obstacles to development. Staff from the Village and the Oak Park Economic Development Council will review all complete proposals submitted by the due date. Respondents also may be requested to present their concepts to the Oak Park EDC’s Executive Committee and staff. A recommendation will be made to the Village Board for consideration. The RFP is posted on the Village website – click here to view.
Farmers’ Market to feature children’s activities -- Market-themed music sessions will be part of the bounty at Saturday’s Oak Park Farmers’ Market, as Stomp and Shout hosts music and theatre classes for kids and their grownups. Special events tend to start around 9 a.m. Work on the high school garage continues to affect market patrons, but no reports of issues were received following last week’s first market since work began. While only 50 spaces remain available in the garage during construction, ample parking is available on nearby streets, including on South Boulevard, south of the train tracks. More information on the market is posted at www.oak-park.us/farmersmarket.
Weekend architectural tour – Ten Oak Park sites will be among the 200-plus locations featured in this weekend’s Open House Chicago, the Chicago Architecture Foundation's annual free, behind-the-scenes look at many of the region's great places and spaces that are rarely, if ever, open to the public. This year's event is Oct. 14 and 15. In addition to Oak Park’s iconic Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio at 951 Chicago Ave., featured local sites also will include the new Oak Park River Forest Museum in the old fire house at 129 Lake St. More information, including a list of all locations, is posted at openhousechicago.org.
Leaf pick-up program set to begin – While some residents have gotten a jump on the program, the annual fall leaf collection program does not begin officially until next week. Seven pickups are scheduled for each of four geographic sections in the Village from Oct. 16 through Nov. 30. Unusually dry conditions have caused leaves to begin falling early this season, which has some property owners and private landscaping contractors putting leaves in the street early, a violation of Village ordinance that can create traffic hazards. These problem areas should be cleared up as the program gets underway. Last year, about 1,900 tons of leaves were collected, down slightly from the 2,009 tons collected in 2015. Village communications efforts will continue to urge residents to consider alternatives to raking, such as composting and using leaves as garden mulch. More information, including a map of the pick-up schedule, is posted on the Village website.
Health needs assessment update – Public Health Director Mike Charley joined Community Mental Health Board Executive Director Lisa Denunzio-Deviv in presenting the draft Community Health Plan to local mental health professionals who gathered last week at District 97 headquarters to learn more about this blueprint for planning and resource allocation. The plan, which will be presented to the Village Board for consideration on November 2, 2017, is the result of a yearlong comprehensive community health needs assessment process intended to identify future health needs, guide health planning and ultimately improve the health of Oak Park and River Forest residents. As part of the state certification process, our Health Department is required to assess needs and resources, and then outline strategies in a community plan every five years. For 2017, the Health Department partnered with the Township’s Community Mental Health Board, River Forest Township Mental Health Committee and the Rotary Club of Oak Park and River Forest.
Lake Street sidewalk repairs – Repairs to the sidewalks along Lake Street between Harlem and Forest avenues are set to begin Monday. Signs will direct pedestrians around construction, which should be completed by November 1. Work will focus on eliminating trip hazards, resetting bricks to grade and maintaining tree pits. The project also includes replacing curb at the northeast corner of Lake and Marion streets and on the southwest corner of Lake and Forest Avenue. The crosswalk on the south side of the Lake Street at the Marion Street intersection will be repaired as well. Areas along the front of the new Target should be completed Monday, with the exception of a section of pavement in front of Mancini’s restaurant. Engineering staff is coordinating with area businesses to maintain access and minimize any difficulties for customers.
South Boulevard/Harlem Avenue update – Construction activity at the Lincoln Properties development site on South Boulevard east of Harlem Avenue will soon move vertical as the foundations near completion. A crane is scheduled to be erected early next week and begin operations by the end of the week. The eastbound lane of South Boulevard remains closed between Harlem Avenue and Marion Street for materials staging and construction equipment. Engineering Division staff continues working with the contractor to make sure construction, vehicles or signage do not interfere with nearby businesses.
Lake Michigan pipeline – Most of the underground pipe to carry Lake Michigan water to the villages of Brookfield and North Riverside should be installed through the Village by the end of next week, as the project moves toward an end in Oak Park. Underground work has been completed past Lyman Avenue and the remaining activity near Austin Boulevard scheduled to be completed by mid-November. Street reconstruction tasks along the pipeline route are underway with new curbs, sidewalks, alley entrances and driveway aprons being installed between Euclid and Ridgeland avenues. Initial paving of Fillmore Street between Oak Park and Ridgeland avenues is scheduled for next week, with final paving from Maple Avenue to Highland Avenue scheduled for the following week.
Water main valve replacements – Water main valves will be replaced at various locations throughout the Village beginning by the end of this month. The majority of the work will occur on Garfield Street between Oak Park and East avenues. Traffic detours on Garfield will be necessary for about a week. The valves set to be replaced are either leaking or difficult to operate.
Street resurfacing – Resurfacing of the Village’s half of Austin Boulevard at the busy Harrison Street intersection was completed this week. Repaving of other Village streets continued with asphalt-related operations on Wisconsin Avenue between Madison and Randolph streets, South Boulevard between Cuyler and Harvey avenues, Pleasant Street between Ridgeland and Harvey avenues, Superior Street between Elmwood and East avenues, and Randolph Street between Harlem and Wisconsin avenues. Landscaping crews continued work on Humphrey Avenue between Division and Greenfield streets.
Miscellaneous construction projects – Repairs to about two dozen segments of historic sandstone sidewalk slated to start this week have been delayed due to contractor scheduling. Engineering staff continues working with Union Pacific railroad crews to identify overpass segments that can be repaired before the construction season ends.
Public Works activities – Even as Streets Division crews prepare to begin collecting leaves next week, they also have begun discussing strategies for responding to the snowfalls that are likely to follow the leaves. The past winter was particularly mild, but personnel, equipment and supplies will be ready to meet whatever the new season may bring. Crews also repaired brick walks on Oak Park Avenue at Hunter Court south of Lake Street, cleaned viaducts and picked up litter in Village parking lots and business districts. Water & Sewer Division crews repaired water shutoff boxes at 836 N. Humphrey Ave. and 1180 S. Scoville Ave., as well as a catch basin lateral at 1024 S. Kenilworth Ave. Crews also completed a water service upgrade at 1006 Highland Ave. as part of the lead abatement program.
Employee news – Police Detective Ronald Bongat received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Asian American Law Enforcement Association (AALEA) for his dedication to Illinois’ Filipino and Asian American communities. The 18-year veteran of the Police Department was presented the award by Gov. Bruce Rauner at a ceremony last Friday at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago. Property Maintenance Inspectors Christopher Bowman and Jason Ziegler are now certified property maintenance and housing inspectors after passing an exam based upon the International Property Maintenance Code, International Residential Code and Legal Aspects of Code Administration. All Neighborhood Services Division property inspectors are certified and must participate in ongoing training to maintain their professional credentials. Forestry Superintendent Rob Sproule has successfully completed courses on leadership development, service excellence and supervisory skills offered through Illinois Public Service Institute (IPSI). Streets Supervisor Tom Fulton also participated and has now completed his second year of the program.