Week Ending Dec. 15, 2017
Meetings scheduled for next week:
- Monday, December 18:
- No meetings scheduled
- Tuesday, December 19:
- Citizens Police Oversight Committee, 7:30 p.m., room 102
- Wednesday, December 20:
- Community Relations Commission, 7 p.m., room 101
- Housing Programs Advisory Committee, 7 p.m., room 102
- Historic Preservation Commission Architectural Review Committee, 7:30 p.m., room 201 (Council Chamber)
- Thursday, December 21:
- Building Programs Advisory Commission, 5:30 p.m., room 101
- Friday, December 22:
- No meetings scheduled – Village Hall closes at noon
Property stewardship awards -- More than 75 individuals, organizations and businesses were recognized at the Village of Oak Park's annual community awards ceremony this week at the Nineteenth Century Club. The Historic Preservation, Environment & Energy, Community Design and Disability Access commissions recognized citizens for their commitment to protecting Oak Park's heritage and making the Village a vibrant place for residents and visitors alike. Eight Preservation Awards, seven Green Awards, 27 Cavalcade of Pride Awards and four Disability Access Awards were presented. More information about the award winners is posted on the Village website.
Single-use bag ordinance implementation – Our new Sustainability Coordinator Mindy Agnew has been hard at work preparing to roll out the Village’s new program to discourage distribution of single-use bags. In addition to contacting representatives of all retail establishments that will be affected, she has worked closely with the Communications Department to create informational materials for stores, their employees and customers. In addition, she worked with the Law and Finance departments to create the form retailers will use to submit fees collected as part of the program. Plans are to incorporate the fee payment into the online VillageView system, which will eliminate the need for paper forms. Part of the public information effort will include providing free, reusable bags to customers via kiosks at Village Hall and the Public Works Center. In addition, Mindy is working with various organizations throughout the community who have expressed an interest in helping provide reusable bags to underserved residents. A web page (www.oak-park.us/bringyourbag) is under construction to serve as the central information archive.
Snow events – Several bursts of light snowfall have given Public Works crews some practice for the larger weather events that are likely to come in the weeks ahead. Crews were out salting streets and overpasses beginning the evening of Fri., Dec. 8. Between that evening and Mon., Dec. 11 about an inch of snow accumulated. Crews also were out making sure school crosswalks were safe for pedestrians. The Village currently has an ample supply of salt and crews are ready should weather conditions require a response over the holidays.
Downtown construction – The alley just north of Lake Street along the Holley Court Garage at Harlem Avenue was expected to reopen today (Fri., Dec. 15) as AT&T contractors wrap up repairs to the failing roof of an underground equipment vault. Repair of the vault was considered a safety issue, which is why the work was allowed during the important holiday shopping and event period. Meanwhile, only punch list items remain by the Emerson Development project.
South Boulevard/Harlem Avenue redevelopment – The 100 block of South Maple Avenue was expected to be closed today and tomorrow (Friday and Saturday, Dec. 15 and 16) to allow the contractor to erect a tower crane at the south side of the development site. Passes have been issued to residents who have permits to park on the block to offer them other accommodations. Residents who did not receive a parking pass were able to pick one up at the construction field office at 128 S. Marion St. The start of the installation of sewer and water mains in the alley east of the site was delayed, but could begin next week. Staff is coordinating the work and alley closure to minimize impacts on adjacent properties.
Miscellaneous construction projects –Delivery of equipment for the new traffic signal at the Washington Boulevard/Wisconsin Avenue intersection has been delayed. Engineers remain optimist that the light can become operational by the end of the month. Sewer cleaning and inspection is expected to start next week at various locations throughout the Village including on Madison Street. Surveys at numerous locations throughout the Village continued this week, as consultants collect information needed to prepare construction plans for next year’s road and utility projects.
Public Works activities –Streets Division crews are continuing to clean and sweep streets throughout community, while also picking up litter pickup in Village parking lots and business districts. Street Lighting Division crews have continued to concentrate on outages, traveling the Village in the early mornings while the lights should still be on and responding to residents who are helping keep track of the 6,000 street lights along our streets and in our alleys. Water & Sewer Division crews repaired a fire hydrant at 1000 S. Elmwood Ave., while Forestry Division crews and contractors continued routine maintenance throughout the Village.
Employee news – Public Health Director Mike Charley joined a panel of area public health officials in a discussion of healthy communities and human health services. The discussion was part of the Leadership Lab sponsored by Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation. Mike presented information on services provided by our Health Department and participated in a lengthy question-and-answer session that included information contained in the recently completed Oak Park and River Forest Community Health Plan. The Leadership Lab brings together committed citizens and emerging leaders from Oak Park, River Forest and the surrounding communities. The goal is to build and practice transferable leadership skills and to explore and assess the strengths and opportunities in our community.