Week Ending March 23, 2018
Meetings scheduled for next week:
- Monday, March 26:
o No meetings scheduled
- Tuesday, March 27:
o Board of Health, 7 p.m., room 102
- Wednesday, March 28:
o Historic Preservation Commission Architectural Review Committee, 7:30 p.m., room 215
- Thursday, March 29:
o No meetings scheduled
- Friday, March 30:
o No meetings scheduled
Final parking pilot recommendations – The Transportation Commission has scheduled its final discussion of a comprehensive proposal for specific changes to parking rules to be tested in the designated pilot area. The meeting is set for 7 p.m., April 23 in the Village Hall council chamber. The meeting is for commissioners to do a final review of information before making recommendations to the Village Board for consideration of implementation. The presentation that will guide the commission discussion already is posted online at www.oak-park.us/parkingpilot. Residents are invited to review the presentation and post comments prior to the April 23 commission meeting.
Opportunities for artists – The Oak Park Area Arts Council is recruiting for three projects planned for the community – the seventh annual Sculpture Walk, mini-murals along the railroad viaducts and streetlight banners in the Oak Park Arts District. While the Arts Council is managing the programs, the Village is helping spread the word and attract applicants. More information, including links to application forms for all three projects, is posted on the Village website.
RainReady workshop set – A workshop for individuals interested in RainReady Oak Park, a new program aimed at helping property owners pay for smart landscaping approaches to better manage rain water, is set for 10 to 11:30 a.m. tomorrow (Sat., March 24) at the Oak Park Conservatory. The workshop will cover the benefits of smart landscaping and tips for caring for a rain garden. The grant program, a Village-funded initiative of the Center for Neighborhood Technology, will offer grants of up to $1,300 to 30 single-family homeowners. Demand for the grants far exceeded supply, but the abundance of applications has given the Neighborhood Services Division, which manages recruitment, a head start for marketing the program next year. Owners of 10 single-family homes received RainReady grants last year through the pilot program. More information on the program is posted on the Village website.
Holmes school expansion – Underground utility work related to the scheduled expansion of Holmes Elementary School is scheduled to begin next week and continue for about three weeks. The underground work includes relocating Village water and sewer mains. Most of the work will occur within a fenced area. However, the adjacent sidewalk along the north side of Chicago Avenue will be closed. Plans are in place to ensure pedestrian safety.
Composting update – Enrollment in the CompostAble residential composting program continues to grow. In the first two months of this year, 69 households joined the program, including 21 new households in February. Many of those joining the program for the first time this year have cited the incentive program approved by the Village Board as important to their decision. The incentive of three months free requires a 12-month commitment. The program, which is managed by the Environment Services Division of the Public Works Department, now provides services to 1,351 subscribers.
Alley improvements ahead – Preparations have begun for the season’s first round of alley improvements, which are set to begin in April. Crews will begin delivering supplies and staging equipment next week at locations throughout the community where work is scheduled. All alley reconstruction includes drainage improvements, which are installed prior to the new pavement. Some 25 alley segments are scheduled for reconstruction this season.
Miscellaneous construction updates – Lane closures on Madison Street for the Rush Oak Park Hospital improvement project did not occur this week as planned, but remain on the horizon, the specific dates yet to be determined. Relocating utility lines to the site will require closing lanes in both directions on Madison Street, but the contractor will be alternating lane closures. Crews are progressing with the final stages of the pipeline project to carry Lake Michigan water west through Oak Park. The pipeline work is projected to be competed in Oak Park in May, followed by paving Fillmore Avenue between Highland Avenue and Austin Boulevard. In other construction projects, underground utility work continues at the Lincoln Property redevelopment project site on South Boulevard at Harlem Avenue. Samples were collected this week for environmental testing at the Lexington development site on Madison Street at Home Avenue.
Public Works activities –Street Division crews restored parkways disrupted at five locations by water and sewer work. Street crews also picked up litter in the business districts and Village parking lots, while a contractor began sweeping streets in various locations. Street Lighting Division and Water & Sewer Division crews joined forces to remove and replace a street light pole at 1002 Hayes St. that was too close to a fire hydrant. Preparations are underway to reroute the street light electrical service to underground conduit at the Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio. The project will protect a historically significant ginkgo tree and improve the aesthetics of the high-traffic tourist site. Water & Sewer Division crews repaired water main breaks at Austin Boulevard and Erie Street and on Division Street at Harvey Avenue. A leaking water service also was repaired at 1123 Schneider St. Seasonal parkway tree pruning and removals wrapped up this week. Forestry Division crews have installed watering bags on young trees planted last fall and have begun adding mulch. Spring tree planting is tentatively scheduled to begin in early May.
Employee news – Jada Frazier has joined the Parking Services Division of the Development Customer Services Department. As a Parking Services Specialist, she will be involved in the many day-to-activities that require direct customer service, a role to which she brings more than 15 years of experience. In other employee news, Animal Control Officer Jason Pounds decided this month to reduce his commute time by pursing an opportunity closer to his home with DuPage County Animal Care & Control. Long-time Health Department Sanitarian Cameron Hendricks has accepted a promotion and joined the Public Works Department, where he now is Environmental Services Manager, the role held for many years by retiree Karen Rozmus. Cameron has been a Village employee for more than 11 years and his 14 years of public health experience will lend new perspectives to the important work of the Environmental Services Division, which manages the Village’s refuse and recycling programs.