Week Ending June 2, 2023
Meetings scheduled for next week:
- Monday, June 5:
- Village Board, 7 p.m. in Council Chambers
- Tuesday, June 6:
- Disability Access Commission, 6 p.m. at Oak Park Public Library – Maze Branch
- Environment & Energy Commission, 7 p.m. in Council Chambers
- Wednesday, June 7:
- Citizen Involvement Commission, 7 p.m. in Room 101
- Zoning Board of Appeals, 7 p.m. in Council Chambers
- Thursday, June 8:
- Civic Information Systems Commission, 7 p.m. in Room 102
- Historic Preservation Commission, 7:30 p.m. in Council Chambers
- Friday, June 9:
Day in Our Village this Sunday – The 49th A Day in Our Village festival is set for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Sunday, June 4 in Scoville Park. The premier community event showcases the diversity and variety of ways to get involved in community life. More than 120 activity and information booths featuring Oak Park civic, cultural, social service, educational, religious and business organizations will fill the park along with live music, a food court featuring local restaurants and activities for kids organized by the Park District of Oak Park. A Day in our Village is organized and sponsored by the Village and made possible thanks to support from the A Day in Our Village volunteer committee. Find complete details about the event at www.oak-park.us/diov2023.
Move with the Mayor event – The community is invited to Move with the Mayor and join Village President Vicki Scaman at 10 a.m. this Saturday, June 3 on the south lawn at Village Hall, 123 Madison St. for an African dance class taught by Donna Callender, Artistic Director of Kuumba Kids Dance. The free event is part of the national Move with the Mayor initiative that brings awareness to the benefits that come with healthy, active living. The dance class is for all ages - adults and kids are welcome. Anyone planning to attend is encouraged to RSVP – click here to RSVP. More information is available at www.oak-park.us/movewiththemayor.
Pride Month celebration underway – The Village is celebrating Pride Month throughout June. To mark the occasion, the colors of the rainbow flag were installed this week on the balcony above the Village Hall main entrance and along the ramp leading up to the Village Hall courtyard. Click here for a short video highlighting the installation of the rainbow colors. Plans are also in the works for several Pride Month events organized by the Village’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The entire community is invited to Oak Park’s Pride Party from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 24 on the south lawn at Village Hall. The family-friendly event will feature ice cream, face painting, a DJ, a magician and more. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed impress in their best rainbow-themed outfit. The Village is also sponsoring a panel discussion on the transgender experience in Oak Park from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 28 at the Madison Street Theater. Information about the Pride Month events is posted on the Village website at www.oak-park.us/pridemonth and is being shared via the Village’s communications channels. The Village this year has also embraced the evolution of the Pride flag to the ‘Progress Pride Flag’ that includes new colors and a new design that are meant to represent people of color, as well as people who are transgender, intersex or non-binary. The Progress Pride flags is being reflected in Chamber Council and proudly flown outside Village Hall.
Reduced-cost parking permits – Thirteen Oak Park residents have enrolled in the Village’s reduced parking permit fee program since it was established April 1. Individuals eligible for the program are able to purchase a quarterly Village parking permit for a reduced flat fee of $50, equating to individual savings of between 57% to 81%, depending on the type of permit. Initially, the program is being offered to individuals who participate in the Oak Park Housing Authority’s Housing Choice Voucher Program. Village staff intends to work with community stakeholders to identify other potential groups to include in the near future.
Crowley to participate in EV panel discussion – Ken Crowley, Interim Assistant Public Works Director and Superintendent of Fleet Services, is scheduled to participate on a panel for area fleet managers about electric vehicles next Thursday, June 8 at the Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center as part of Fleet Forward: The Tour. The interactive session is intended to share real-world insights on electrification to help other fleets take their first steps. Discussion topics will include assessing budgeting and funding, charging infrastructure site preparedness, operational considerations and preparation for future growth. Fleet Forward: The Tour is a one-day regional event where fleet operators can learn about new systems and tools through education seminars and behind the wheel. More information is at www.fleetforwardthetour.com.
L’Arche Chicago groundbreaking – This week Village President Vicki Scaman, Chamber of Commerce President Darien Marion-Burton and Development Customer Services Department staff joined L’Arche Chicago representatives and community supporters to break ground on L’Arche’s new home in Oak Park at 1111 S. East Avenue. L’Arche Chicago reached its $2 million fundraising goal to construct the home where developmentally disabled adults, the core members, live in a community setting with non-developmentally disabled adults, the assistants. The home will be a licensed Community Integrated Living Arrangement, operated under the authority of the Division of Developmental Disabilities of the Department of Human Services in the State of Illinois.
Economic vitality update – Chicago-based based Hoyne Savings Bank has announced the opening of an Oak Park branch location at 810 S. Oak Park Avenue in the Village's Southtown Business District. Hoyne has not yet announced an opening date, but the bank is currently working to prepare the S. Oak Park Avenue location to receive customers.
Upcoming sustainability events – The Village’s Office of Sustainability & Resilience is helping to promote several upcoming events. Community members can learn about the fundamentals of climate science and the impacts of global warming at Climate Science 101 at 2 p.m. this Saturday at the Oak Park Public Library’s Dole Branch meeting room. The event is presented by Climate Up Close, a group of climate scientists who travel to communities across America and believe Americans should reach their own judgments about climate science by seeing the evidence for themselves and putting their questions directly to climate scientists. Additionally, a virtual informational session about the Grow Geo Chicagoland program is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, June 5. Click here to register. Grow Geo Chicagoland is a non-profit program connecting residents of northeastern Illinois with education and competitive bulk pricing on geothermal heat pump systems. Residents can save money and energy by switching to the most efficient option for heating and cooling. The educational session includes information about preferential pricing from vetted geothermal heat pump installers.
GreenTown conference on horizon – Registration is now open for the GreenTown Climate & Equity conference being held June 22 at Triton College in River Grove. The Village is serving as the lead community sponsor for the event, which offers the opportunity for communities across the Chicago metropolitan area to come together to tackle climate change, promote equity and achieve sustainability outcomes. The agenda covers a broad range of topics, including energy, transportation, waste management, workforce development, water conservation, technology innovation and equitable solutions to the climate crisis. At the heart of the event is the Cross Community Climate Collaborative (C4), which was established through a memorandum of understanding signed by Village President Vicki Scaman and more than a dozen mayors in Cook County. C4's mission to advance sustainability will be a key focus of the conference. Find more information and register to attend the conference at www.greentownconference.com.
Juneteenth Youth Arts Contest accepting entries – There is still time for young artists to submit an entry for the Village’s Juneteenth Youth Arts Contest. Artists are invited to create a work of art that embodies what Juneteenth is and why it is important. All forms of art are welcome, including hip-hop/rap, spoken word, paintings, etc. The deadline to submit a contest entry has been extended to Monday, June 12. Winners will receive a cash prize. The contest is open to anyone age 18 and younger who lives or attends school in Oak Park. Find more information about Oak Park's Juneteenth celebration and a link to submit entries for the contest at www.oak-park.us/juneteenth. Questions about the contest can be directed the Village’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at DEI@oak-park.us.
Community health plan engagement – The Public Health Department is hosting an engagement session from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 7 at the main branch of the Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St. to share information and answer questions about the goals, strategies and draft implementation steps for the community health plan, also known as the IPLAN. Brief remarks will be given around 6:15 p.m., but Public Health Department staff will be available at individual stations throughout the event to walk participants through priority areas. The five-year plan addresses four priority areas, including the natural and built environment, mental health and substance use, gun violence and access to care. Participants will have the opportunity to connect with health officials and partner agencies, hear about the work already being done, engage with fellow community members, share their perspectives and learn about opportunities to get involved. Anyone interested in attending is encouraged to RSVP – click here to RSVP. Learn more about the implementation process and provide feedback online at www.engageoakpark.com/community-health-plan-implementation.
Disability Access Commission update – The Village’s Disability Access Commission is inviting the community to share concerns and ideas, ask questions and learn about the commission’s work plan at its next meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 6 at the Maze Branch of the Oak Park Public Library, 845 Gunderson Ave. The Disability Access Commission’s mission is to advise the Village Board on public policies to facilitate full participation in community activities by persons with disabilities, to bring persons with disabilities into the mainstream of Oak Park life by recognizing that persons with disabilities can lead proud and productive lives, to promote universal access throughout the Village and to heighten public awareness to the needs of Villagers with disabilities. More information about the commission is at www.oak-park.us/disabilityaccess.
Alley improvement project – Utility work is ongoing for this year’s alley improvement project, and plans call for excavation work to begin as soon as next week. Staff is coordinating with residents interested in partaking in garage apron replacements at the same time as the planned alley improvements. Residents whose garage access will be impacted by the construction work have been issued parking passes.
Division Street construction update – Paving along Division Street across the Village is on track to begin in late June or early July. Crews are continuing to focus their attention on concrete work on the north side of the roadway.
Street resurfacing project – The contractor spent this week patching failed areas of pavement at the various locations undergoing street resurfacing. This will be followed by the placement of hot mix asphalt binder and then structure adjustments in preparation for final surface paving.
Alley lighting upgrades – The trial installations for the alley lighting upgrades were completed in the alleys between Humphrey Avenue and Austin Boulevard south of South Boulevard and are pending review. If approved, Village-wide installation of the new energy efficient, dark-sky compliant LED fixtures will begin around mid to late July.
Pete’s Fresh Market update – AT&T will begin mobilizing next week to begin one month of structural work and two months of cable pulls at the site of the new Pete’s Fresh Market on Madison Street. ComEd will also return to the site in two weeks to complete the remainder of its utility work.
Pleasant & Marion update – Permanent roof installation is ongoing at the new development at the intersection of Pleasant and Marion streets. Exterior framing and sheathing are wrapping up at the north elevation. The masonry façade has started at the east elevation at the southeast corner and will next move to the northeast corner of the east elevation. The crane onsite will set the remaining windows over the next few weeks and come down the third week of June.
Miscellaneous construction updates – Crosswalk repairs at South Boulevard and Marion Street have concluded and traffic control has been removed from the area. Along Roosevelt Road, Illinois Department of Transportation crews are installing traffic detector loops within the Oak Park and Berwyn limits as part of the state’s resurfacing project. Elsewhere, the contractor for the Nicor Gas project televised the 1000 and 1100 blocks of S. Scoville Ave. this week.