Managing Park Forest Week of August 10, 2009


The Village Board met with Chairs and Vice-Chairs of Boards and Commissions Saturday. Staff liaisons also attended. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF) –August 10, 2009. While the temperatures are soaring, Park Forest’s elected officials, management and staff continue their hard work finalizing summer projects and planning for the fall season.

August Village Board Meeting Schedule

The August Village Board meetings schedule is as follows:

  • Monday, August 10 at 8:00 p.m. – Rules Meeting
  • Monday, August 17 at 8:00 p.m. – Regular Meeting

Meetings are held at Village Hall. Residents are encouraged to attend. Keep in mind, copies of the Village Board meetings can be viewed at the Park Forest Library or on-line on the Village web site www.villageofparkforest.com.

Cooling Centers

Now that the temperatures are soaring, keep in mind that if you need a place to cool off, Village Hall (350 Victory Drive) and the Park Forest Police Department (200 Lakewood Boulevard) are the community’s designated cooling centers. Village Hall is open during routine business hours while the Police Department is open 24 hours. Also, please remember to periodically check in on family, friends, neighbors, and the elderly to ensure that they are adapting well to the heat.

Park Forest-Chicago Heights School District 2009-2910 School Year Registration

New Student/Kindergarten Registration

Forest Trail Middle School, 215 W. Wilson Street, Park Forest

Thursday, August 13 from 9 AM to 2 PM and 5 PM to 8 PM.

The first day of school is August 20. For questions about registration, please call 708-668-9408.

Volunteer Boards & Commission Recognition

Mayor John Ostenburg and the Village Board of Trustees presided over a recognition dinner held at Dining on the Green last week in honor of the residents serving on volunteer Boards and Commissions. These volunteers provide valuable insight and service to the Village throughout the year. The event was very well attended with more than 60 volunteers present. Special thanks to Executive Assistant/Deputy Village Clerk Sandi Black for coordinating this wonderful event.

Meeting with Canadian Nation (CN) Railroad Representatives

Several members of the Village’s Management Team met with representatives of CN railroad to continue ongoing discussions related to CN’s purchase of the former EJ&E rail line in early 2009. Included in the discussions were issues related to noise mitigation. Village officials hope to convene again with CN in the coming weeks.

Park Forest Community Development


This week, 199 inspections were performed. These included new construction, re-occupancy, inspector initiated and referral/complaint.

In the month of July, a total of 73 building permits were issued for a total new construction cost valuation of $55,222 with $10,110 collected in fees.

In Civil Court action on property maintenance code enforcement matters, Building Number 3 (By Us Construction) and 201 Miami were up for status hearings.

Park Forest Economic Development

Neighborhood Stabilization Program

Staff continues to work closely with the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association and the South Suburban Housing Collaborative to prepare an application to Cook County for Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant funds. The Collaborative, including the Village of Park Forest, submitted a $45 million dollar request to the State of Illinois for funding in May. The Village expects to hear shortly how much of that application will be funded, with some or all of the remainder to be requested in the Cook County application. These funds will be used throughout the south suburbs to purchase and rehabilitate or demolish foreclosed homes.

Park Forest Fire Department


When looking at response statistics, this past weeks’ relatively mild weather resulted in a lower than usual level of activity. There were 42 requests for service during this past week compared to the 75 requests for service during the same period last year. Despite the lower number of requests (30 EMS and 12 fire-related) there were still 8 double calls, where almost all on-duty personnel are involved in one response or the other. During the week, the department received automatic aid from Richton Park twice and South Chicago Heights once.


Training this week for the career division has focused on self-contained breathing apparatus skills. These skills include the donning and doffing of the units and emergency procedures for self-rescue and the rescue of downed firefighters. This type of training is required on a regular basis by such organizations as the National Fire Protection Association and the Illinois Department of Labor.

Members of the Paid-On-Call division recently trained on the use of ladders as part of search and rescue operations. These skills are of high importance when victims of a fire cannot be reached on upper floors via stairways and other common means. These skills include entry and search via ground ladders and victim rescue/removal via alternate means such as ground ladders. In addition, the members performed a timed-donning exercise for self-contained breathing apparatus to assist in keeping their skills sharp.

Tent City

Deputy Chief Bruce Ziegle attended a two-day training session on the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) – Tent City last week. This system, designed to house rescuers for extended periods of time in self-sufficient temporary housing, was designed and built by Western Shelter. Similar to the systems that house wild land firefighters out west, each of the two semi-trailer-based systems can house up to 220 firefighters in climate controlled conditions.

During the two-day training, more than 120 representatives from across the state were trained on how to unpack the system, set up the tents and sub-systems and how to break it down and repack the system. Representatives from MABAS divisions and the Urban Search & Rescue Team spent the night in the tent city to familiarize themselves with the living conditions prior to the re-packing efforts.

The MABAS organization has purchased two of the Western Shelter semi-trailer systems and one similar unit from another vendor, with funds form the Department of Homeland Security. The ultimate goal is to place single tent units of this system in every MABAS division in the state, which if necessary, when combined could house over 1,000 rescuers.

Park Visit

Captain Mike Wheeler and the duty shift visited children from School District 163 at Central Park recently. They watched a play performed by the children and the “Buzz” and showed off fire apparatus to the 100 to 150 children in attendance. As part of the activity, fire department personnel also stayed for lunch with the group before returning to other duties.

Extension Ladder Safety Tips

When working around the house or when fighting fires, it is common to use extension ladders. The Park Forest Fire Department provides the following safety tips for using extension ladders around your home:

  • Before using a ladder outdoors, choose a location that is well away from all power lines. Coming in contact with live wires can be deadly.
  • Place the ladder on level ground and open it completely. Maker sure all locks are in place.
  • Use the 4-to-1 rule for extension ladders. For each 4 feet of distance between the ground and the upper point of contact (such as the wall or roof) move the base of the ladder out 1 foot.
  • Always face the ladder when climbing and wear slip-resistant shoes, such as those with rubber soles.
  • Make sure rungs are dry before using the ladder.

Park Forest Public Works

Pavement Rehabilitation

Invitations for bidding were mailed out for the Legacy Square and Schoolhouse Manor pavement rehabilitation and surfacing work. The bids are due on August 17 at 10 a.m.

Orchard Drive

Staff is reviewing plans for the Orchard Drive resurfacing from Sauk Trail to Lakewood Boulevard. The project is funded b the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Parking Lot

Plans are also being reviewed for a new parking lot at Thorn Creek Townhomes near Courts G-1 and G-2.

New Employee

Brett Millsap, the Village’s new Engineering Technician, began work last week.

Field Operations

A watermain break was repaired at 129 Nauvoo. A roundway was replaced at 249 Sauk Trail. Asphalt work was completed at several sewer/watermain break sites in town. Storm sewer repairs were completed at 341 Manitowac. A photo cell pole was replaced at 337 Nassau. Sanitary sewers were cleaned and street lights were relamped. Parking lot lights at the Route 30 commuter parking lot were recently repaired.

Water Plant

The well contractor has started the preventative maintenance project on Well #6. The pumping equipment has been removed and is currently being cleaned, inspected and evaluated for repairs. A television inspection of the inside of the well has also been completed with no serious problems found.

Recreation and Parks

Aqua Center

The staff party at the Aqua Center was recently held. The summer has gone so fast and within the next two weeks some staff will be leaving for the season to return to school or teaching.


Summer Camps wrapped up and preparations are being made with staff from School District 163 for the big move of equipment and supplies back from classrooms and the small gym in the south building at Forest Trail School to the lower level of the Recreation Center. New floor tile and vinyl base have been installed throughout the lower level and new lockers installed in the boys and girls locker rooms at the Recreation Center. After a five-day wait period, District staff will scrub and wax the new floor and things will be pretty much ready for the move back. Installation of the new plumbing fixtures is expected to begin this week. The Village is pretty much out of the building for the entire month of August in order to allow District staff to ready it for the school year.


Bugs are still being worked out at the Park Forest Bark District as weather seems to have caused problems with the key fob lock system on a couple of occasions. The supplier has taken the original lock back to check for problems and installed a new one temporarily.

Rob Gunther received a copy of a very nice two-page color brochure produced by FiberTite Intelligent Roofing Solutions. The brochure, to be distributed to customers and at trade shows, featured the 20+ Park Forest projects where the FiberTite single ply roof membrane has been used. Projects include most of the DownTown buildings and recreation and parks facilities.

Source: Village of Park Forest Weekly Manager’s Report