Managing Park Forest Week of August 17, 2009


Park Forest Village Hall. (Photo: Wendy Heise)

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– August 17, 2009.

Cooling Centers

With the temperatures 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.

Career Opportunity

The Village is currently accepting applications for a recruitment process to establish a new-hire eligibility list for the position of Public Works Maintenance Worker. More information on this process is available at the “Employment” link on the Village Web site, www.villageofparkforest.com. Applications for employment are also available in the Village Manager’s Office in Village Hall.

August Village Board Meeting

The Village Board will hold its final August meeting on:

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

In September, the Village Board will resume its regular meeting schedule of the 1st, 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month except for the first Monday of September which is Labor Day. The full 2009 meeting calendar for the Board of Trustees is available on the Village Web site.

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. Meetings are also carried LIVE ONLINE on the Village of Park Forest’s Web site.

Strategic Planning

The Village has begun setting its strategic planning schedule as it moves toward development of the 2010-2011 budget. While the documents will not be officially in place until July 1, 2010, advance planning is already underway. Dates on the calendar include:

  • Financial update of revenues/expenses – Saturday, October 3, 2009 at 8:30 a.m.; and
  • Board goal-setting session – Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 9:00 a.m.

Both sessions will take place in the Board Room of Village Hall.

Boards/Commissions Workshop

Mayor John Ostenburg and the Village Board of Trustees and a number of Village Staff recently met with the Chairpersons and Vice-Chairpersons for many of the Village’s volunteer Boards and Commissions. Topics included the specific roles or functions of the positions of Chair, Vice-Chair, Trustee Liaison and Staff Liaison in addition to discussing the logistics in establishing and conducting Board/Commission meetings. The Chair and/or Vice Chair from the following volunteer Boards/Commissions were in attendance:

  • Cable Commission
  • Commission on Human Relations
  • Economic Development Advisory Group
  • Environment Commission
  • Fair Housing Review Board
  • Fire and Police Commission
  • Mediation Task Force
  • Plan Commission
  • Recreation and Parks Advisory Board
  • Youth Commission
  • Zoning Board of Appeals.

The volunteer Board/Commission structure in the Village of Park Forest allows for residents to be a part of important citizen input on any number of issues related to the establishment of policy and/or the day-to-day operation of Village governance. Residents seeking more information on how to become more involved on a Board/Commission can seek an application on the Village wet site ot call Village Hall at 708-283-5605.

School District 163 Meeting

The Village Board will meet jointly with the School Board for School District 163 on Monday, August 24, 2009 at 6:30 p.m. in the Board Room of Village Hall. The purpose of this meeting will be for the Village to move forward on one of its goals for the current fiscal year by developing methods for improving Board and Staff relations with School District 163.

Park Forest Community Development


This week, 188 inspections were performed. These included new construction, re-occupancy, inspector initiated and referral/complaint.

In Civil Court action on property maintenance code enforcement matters, information gathering for the Thorncreek case continues. Meanwhile several cases were scheduled in the Adjudication Hearing Process. In addition, the comprehensive landscape clean-up at 211 Mantua was completed. The property is now scheduled in the regular grass cutting and upkeep program.

Park Forest Economic Development

Neighborhood Stabilization Program

Twelve Southland communities banded together under the umbrella of the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association and South Cook Housing Collaborative and requested $36 million to kick off residential housing projects throughout the south suburbs. Funding determinations are due to be announced the end of August. Park Forest requested $2.8 million to buy and demolish 30 homes and rehab 10 homes to sell to low-income buyers.

Park Forest Fire Department


The Fire Department responded to 46 calls for assistance this past week including 1 triple and 8 double calls. Automatic aid assistance was received twice from Richton Park and provided once to the Matteson Fire Department and twice to the Richton Park Fire Department.


The career division focused training efforts on situation awareness and self-rescue this week. This training was accomplished by blacking out the firefighter’s self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) mask and then causing them to become disoriented by placing them in a large open area. The firefighter then has to gather themself and try and locate a way out of the area using a variety of awareness and self-rescue techniques. The goal of this training is to help firefighters better deal with getting separated from their crew in low visibility situations.

Members of the Paid-On-Call division spent this week completing driver’s training and familiarization. During this training, the officer tailors the activity to the needs of the specific operator(s).

Park Forest Police Department


Diane Kennedy will be retiring from the Police Department after 20 years. Best wishes to Diane in the future.

Citizen’s Police and Fire Academy

The final Citizen’s Police and Fire Academy was held with Detective Commander Pete Green teaching Crime Scene Processing.

Equipment Grant

The Police Department is applying for an equipment grant through the federal economic stimulus program. The Department will be looking to purchase a new K-9 squad with the grant.

Community Service

The community service participants helped clean up the Thorncreek Nature Center. They assisted in building a boardwalk by Owl Lake and cleaned garlic for the Thorncreek Harvestfest fundraiser at the Nature Center.

Park Forest Public Works

Public Works

Ken Eyer met with representatives from K-Five Construction and IDOT regarding the sink hole on the south end of Dogwood and Western. They were unable to determine the exact cause of the hole. The IDOT representative will be turning this problem over to IDOT Maintenance for repair/investigations.

A pre-construction meeting was held last week with representatives from Dominic Fiordirosa Construction and Baxter and Woodman regarding the watermain replacement project on Orchard Drive from Sauk Trail to Indianwood. Work is scheduled to begin on August 17. On that day, Orchard Drive will only have one-way traffic Northbound. Southbound traffic will be redirected.

Field Operations

A watermain break was repaired at Oswego and Marquette. Storm sewer repair was started at 307 Windsor. Street lights were relamped and sanitary sewers were cleaned. Several grass restorations were completed. Bob Bruns started on the installation of new tile in the breakroom.

Water Plant

The pump equipment from Well #6 has been inspected and evaluated for repairs. No major problems were found and repairs are scheduled to be completed within the next two weeks. The pump equipment will then be reinstalled by the contractor.

Last week, staff met with representatives of the lime residuals contractor. Plans are being made to remove 4,000 dry tons of residuals from the Orchard Drive lagoons.

Recreation and Parks

Aqua Center

The public ad for the major renovation project was published last week in the Southtown/Star newspaper. Many details were finalized last week, including a site plan for the space where the old concession stand will be demolished and some more changes in the bathhouse remodeling. Detailed plans were refined for a new rain garden to be developed on the site of the old stand to take water from the adjacent deck and possibly a part of the bathhouse roof. Staff and consultants continue to explore solar/wind powered lights for the added concession patio, various skylight models for the roof of the bathhouse and other “green initiatives.”

The third unannounced Safety Audit took place last week and the staff attained the “Exceeds” rating once again. Congratulations to the staff who were involved in the Audit, specifically, Mary Hartnett, Branden Banks, Sam and Joe Bons, Sarah Kimes, Kyle McMannway, Jill Niendorf, Helen Rago, and Brianna Wegrzyn. Check out the Village’s Web site for a streaming video about the audit process featuring an explanation by Manager Misha Mucklan and video excerpts from the actual June unannounced audit.

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve

Last week, a contractor hired by the Thorn Creek Management Commission started work on removal of exterior boards in order to repair a few structural timbers. Unfortunately, the inside damage was a bit more serious than originally expected, but the repairs will be completed.

Source: Village of Park Forest Weekly Manager’s Report