Managing Park Forest Week of November 2, 2009

Officer Michael Matthias of Park Forest

Officer Michael Matthias of Park Forest helped keep Saturday’s Halloween activities in the DownTown safe. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

Photo Gallery: Safe Halloween 2009

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– November 2, 2009.

Village Management

Village Board Meeting

The next meeting of the Village Board is scheduled for Monday, November 2 at 8 p.m. at Village Hall. Residents are encouraged to attend.

To view previously held Board Meetings, visit the Village’s web site at: http://www.villageofparkforest.com and click on the date of the meeting you wish to watch. Meetings are also broadcast live online. Click here for link to Channel 4 online.

Concrete Patching Along Lincoln Highway Underway – Expect Delays

Concrete patching on Lincoln Highway (U.S. Route 30) began last week. Drivers are reminded that they should allow for extra time and use alternative routes when traveling along a 3.5 mile stretch of Lincoln Highway. It is anticipated that the work will be completed in approximately 5 weeks, weather permitting. Drivers are advised of the following:

During construction there will be permanent lane closures in both directions of Lincoln Highway (U.S. 30) from Cicero Avenue in Matteson to a quarter-mile east of Western Avenue in Chicago Heights.

Heavy congestion will create substantially longer travel times for motorists traveling through Matteson, Park Forest, Olympia Fields and Chicago Heights.

All work is expected to be completed by early December 2009.

Metra Commuter Parking Lot Work Underway

The first of several improvements being done as part of Canadian National’s integration of the EJ&E began last week at the Matteson Metra station commuter parking lot. The parking lot will be repaved and reconfigured this fall in several phases. While the lot will remain open during construction, portions will be unavailable as the project progresses. The station ramp and stairs entrance will remain open throughout the project. A variable message sign is in place to inform motorists about the project. Additional informative signage will be provided at the station’s east entrance for interested users to understand how the work will progress.

Park Forest Community Development


This week, 201 inspections were performed. These included new construction, re-occupancy, inspector initiated and referral/complaint.

In Civil Court action on property maintenance code enforcement matters, the case against DownTown Building Number 3 has moved forward with the Village acquisition of the property.

Cable Commission Quarterly Meeting

The Cable Commission held their regular quarterly meeting last week. Comcast Cable and AT&T U-verse updates were provided. In addition, the next phase in Local Origination Programming equipment was discussed.

Park Forest Economic Development

Business License Renewal Going Green

Thanks to the support of Park Forest businesses, the Economic Development and Planning Department is on the way to going green! With approximately 51% of Park Forest businesses having an e-mail address, 30 businesses, to date, have agreed to receive their business license renewal package via e-mail. Staff have developed a business application that can be completed online, saving both the Village and the business professional time and money. Park Forest business licenses expire on December 31, 2009. Please forward any questions concerning the renewal process to Monica DeLord at 708-283-5617 or [email protected].

International Council of Shopping Centers

The Economic Development Team attended the Chicago Deal Making session of the International Council of Shopping Centers last week. Park Forest had a booth at the event to market the community and the many development opportunities that are currently available.

Business Breakfast – November 5

The next Business Breakfast is scheduled for Thursday, November 5 from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at Dining on the Green. Reggie Greenwood, Director of Economic Development for the Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation will be the featured speaker. The program will focus on building business partnerships.

Park Forest Fire Department


The Park Forest Fire Department responded to 73 calls for assistance including 10 double and 3 triple calls. Automatic aid assistance was received once from South Chicago Heights, twice from Richton Park and four times from the Matteson Fire Department. Mutual aid assistance was provided twice to Matteson and received once each from Richton Park and University Park.

On Monday, October 26, the Fire Department was dispatched to the 300 block of North Orchard Drive for a garage fire. Personnel arrived on the scene to find a detached garage heavily involved in fire and the roof already collapsed into the main structure. Hindering firefighting operations was the presence of two electrical feed lines for the fire address and the house next door which were down on or near the garage. Park Forest was assisted by the Matteson, Richton Park and South Chicago Heights fire departments on this incident and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Fire Department Training

Training for the career division took a number of directions last week. Two of the three shifts are finishing up electrical safety and lock-out/tag-out training in conjunction with the Water Department and the Department of Public Works. This classroom based session is led by IRMA and helps each of the departments keep current on rules, regulations and policies related to the subject matter.

Members of the career division are also wrapping up a run through the department’s relatively new SCBA confidence course at the fire training site. Constructed by members of the department in one of the on-site shipping containers, this two-level obstacle course provides some unique challenges to firefighting personnel.

On October 30, firefighters had the opportunity to make-up any missed training sessions or complete a preplan for one of the buildings in their assigned company inspection district.

Members of the Paid-On-Call division reviewed some classroom information on infectious diseases and H1N1 influenza for their training. This was introductory information and will be built upon as more information becomes available on specific action being taken by medical and government bodies.

New Paid-On-Call Members

Four new members joined the department’s Paid-On-Call (POC) division this past week. These members include Thomas Aguirre, Janel Hurd, Adam Kolberg and Thomas Marconi. Members of the POC division are added about twice a year after an extensive orientation, physical ability and medical examination process. They are brought on a few months before a scheduled fire academy so both parties can be assured they have made the right choice prior to the start of the semester long training program.

Park Forest Public Works

Project Updates

K-Five Construction has finished the concrete work, and will begin working on Legacy Square/School House Manor asphalt surfacing. The project is scheduled for completion November 30.

All Pro Paving began asphalt restoration work from watermain breaks that have occurred during the past year.

Field Operations

Street lights were repaired/relamped Village-wide. A watermain break was repaired at 3 Sangamon Court. Storm sewer manhole repairs were begun at 522 Antietam and 259 Lester.

Water Plant

A contractor made repairs to the carbon dioxide feed system.

Recreation and Parks


Fire breaks have been mowed throughout the Central Park Wetland site in preparation for controlled burns slated to take place in early winter or early 2010. Controlled burns help to control invasive plant materials that choke out the better native plant species.

Aqua Center

Last week, demolition was completed in the interior of the east end of the bathhouse as well as the removal of windows, doors and frames. The contractor also made all saw cuts in the exterior walls for new windows and door locations. Though they are all covered with plywood, you can now begin to see the new look of the building from the exterior. Colors for all interior finishes were selected last week. The installation of new interior walls is underway, complete with plumbing and electrical lines being incorporated with the walls. Major saw cuts and removal of concrete in the floors have been completed for plumbing lines, shower areas, etc. Brick is also being laid to close up some of the wall openings and trim around new door and window openings. The roof has been saw cut in several locations to allow for HVAC equipment penetrations.

Those on Facebook (www.Facebook.com) can search for the “Park Forest Aqua Center” page in the upper right corner and follow a photographic record of the project.

Sources:Village of Park Forest Weekly Manager’s Report and Village of Park Forest website.