Managing Park Forest Week of November 23, 2009


Park Forest Village Hall. (Photo: Wendy Heise)

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– November 23, 2009.

Village Management

Village Board Meeting

The next meeting of the Village Board is scheduled for Monday, November 23 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.

Last Yard Waste Pickup for 2009

Residents in the single family homes of the Village are reminded that the last day for pickup of leaves and other yard waste is Tuesday, November 24. Residents are also reminded that it is against local ordinance to rake your leaves into the street and not pick them up. Yard waste bags and/or stickers can be purchased at Village Hall, Star Disposal on South Street or the Park Forest Currency Exchange.

Village Hall Closing

Park Forest Village Hall will be closed on Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. Village Hall will re-open for business on Monday, November 30.

2010 Legislative Agenda

The Village Board’s Legislative Committee met recently to discuss the contents for the Village’s 2010 Legislative Agenda. The draft agenda will be shared with the full Village Board for their consideration and approval at the November 23 Board Meeting. The issues on the agenda will then be shared with Park Forest-area legislators throughout 2010

SouthCom Board Meeting

Village Manager Tom Mick, Deputy Village Manager Mary Dankowski, Police Chief Tom Fleming and Fire Chief Bob Wilcox attended a meeting of the SouthCom Executive Board last week. Topics discussed on the agenda included technology upgrades, personnel and projects to be submitted for funding consideration with the 2010 – 2011 Federal Fiscal Year.

Canadian National Update

Canadian National pavement/construction work has been substantially completed at the commuter parking lot at the corner of Hickory and Homan. The entire portion of the lot that will remain in the Village possession has now been cleared, resurfaced and restriped. Planning and review efforts will now turn to construction improvements on the CN-owned property – starting with the staging of construction barriers and the clearing of the wooded acreage directly south of the commuter lot. Public notice and updates of the construction work continue to be available on the Village’s web site (http://www.villageofparkforest.com) and via multiple signs posted at the commuter lot.

Park Forest Community Development


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

In new construction/building permit activity in the first 15 days of November, 29 permits have been recorded. Over the past 5 years, the month of November has averaged 43 permits being issued. At the current pace, 58 building permits could be issued this month. In November 2008, a total of 42 building permits were recorded.

In Civil Court action on property maintenance code enforcement matters, the Thorncreek cases continued to require attention.

Early last week the re-inspections of Garden House Apartments were performed. This is the follow-up to the annual inspection done in September. Everything was found in compliance.

Housing Inspector Jerry Martin attended a week-long course, Understanding the 2009 International Building Code, as part of his continuing education requirements and advancement for building inspector certification.

Park Forest Economic Development

Mediation Training

Members of the Commission on Human Relations, the Mediation Task Force, and the Park Forest Ambassadors attended a Mediation Training session provided by the Center for Conflict Resolution. This session was a refresher for some, a new experience for others.

New Resident Reception

The next New Resident Reception will be at the Illinois Theatre Center on Saturday, January 9 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The reception will include a comedy show which will include BET Jay Deep along-side other local comedians. The children will be able to attend a class of crafting provided by Etel Billig. The reception is open to all Park Forest civic organizations who would like to exhibit. Call Evelyn Sterling at 708-283-5621 or e-mail [email protected] to reserve a table.

U.S. Census Bureau

Staff is currently responding to the U.S. Census Bureau on an appeal of their Local Update of Census Addresses. There are approximately 200 addresses that were missed in their recent canvas of the Village and staff is working to ensure that these addresses receive a Census form on April 1, 2010. It is important that all Park Forest residents are counted in the decennial census.

Park Forest Fire Department


The Park Forest Fire Department responded to 59 calls for assistance this past week including 1 triple and 7 double calls. Automatic aid assistance was received once each from the Richton Park and University Park fire departments and three times from Matteson. Mutual aid assistance was received twice from University Park and provided three times to Matteson and once each to the University Park and Crete Township fire departments.

The response to Crete Township was to assist them with a Hazardous Materials incident on Exchange Street at Interstate 394 just east of the Walt’s Plaza where a fuel tanker truck overturned and spilled about 1500 gallons of gasoline into the ditch. Chief Wilcox responded to this incident and was on the scene for over nine hours.

Safety Tip

Small children are naturally curious about fire. Matches and lighters left within reach are often too much of a temptation for a child to resist. Teach children that matches and lighters are tools to be used only by adults or under adult supervision. Store matches and lighters out of sight and out of children’s reach.

Park Forest Police Department


The Learning Channel sent a TV crew to Park Forest for a documentary on the Park Forest meteorite shower. They interviewed residents who collected some of the meteorites and had damage to their homes by the rocks, plus Police Officers who responded to calls about the showers. The crew filmed throughout the Village last weekend and included scientists who came to Park Forest originally to examine the meteorites. The documentary will be shown sometime in the early part of next year.

Park Forest Public Works

Orchard Drive Watermain Project

Fiordirosa, the contractor for the Orchard Drive watermain project will be assisting the Village in changing out about 10% of the water meters. The purpose is to verify that the meters are operating correctly. To do this, a new calibrated meter will be installed and the old meter will be tested.

Street Lighting

The new street lights installed by Elmund and Nelson along Indianwood Boulevard from Blackhawk Drive to Monee Road are now working and the old street light poles have been removed. Landscape restoration, testing and a final walk-thru still need to be completed.

Street Resurfacing

K-Five Construction has finished the resurfacing of School House Manor and Legacy Square. A walk-thru inspection was done last week with the homeowner association, the Village and the contractor to see if any of the maintaining agencies have any discrepancies with the work before accepting the project.

Other Projects

Kinder-Morgan’s contractor, Contracting Materials, has completed the restoration of Western Avenue, just south of Illinois Street.

Sunset Sewer and Water has submitted two proposals. One is to repair a drainage problem at 50 Monee Road and the second to stabilize the 54” corrugated pipe which is the drainage way under Forest Boulevard near 151 Park Street. Staff is currently reviewing these proposals.

Field Operations

Watermain breaks were repaired at 238 Monee Road and 160 Monee Road. Asphalt patching was done at Village Hall, DownTown and Village-wide. Patching will continue as time and workload permits. The installation of Christmas decorations began last week. B-boxes were repaired/replaced at 8 Dunham and 234 Arcadia. Last week, crews began inspecting and repairing all the snow plows. Also, the 2½ ton dump trucks were serviced in anticipation of the snow season. Sanitary sewers were cleaned Village-wide.

Water Plant

Staff is completing the interior painting of Well #6. Cleaning and maintenance are being performed on the dehumidifiers and dust collectors in the lime and soda ash silos.

Recreation and Parks


Last week, volunteers worked at Central Park Wetlands in memory of Melody Kortge, formerly of Park Forest. The second annual volunteer project was organized by Melody’s best friend Jean Vanderstandin. Families, including children ages 8 and up, removed invasive vegetation and small trees from the wetland site. Another crew assembled components of additional sections of boardwalk to be added to the site. Volunteer friends were in Park Forest from Skokie, Darian, Lombard, Chicago, Park Forest and other Chicago area communities.

Helen Neel Retires

A very nice social event was held recently to honor parks staffer Helen Neel, who recently retired. A great turn-out of people from all Departments (including several retirees) was on hand to congratulate Helen on her 27 years of service to the Village. Nearly everyone in Park Forest knows Helen, if not by name, by seeing her all over town taking beautiful care of the Village’s ornamental and native landscaping. Helen will be hard to replace. So hard in fact, that she will return next summer to work the maximum number of part-time hours allowed by her retirement program to, you guessed it, care for the Village’s summer plantings.

Aqua Center

After a few surprises trying to find utilities under the concrete floor in the bathhouse, plumbing is well underway on the interior of the building. The plumbing inspections done by the Building Department were successful. Great progress is also being made on the installation of hollow metal door frames and finishing the new windows and the serving-windows in the concession area. As soon as interior plumbing rough-in is completed, installation of interior walls will pick up.

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.