Managing Park Forest Week of November 9, 2009


The Park Forest Village Board room. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF) — November 9, 2009.

Village Management

Village Board Meeting

The next meeting of the Village Board is scheduled for Monday, November 9 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.

Village Hall Closed Wednesday

Park Forest Village Hall will be closed on Wednesday, November 11 in observance of Veteran’s Day. Village Hall will re-open for business on Thursday, November 12.

Sustainability Planning Meeting

Mayor John Ostenburg and several members of the Village’s Management Team met with Doug Farr last week to discuss the Mayor’s vision for establishing a long-range sustainability plan for Park Forest. Pending this discussion and some follow-up planning documents to be reviewed by Mr. Farr, he will draft a proposal for the Village to consider in how he might go about aiding the Village’s efforts to go green.

Canadian National Update

Canadian National construction work continued last week at the commuter parking lot at the corner of Hickory and Homan. To date, more than 50% of the lot has been milled, cleared and resurfaced. Similar work will unfold in the coming days as the work is carried out in quadrants of the parking 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. Completion of the construction work is expected by mid to late November, pending weather conditions.

Strategic Planning Goal Setting Session

Mayor Ostenburg and the Village Board of Trustees met with planning facilitator Dr. Paul Craig last Saturday to discuss the Village Board’s vision for Park Forest and what goals might be established for Fiscal Year 2010 – 2011. The goals will be finalized with additional public discussion at the Village Board Meeting on November 23. Once established, these goals will be used by the Village Board to formulate the 2010 – 2011 budget.

SSMMA Meeting Regarding PADS

Mayor Ostenburg and Village Manager Tom Mick attended a session at the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association (SSMMA) last week related to a permanent Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS) facility. PADS Executive Director Mike Wasserberg made a presentation and much discussion took place regarding the potential for a permanent structure to be constructed on 3 acres of land in Country Club Hills. Ultimately, the Executive Committee of SSMMA voted to release more than $499,000 in volunteer contributions from an SSMMA account to PADS so that the funds might be used for architectural design and engineering work as the permanent PADS project begins to unfold. These funds had been accruing over the past 15 years as voluntary contributions funneled through various SSMMA communities to the consortium. An interesting item of note is that Park Forest resident contributions are in excess of $87,000 of the total amount released to PADS. Park Foresters can elect to donate $1 per month to PADS as part of their water bills. Residents with questions about this donation program can contact Village Hall at 708-748-1112.

Rich East High School Community Forum

Village Trustee Ken Kramer, Village Manager Tom Mick, Police Chief Tom Fleming and Recreation and Parks Program Supervisor Kevin Adams attended a community forum last week sponsored by Rich East and School District 227. Village Officials offered some public comments at the session and participated in group discussion exercises aimed at garnering feedback by Rich East High School Principal Mark Kramer and the school district on any number of different topics.

Congratulations School District 162 and Arcadia School

School District 162’s Arcadia Grade School has been designated a Blue Ribbon School. In recognition of this accomplishment, School District 162 convened a community celebration at GSU’s Center for Performing Arts last weekend. Congratulations to Superintendent Blondean Davis, Arcadia School Principal Pat Ransford and all the teachers and administrators at the school for such a wonderful achievement.

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 October, a total of 78 building permits were issued for a total new construction cost valuation of $1,321,525, with $4,590 collected in fees.

In Civil Court action on property maintenance code enforcement matters, the Atlantic Associates/Thorncreek matter was back before the Court for a status hearing as well as administrative search warrant matter. In addition, on October 29, eleven cases were heard through the Adjudication Hearing Process.

Park Forest Fire Department


The Park Forest Fire Department responded to 51 calls for assistance this past week including 7 double and 1 triple call. Mutual aid assistance was received once each from the Chicago Heights, Steger and South Chicago Heights fire departments and provided once to the Matteson Fire Department. Automatic aid assistance was received twice each from Richton Park, University Park and South Chicago Heights and three times from Matteson.

On October 30, fire crews responded to a report of a fire in a vacant structure in the 100 block of Algonquin. Upon arrival crews found a heavily involved structure fire with flames showing from the rear of the residence. Multiple attack lines were put in service to combat this rapidly moving fire. Fire control efforts were restricted due to power lines down in the rear yard of the property. Park Forest was assisted by Matteson, Richton Park and South Chicago Heights fire departments on this incident and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

On November 2, the Fire Department was dispatched to a reported fire in the 300 block of Indiana. Crews arrived on the scene and found heavy smoke on the second level of a home from a fire in the master bedroom. The fire was quickly extinguished and the home ventilated. Fire damage was limited to the bedroom and there was smoke damage throughout the upstairs. The cause of this fire is undetermined at this time.

Park Forest Police Department

Police Training

Officers William Busse and David Habecker recently attended the training for all new SWAT Officers in Mt. Carroll, IL. They both are assigned to work with the South Suburban Emergency Response Team after attending the 32-hour training class.

Park Forest Public Works

Indianwood Boulevard Lights

Elmund and Nelson has finished installing the street lights along Indianwood from Blackhawk to Monee Road. The contractor is waiting for ComEd to change the power over to the new controller before they can complete the project.

Western Avenue Lane Closure

Kinder-Morgan’s contractor, Contracting Materials, has been working just south of Illinois on Western Avenue to make repairs to their pipe line. These repairs required the closure of one lane of southbound traffic. They found that during construction work on Western Avenue the electrical subcontractor for the Western Avenue IDOT project had nicked their pipeline during the installation of the street lights. One of the Village of Park Forest street lights had to be removed and will be reinstalled. Restoration is expected to be completed this week.

Sanitary Sewer

Sunset Sewer and Water is repairing two drainage structures in the Park Forest Police Department parking lot and is scheduled to repair a sanitary manhole that has dropped on Monee Road at Blackhawk Drive.

Field Operations

Watermain breaks were repaired at 265 Somonauk (twice) and 310 Lakewood. A major replacement of a storm sewer manhole on Lester Road was begun. Storm sewer inlets were cleared due to extremely heavy rains. Asphalt patching was done at sewer repairs and valve repairs. Clay was hauled to the lime lagoons to stabilize the banks and road. Sanitary sewers were cleaned and street lights relamped. Signs were being replaced due to fading and bent poles in various spots Village-wide.

Water Plant

The subcontractor for Williams Brothers Construction inspected the paint problems at the Water Plant. This warranty work will be completed this week.

Recreation and Parks


Carolyn Hoff, Anna Soloff, Kevin Adams and Chuck Sabey recently attended the Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau’s “Festivals and Events Workshop.”

Aqua Center

The installation of new interior walls is underway with plumbing and electrical wiring being incorporated with the walls. Major saw cuts and removal of concrete in the floors has been completed for plumbing lines, shower areas, etc. Brick is also being laid to close up some of the wall opening and trim around new door and window openings. The roof has been saw-cut in several locations to allow for HVAC equipment and for the ten skylights to be installed in the roof has also been marked out. One of the rooftop HVAC units was installed on the roof and interior ductwork is being fabricated.

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.

Thorn Creek Nature Center

The Thorn Creek Management Commission recently approved a contract to re-roof the 150+ year-old Nature Center building. The project, that had been in the plans for a few years but unable to be funded, will now be completed with funding help from the Village, the Thorn Creek Management Commission budget, the Forest Preserve District of Will County and fund raising by the Friends of Thorn Creek. The “Friends” recently started a capital projects fundraising effort for Thorn Creek. John Joyce and Rob Gunther met with the contractor last week to discuss getting the work under-way.

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