Last week's "Whatizit?" was, indeed, Tow Mater from Disney's "Cars" and "Cars 2." Not sure if he'll be making an appearance in the upcoming "Planes," but keep your eyes peeled. Those readers who got it right were Belle Fruendt and Beverly Yazumbek, both of Hickory Hills; Laura and Dan Heneghan, and Rick and Lara Groll, all of Oak Lawn; Theresa and George Rebersky, Celeste Cameron and Robert Solner, all of Worth; Rick Rahn of Evergreen Park; and Dana Oswald of Chicago Ridge. Great job, all of you!

This week's clue is: God save the queen, and her teeth. Send responses to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. under the subject Whatizit, and include your first and last names and where you live. You can also call us at 448-6161 or mail your answers to 12247 S. Harlem Ave., Palos Heights, IL 60463. Smell ya later!

Worth farmers market coming to Metra lot

Last one was held in 2004

By Laura Bollin

Worth plans to resurrect its monthly farmers market this spring after an eight-year absence.

The farmers market will be held the third Sunday of the month from April through September in conjunction with a flea market in the Metra station parking lot at 110th Street and Depot Avenue, adjacent to Worth Village Hall. Worth Trustee Rich Dziedzic said he and village Clerk Bonnie Price started talking about the idea last year.

"We've got so much more space that way," Dziedzic said of holding the market in the Metra lot. "The whole idea to doing this, expanding the flea market and bringing in a farmers market, was to create more for our community. We want to bring in vendors to get people out of their houses and into the community, to buy corn or tomatoes or whatever it is."

The village used to hold a farmers market that was founded by late Worth Township Clerk Bud Gavin and late village Clerk Betty Mattera. The market closed in 2004 because the village was prohibited from hanging a 60-foot advertising banner at Harlem Avenue and 111th Street, according to Price.

"We couldn't do that anymore because it was probably dangerous, hanging someone over 111th Street," Price said.

The vendor fee for the farmers market or flea market is $20 for one market, and $15 for each additional market. The cost to vend at all six markets is $85.

Dziedzic, Price and the village's Economic Development Commission are working to bring farmers market vendors into the village.

"We're contacting 20 different vendors right now, and they sell fruit, vegetables, candles and homemade jams," Dziedzic said. "Realistically, if you have something to sell, come on out.

"My biggest reason for getting it going is the community involvement. We want to give people a place to go. Some of the byproducts of that is that people are going to get healthier food and get things they wouldn't normally get in a grocery store."

The flea market started in 2011, and was begun by Worth residents Joe and Diane Burke. The couple held five flea markets in 2011, and with Dziedzic's help held six in 2012. The 2012 markets were really scattered with respect to dates and people were getting burned out, Dziedzic said.

"We're doing it once a month this year, and there are quite a few other flea markets like Our Lady of the Ridge in Chicago Ridge and St. Bede's in Chicago that do the same thing," Dziedzic said.

Trivia time

The speech team from Shepard High School will hold its first Team Trivia Challenge from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 8. Teams of four to six players will compete for a first prize of $500. The entry fee is $20 per team member. Teams also can win prizes for second and third places. Questions will vary, much like the selection from the board game "Trivial Pursuit." Proceeds benefit the Shepard speech program. Checks can be made out to "The Shepard Speech Team."

Sticker sales go online in Ridge

By Kelly White

Chicago Ridge residents will this year for the first time be able to purchase their village vehicle stickers online.

The village will partner with Third Millennium Associates for the online purchase of the stickers. Trustees voted 5-1 Feb. 19 in favor of the contract with Third Millenium, with Trustee Jim Saunoris casting the lone dissenting vote.

Chicago Ridge will pay Third Millenium a one-time cost of $8,490 for software. The village will also pay $6,000 for the decals themselves. Chicago Ridge paid an estimated $9,200 last year toward decals, overtime payroll expenses including the addition of part-time employees during sticker sales, and other fees affiliated with vehicle stickers, according to Chicago Ridge village Clerk Chuck Tokar.

Third Millenium will install a database at Village Hall that will manage online sticker purchasing. Stickers will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and online transactions will not require a convenience fee.

Third Millennium serves as a vehicle-revenue sticker management solution program that issues vehicle-licensing software. This software is designed manage municipal vehicle sticker programs.

"This is not a profit or a loss type of situation," Tokar said, "It is going to be a lot more convenient for our residents."

Since the price of vehicle stickers increased from ten to twenty dollars, the village has been profiting an estimated $200,000 from annual vehicle sticker sales, but village officials are hoping to profit more with the help of TMA in the 2013 vehicle sticker sales.

Third Millenium will send a mailing to each Chicago Ridge household as a reminder to update the sticker for each vehicle owned. The company gathers a list of registered vehicle owners based on the village's records of previous vehicle sticker sales.

The company also works with the Illinois secretary of state's database to access all vehicles registered in Chicago Ridge, so households will receive notices to buy stickers for vehicles not registered with the village. The company has vowed to "dig deeper to gain more revenue for the village."

"I feel like there's a lot of people living in town that avoid buying a vehicle sticker at all costs, and this is a way where they will - I don't want to necessarily say get caught - but yes, they will get caught," said Trustee Bruce Quintos. "With TMA, and the wider use of the Internet for vehicle sticker sales, we will be able to make sure all cars within the village are registered."

Non-drivable and garage-kept cars must have vehicle stickers; however, in the situation where a non-drivable, garage kept car has not been driven for several years and will not be drivable any time soon, the owner may file for an exemption that would have to be approved by the Village Board, Tokar explained.

Vehicle stickers go on sale June 1, and will still be available at Village Hall.

Grocery store will anchor Cicero/111th TIF district

Mariano's may yield $1.5M annually in sales and property tax dollars

By Laura Bollin

Fresh produce, flowers, sushi and oyster bars, salads, fresh meat and seafood are making their way to Oak Lawn.

The village on Tuesday announced that Mariano's Fresh Market will build a store in the retail development at 111th Street and Cicero Avenue. The 70,000-square-feet grocery store will anchor the development in the 111th and Cicero Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district.

Oak Lawn Mayor Dave Heilmann delivered the news via a slideshow that including a graphic reading: "Breaking news: Mariano's coming to Oak Lawn."

"I think this is the worst-kept secret in the village," Heilmann said. "This is a terrific store."

Many residents had desired a Trader Joe's to come to the development, and Mariano's is a similar store, Heilmann said. The building will be at the northeast corner of the development, and will face 111th Street.

"Having a store like this fills a need, and brings hundreds of jobs to Oak Lawn," Heilmann said.

The mayor said 65 people will be employed on the site each day during construction. The store will attract other retailers to the site, he added.

"We've slogged through difficult times, and this is extremely positive," said Oak Lawn village manager Larry Deetjen.

The site will be developed over the next few years, Deetjen said. The village owns the land and is leasing the property to real estate developer Hamilton Partners, he added.

"We own the dirt," Deetjen said. "We are giving Hamilton Partners the right to build on top of that land - retail and commercial establishments. From there, Hamilton Partners will enter into subleases with the tenants."

Heilmann said Mariano's will generate as much as $1 million per week and $50 million per year in sales. The Milwaukeebased company was founded by Robert Mariano, with the first store in Illinois built in Arlington Heights. The Oak Lawn store will be the company's 10th store in Illinois.

Oak Lawn Trustee Carol Quinlan said she has visited several Mariano's stores and met CEO Bob Mariano, and described him as a "strong businessman."

"He is a hands-on person," Quinlan said. "He personally goes into his stores. We wanted to bring in the best of the best, and we found that in Mariano's."

Hamilton Partners will develop 22.3 acres in the 40-acre TIF district. The total retail space in the development will be between 200,000 and 250,000 square feet. The village will not be making any of its own improvements in the district - all development will be through Hamilton Partners.

The village agreed to let Hamilton Partners bring in tenants at a meeting in August. At that meeting, Trustee Tom Phelan said the village could see between $1 and $1.5 million in combined annual retail and property sales tax revenues. Trustees have in executive session seen a design of what the redevelopment site might look like. Phelan said plans include a park at the corner of 111th Street and Cicero Avenue, and a pond traversed by a bridge.

Deetjen expects Mariano's to employ 400 people, and said the development as a whole will create "well over 1,200 jobs." No other tenants for the TIF district have been identified at this time.

"The property, which has been there for 37 years, has deteriorated over time," Deetjen said. "This is a very, very exciting time for the village."

The village created the TIF district in 2006 and owns Edgar Funeral Home, 10900 S. Cicero Ave.; the Kmart/Dominick's property; Mansard Court, 11004 S. Cicero Ave.; the space formerly occupied by Oak Lawn Harley Davidson, 11040 S. Cicero Ave.; and Interstate Muffler, 4800 W. 111th St. The Kmart and Harley Davidson properties have been demolished, and Edgar Funeral Home has been leased to Midwest Orthopedics.

The TIF district's boundaries are Cicero Avenue to the east, 111th Street to the south and Leamington Avenue to the west. The northern boundary is Wolfe Wildlife Refuge on the west and the Cloister Condominiums on the east.