Hickory Hills OKs two collective bargaining agreements

  • Written by Sharon L. Filkins

Hickory Hills Council Board members moved quickly through a light agenda at the regularly scheduled meeting on Aug. 25 giving official approval to two collective bargaining agreements, awarding a contract and paying two invoices.

Unanimous approval was granted officially to previously discussed collective bargaining agreements for both the police department and public works. City Attorney Vince Cainkar presented the agreements for approval.

City Clerk Dee Catizone stated after the meeting that the action was a formality for the records, as both the agreements had been discussed and approved previously.

A contract was awarded to Insituform Technologies USA Inc., in the amount of $111, 615 for sanitary sewer rehab work in the city.

Payment of two invoices, totaling $41,293, was approved for Hasse Construction for work completed in the city in 2015.

Mayor Mike Howley also presented a proclamation for approval, naming Sept. 17 to Sept. 23 as Constitution Week in the City. Sept. 17 marks the 229th anniversary of the drafting of the Constitution.

On another matter, Howley announced that Glen Oaks Elementary School, located in Hickory Hills, was recently named among the top 20 elementary schools in Suburban Cook County.

“We are extremely proud of this achievement. Glen Oaks serves grades two through five, with an enrollment of 680 students with $7,005 being spent per student. This is evidence that our tax dollars are being put to good use for our schools. As a parent with two children in our school system I am very pleased about this report,” Howley said.

Howley also announced that the city would be co-hosting the third annual “Howl Through The Hills 5K Walk/Run” scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 22. Also co-hosting will be North Palos School District 117. Proceeds of the event will benefit the Hickory Hills Lions Club. The event will begin and end at the Hickory Hills City Hall.

For registration or further information, visit Pre-registered participants will receive a long sleeve cooling performance race shirt.

Townhome development rejected a second time by Worth Village Board

  • Written by Sharon L. Filkins

A zoning request was denied for a second time during the July 19 Worth Village Board meeting to build a six-unit townhome development at 10959 S. Harlem Ave.

Several months ago, the applicant had presented a plan that called for more than six units, but the request was denied due to the size of the lot and the number of variances requested.

There were six variances requested this time, ranging from rezoning from R-1 single-family residence to a T1 single-family attached residence. The applicant was seeking less than 150 feet of lot frontage required in the T1 District and to provide less than the 25-foot rear yard setback required.

The applicant also was hoping to provide fewer than the 15 required parking spaces on the property and to build accessory structures containing more than 160 feet in area footage.

Jose Madrigal, a resident who lives near the property, asked to address the board and stated that he was protesting changing the zoning to T1.

“I object to either four or five townhomes on this property. Two homes will be acceptable, but if they build townhomes there, my house will be up for sale,” he said.

Trustee Rich Dziedzic said that the village’s Real Estate Development Board (REDB) had recommended four units instead of the proposed six.

“This would reduce the amount of variances needed,” Dziedzic said. “We are hoping to give you something to work with as we would like to see the property developed.”

Trustee Pete Kats agreed. “We want to work with you. We all would like to see something nice on the property.”

During the meeting, village board officials said they are in excellent financial shape for the fiscal year that began May 1, 2016 and ends April 30, 2017.

Following a brief public hearing as required by law, the board approved its Annual Appropriation Ordinance reflecting the sum of $14,020,668 in appropriations for the General Corporate Fund.

Also approved was a certificate of estimated revenues in the amount of $14,020,668 as presented by Village Treasurer Dwayne K. Fox. The document certifies that the estimated revenues presented are anticipated to be received by the village during the 2016-17 Fiscal Year.

Other approvals included an ordinance amending the official zoning map of the village, based on recommendations from the REDB.

Business licenses were approved for five businesses, including Massages Reduces Stress, 11416 S. Harlem Ave.; Computer Outlet Center, 11300 S. Harlem; Sharns Motel, 7240 Southwest Highway; Simsimroo Inc., 7055 W. 111th St., and the Candle Light Shop, 11350 S. Harlem Ave., Unit 1.

Village Clerk Bonnie Price announced that due to the National Night Out scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 2, the village board meeting will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 3.

Palos Hills officials discuss combatting snow on hot summer night

  • Written by Michael Gilbert

The temperature may have soared near 90 degrees last Thursday, but Palos Hills officials had snow, sleet and all things winter on their minds.

The city council voted 9-0 last week to enter into a contract for road salt with the Michigan-based Compass Minerals in an amount not to exceed $51.44 per ton for up to 800 tons of salt. Ald. Joan Knox (1st Ward) was absent.

The Minnesota-based Cargill Inc. submitted the only other bid at 54.74 per ton, Ald. Mark Brachman (2nd Ward) said. The city estimated the price of salt would come in at $65 per ton.

"It was a great price," Dave Weakley, the city's public works commissioner, said of the salt coming in nearly $14 per ton less than expected. "Last year's mild winter created a surplus of salt and we were able to benefit from it."

"It's well below our estimation," Brachman added. "The bid (for all 800 tons) comes in at $41,100 and our engineer's estimate was $52,000."

Palos Hills only used 400 tons of salt last year, Weakley said. The city typically dispenses around 800 tons of salt on streets each year, he said. Palos Hills still has around 300 tons of salt in a storage facility located east of Moraine Valley Community College, Weakley added.

The contract calls for the salt to be delivered as-needed and Weakley noted the city does not need to accept the supply all at once.

"The salt is delivered on demand," Weakley said. "We don't need to take the whole 800 at the same time."

He added should the winter once again be mild Palos Hills is not obligated to purchase all 800 tons and instead the city would simply pay for what it uses.

In other news, Ald. Joe Marrotta (4th Ward) reminded the council and a handful of residents in attendance that the inaugural City of Palos Hills National Night Out will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 2 at Town Square Park, 8455 W. 103rd St.

National Night Out is a nationwide event first held in 1984 to promote crime and drug prevention and strengthen the relationship a community has with its police department. Around 16,000 communities have held a National Night Out but never has one occurred in Palos Hills.

“This event allows our police the opportunity to interact with local agencies and residents to help build community camaraderie,” Marrotta said.

The event, which is sponsored by the City of Palos Hills, Green Hills Public Library, North Palos Fire Protection District and the Palos Hills Police Department, is to feature live music, face painting, free popcorn and the opportunity to meet and interact with first responders, Ald. Dawn Nowak (5th Ward) said.

Representatives of Cook County Clerk David Orr will be on hand to help register residents to vote, and Nowak and Alde.Ricky Moore (4th Ward) will be present to explain various benefits available to veterans of the United States military. Attendees can also make a monetary donation or donate toiletries at the National Night Out that that will be sent to soldiers stationed overseas.

“It’s going to be a nice night to meet your police officers and firefighters and see your neighbors,” Nowak said.

“It’s a good thing,” Ald. Pauline Stratton (2nd Ward) said of the National Night Out. “We’re encouraging our residents to come out and meet our police and see what they do.”

Also at the meeting Palos Hills officials approved issuing a liquor license for Palos Diner, 8052 W. 111th St.

The license will allow the 10-year-old restaurant to sell beer and wine onsite. Palos Diner is open until 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and has a lunch and dinner menu in addition to its breakfast options.

Hickory Hills considers program that will pick up hazardous materials at your door

  • Written by Sharon L. Filkins

The Hickory Hills Council members heard a possible solution during last Thursday’s meeting for residents who would like to dispose of electronics and hazardous materials.

Mike Morley, municipal marketing manager in the Chicago southwest area for Waste Management, presented details on a new program, At the Door Recycling, which could become available to single-family homes currently serviced by Waste Management Recycling.

Morley said that the program is simple and allows for residents who have electronics or paint, cleaning chemicals, oil or gardening chemicals, pool chemicals and other items that need to be safely disposed of to do so by contacting At the Door Recycling and set a date for pick-up. The customer will be asked to describe the amount and size of materials to be picked up.

The customer will then receive a large heavy-duty plastic bag in the mail for the disposable material. The pick-up is generally 10 to 14 days after the initial call. The resident will be instructed to leave the bag for pick-up in front of their garage, rather than at the curb.

However, the service does not come without a cost. Morley said adding the service to the current recycling customers would cost $1.25 per month, or $15 per year. Billing would be done through the city, if the council agrees to add the program to the current contract with Waste Management.

“A customer could call for pick-ups as many times as he wanted during the year,” said Morley.

Mayor Pro-Tem Scott Zimmerman (Mayor Mike Howley was absent due to a work commitment) asked if it would be possible for the city to do a one-year contract with At the Door. Morley replied that could be arranged.

“I think it is a good idea. It is actually the future that will benefit from not having to deal with hazardous materials,” said Zimmerman. He added that it was good information and that the council would be reviewing the details before a decision is made.

Morley said there are currently seven municipalities in the northern suburbs using the program and it was recently started in Plainfield. A report is provided to the municipalities as to who used the program and what types of materials were being picked up.

“The amount of materials

Moraine prepares to serve up supply chain breakfast

  • Written by By Kelly White

Supply chain management is becoming a popular area of study at Moraine Valley Community College.

The college will be hosting a supply chain breakfast titled “Forging New Links in Your Supply Chain” for students and current business men and women from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 30 on campus, 9000 W. College Parkway, Palos Hills, Building M, Room 2.

Supply chain management is the flow of goods and services. It includes the movement and storage of raw materials, work-in-process inventory, and finished goods from point of origin to point of consumption.

At the breakfast, moderated by Mike Johl, supply chain faculty and program coordinator at Moraine, attendees will be able to learn about trends, challenges and career path metrics in the logistics industry.

“We want to create awareness about the program for current practitioners and students enrolled in the program and those looking to enroll,” Johl said.

Johl has 38 years of experience as senior management, working as the region communication manager at UPS. He retired in 2008 and decided to continue a career path instilling the importance of supply chain management to others.

“Education has always been important to UPS and the company has been working alongside Moraine Valley for many years,” Johl said.

The UPS team offers part–time positions where employees can participate in the Education Assistance program. The program is available in most UPS locations across the nation and aims to tie education to career goals.

“UPS has been instrumental in shaping the program at Moraine Valley,” Johl said. “Instituting something like this to newer part-time supervisors gets them basic industry knowledge with the help they need to grow in their careers over time.”

The keynote speaker at the March breakfast will be Neil Reddy, executive director of the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council, which created the Certified Logistics Assistant and certified Logistics Technician certifications, among others at the college.

Other topics and panel members will be Robert Markatos, senior manager of Global Supply Chain at Ingredion, and Tim Bend, manager of Learning and Development at UPS Integrad. They will speak about training for tomorrow in the supply chain management world.

The program began at Moraine six years ago, according to Johl, who came to the college three years ago.

“The college has hosted supply chain events before but have not had one for a few years now,” Johl said.

Johl, along with department heads, is responsible for organizing the breakfast in hopes to spread the world about career opportunities available in the supply chain management field. The breakfast is anticipating from 50 to 100 attendees.

People who work in distribution, transportation, warehousing, shipping/receiving, dispatching professionals, business owners and managers, educations, supply chain students and economic developers are encouraged to attend this program.