Worth officials make an Ancel-ary decision

  • Written by Bob Rakow

  Worth Village officials did some housekeeping at Tuesday’s board meeting.
  Trustees approved ordinances eliminating the village’s youth and recreational facilities commissions, committees that have not met in several years.
  “We’re cleaning up the code book,” Mayor Mary Werner said.
  The board also approved a waiver of conflict of interest that will allow its law firm, Ancel Glink, to continue to represent both the village and the Worth Park District as the park district assumes control of Worth Days.

  The village decided last year that the park district was better suited to run the fest, which this year will serve as the village’s primary 100th anniversary celebration.

  Trustee Mary Rhein voted against the measure, saying that a conflict of interest exists if Ancel Glink represents both the village and the park district.
  “I’m definitely not comfortable voting for this,” Rhein said. “It’s just too big a conflict of interest.”
  Rhein added that Werner’s husband, Steve, is president of the park board. And, she said, different municipal attorneys might examine various issues in different ways.
  Village attorney Robert Bush said the two intergovernmental agreements between the village and the park district are fairly routine and his firm would recommend another law firm if needed. He added that sticking with one law firm will save the village time and money.
  In addition to the agreement transferring control of Worth Days to the park district, the two taxing bodies plan to sign an agreement authorizing the police department to patrol village parks—a duty the department already performs but which has never be formalized, Warner said.
  Trustee Colleen McElroy said the Worth Days agreement should already have been presented to the board. The timing is important because centennial plans are already underway.

  In other business, Werner’s appointments to the centennial committee were approved. Committee members are: Gene Sikora, Linda Dawson, Bahira Karim, James Plahm, Barb Dziedzic, Robert Burns, Kari Fickes, Georgia Prendergast and Jeanne Elder. The members will serve through the end of the year. The next meeting is Feb. 3.

  The centennial kickoff celebration will be held from 7 p.m. to midnight Feb. 8 at the Chieftain Pub, 6906 W. 111th St. Admission is $10 and features food and live entertainment.

Man tries to lure EP girl into vehicle

  A man driving an SUV attempted Friday to lure an Evergreen Park girl into his vehicle, police said.
  Police said the girl was walking in the 2700 block of 98th Street to Central Junior High School.
  The man, described as white, mid 40s, average build, bald with a black and brown mustache and wearing a black jacket, slowed his Chevrolet Suburban alongside the girl and said: “Do you want a ride? Get in.”
  The student did not reply and the man drove away south on Washtenaw Avenue, police said.
—Regional News report

Stolen car leads to burglary charges

  • Written by Bob Rakow

  A stolen car was the key to Evergreen Park police arresting four individuals involved in several recent resident burglaries in the area, police said.
  Police on Oct. 20 spotted a car at the Shell station in the 2600 block of 87th Street. The car was reported stolen 30 minutes earlier from a residence in Evergreen Park.

  Police later learned that the car’s keys were taken during a Sept. 6 residential burglary and that the driver and three passengers were involved in several burglaries in the area.
  A subsequent search of an abandoned building in the 8200 block of Kedzie Avenue in Chicago revealed several items which were taken during the burglaries, police said.
  Christopher A. Sparks, 30, and Robin M. Fields-Tiner, 23, both of Chicago, were charged with retail theft. Ryan N. Fields-Tiner, 22, of Chicago was charged with unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle, and Levert P. Wragg, 59, of Chicago, was charged with criminal trespass to motor vehicle.

  The investigation is ongoing and has revealed the offenders’ involvement in incidents in Chicago, police said.

Battering Rams

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Reavis treated roughly by inspired Bulldogs

  Evergreen Park certainly did Reavis no favor.
  By squeezing out a victory over Richards in the closing seconds of a Week 5 showdown between two unbeaten squads, the Mustangs no doubt put Bulldogs players in an ugly frame of mind. Richards coach Tony Sheehan didn’t deny it, but stated that his guys used the Evergreen “wake-up call” in a positive manner.
  “This was probably one of our best weeks of practice,” Sheehan said. “The kids were really focused. I think they realize what’s in front of them and what’s at stake, and we came ready to play Friday night.”
  Did they ever. While the visiting Rams threatened to make some early noise, the Bulldogs’ defense refused Reavis entry into the end zone. Richards’ offense, meanwhile, racked up four first-half touchdowns and eventually claimed a resounding 40-0 South Suburban Conference Red triumph at Korhonen Field.
  “I hope it will continue,” Sheehan said of his team’s solid exhibition,” and I think it will. You’ve got to play your best every week or you’re going to get beat because this conference is so balanced. We learned that last week.

Hickory Hills Zoning Board approves development on old Sabre Room property

  • Written by Dermot Connolly

mike pryal photo 10-20

Photo by Dermot Connolly

Mike Pryal (at right) was among the Hickory Hills residents who got a chance to peruse development plans for the Sabre Room property at a community meeting on Oct. 12.

Following a public hearing on Monday night, the Hickory Hills Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals voted to approve a zoning variance requested for a proposed mixed-use development on the site of the Sabre Room property at 8900 W. 95th St.

The final decision on the development, called Sabre Woods, is up to the City Council, which will consider it at its Nov. 10 meeting.

Hickory Hills residents had a chance to meet the property owners and development team, and ask questions about their plans, at two community meetings held Oct. 12at St. Patricia Parish Center.

“We’re very excited about this. We’re going to miss the Sabre Room, but we’re looking forward to something new. The name will live on as Sabre Woods” said developer Chip Cornelius.

“There is a tremendous amount of heritage there. Frank Sinatra, Liza Minelli, Johnny Carson, Bill Cosby were among the people who performed at the Sabre Room. But, the economy, the health of the family took its toll and the decision was made to close,” said Jim Koziarz, representing the family of Arthur and Marie Muzzarelli, who founded the Sabre Room in 1949.

“We’re here to look forward. We made a decision to develop the 30-acre site in a comprehensive way, rather than hodgepodge. We developed this master plan with three primary components,” said developer Jim Louthen, president of Re-Town.

The senior living component, referred to Sabre Woods Senior Village, would include 20 single-family ranch homes, as many as 84 senior apartments and 120 assisted living units.

Louthen described it as “sophisticated senior housing.”

“We know there is a need for assisted living and going along with that is memory care,” he said.

Pricing for the senior residences will be market-driven, Louthen said.

The retail component, being called the “Shops of Sabre Woods,” will be facing 95th Street. No decisions have been made about exactly which businesses would be going in there.

“It is still early but we’ve set the bar very high as far as the standard of retail that we’re looking for,” Louthen said. “A very modern big-box store could fit right.”

The third, “civic component” of the property includes the possibility of donating a piece of the property for a civic building in the wooded, northwest corner of the property.

“We really believe in community,” said Louthen. He described it as a public-private partnership, but Mayor Mike Howley said afterward that the city has not been asked to come up with any money for the project yet.

Howley also pointed out that the property is currently zoned for residential, so if this proposal had not come along, a residential developer would have needed no variance to build a big subdivision that could result in overcrowded schools.

When flooding concerns were raised by area residents, Louthen said, “We know there were issues with flooding in the past. That will all be taken care of. This new plan accommodates drainage; we wouldn’t get a permit without it. We have to calculate the amount of rain that will fall and provide space for that,” noting that the site plans include several retention ponds. “We think that it is economically feasible, will generate jobs and is marketable and fits into the fabric and goals of Hickory Hills.”

“It’s a big piece of property, I think the development will be good for the community,” said Mike Pryal, after looking over the plans. Residents were invited to submit suggestions about the project. Pryal said his only concern was attracting the right businesses that will do well.

“We need some nice restaurants. We have three main retail strips in Hickory Hills, and there are already a lot of vacancies,” he said.