The Village of Oak Park | 123 Madison St.  Oak Park, IL 60302 | village@oak-park.us

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Village Manager's Weekly Report

Week Ending Sept. 8, 2017

Meetings scheduled for the next week

  • Monday, September 11:
    • Transportation Commission,7 p.m., room 201
    • Finance Committee Meeting, 6:30 p.m., room 130
  • Tuesday, September 12:
    • Finance Committee Meeting, 6:30 p.m., room 130
  • Wednesday, September 13:
    • Farmer’s Market Commission, 7 p.m. room 101
  • Thursday, September 14:
    • Civic Information Systems Commission, 7 p.m., room 215
    • Historic Preservation Commission, 7:30 p.m., room 201
  • Friday, September 15:
    • No meetings scheduled

Aggregation enrollment underway – Letters from Constellation Energy Services announcing the enrollment period for the Village’s electricity aggregation program have begun arriving in mailboxes. With each new enrollment, staff fields a few calls from residents seeking greater explanation of the program. Most calls are from those who are enrolled and wish to stay enrolled. They just want to make sure they don’t need to take any action to stay in the program. The somewhat complex language required in the letter has been simplified in messages distributed via the September issue of the OP/FYI newsletter, via social media and on the website. The deadline to opt out or enroll is Sept. 20.

Divvy offering discounts – The Divvy bike share program is promoting enrollment in Oak Park via a discount. During September, Oak Park residents and users can purchase an annual membership for $59.99, which is nearly $40 off the regular annual membership price of $99. When making a membership purchase at www.divvybikes.com, residents must use the coupon code OPFYI to receive the discount. More information about Divvy in Oak Park and the 13 stations located throughout the Village is posted at www.oak-park.us/divvy. The Oak Leaves recently published an article detailing Divvy use in Oak Park – click here for a link to the story.

Bid notification alerts – Staff has incorporated an email notification system into its efforts to alert potential bidders when new requests for proposals are released seeking products and services for the Village. A form on the Village website allows companies to sign up for notices in eight categories, including local businesses. Then when a new request for proposals or qualifications is posted on the Village website, the appropriate group is notified via an email that includes a link to the website – www.oak-park.us/bid – where all requests are posted. This system supplements other well-established, traditional methods of alerting potential bidders, including working with trade associations and dedicated bid monitoring services that are especially active in professional fields such as engineering and construction.

Employee flu shots – The Health Department has begun its annual employee flu shot clinics, a long-standing program designed to help ensure emergency responders are protected against what could be a serious threat to service delivery. Although employees cannot be required to have a flu shot, our internal communications is focused on explaining just how serious the flu can be. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more people die from the flu and resulting complications than from all other vaccine preventable diseases combined. The community also has been alerted to the importance of vaccination, with the Health Department ready to help those in need find access to an affordable flu shot. Everyone age six months and older is encouraged to receive the flu vaccine every year.

Euclid Square Park re-opening – A ceremony celebrating the official re-opening of Euclid Square Park is scheduled for 10 a.m., tomorrow (Sat., Sept. 9). In addition to tennis and pickelball courts, the park also features a new playground and an improved walking path around the perimeter. More information about the park improvements is posted at www.pdop.org.

Harvest season at the Farmers' Market -- With fall already in the air, a changing variety of produce can be found at the Oak Park Farmers' Market. Plums, nectarines, peaches, pears, grapes, apples and cider are just some of the seasonal favorites now available along with meats, eggs, honey, cheese and milk from the more than two dozen regular Market vendors. A children's activity hosted by Wonder Works Children's Museum is set for this Saturday. More about the final weeks of the market, which runs through October, is posted on the Village website.

Township Day celebration – Oak Park Township has asked the Village to help promote its celebration of Illinois Township Day next week. Two days of local events are planned. On Fri., Sept. 15 information tables, live music and refreshments will be offered from 4 to 6 p.m., at the Township's main office on Oak Park Avenue. The fun continues from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 16 with bingo, a School of Rock performance and games for kids. Non-perishable food items will be collected both days for the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry. A flyer with complete event details is posted on the Township website.

Downtown construction update – The sidewalk and parking lane on the south side of Lake Street is now open from the new section of Maple Avenue to the east side of the Emerson development site along the new Target frontage. The pace of work should ensure Target can meet its mid-October opening date target. Other work on the construction site includes installation of underground components and foundations for street lighting as excavation for new curbs and sidewalks continued. The sidewalk on the north side of North Boulevard is closed along the development site, but pedestrians have access to the area via the sidewalk on the south side of the street. Westgate Street has been temporarily opened to vehicle traffic and pedestrian access is being maintained along Westgate from Marion Street.

South & Harlem redevelopment update – Preparation for foundation installation continues at the new Lincoln Properties development site on South Boulevard east of Harlem Avenue. The eastbound lane of South Boulevard remains closed between Harlem Avenue and Marion Street for materials staging and construction equipment. South Boulevard likely will remain closed to eastbound traffic through much of the project, but maintaining access to the businesses by the construction site will be a priority. Engineering Division staff is working with the contractor to ensure construction signs do not confuse potential customers about access to the businesses.

Washington/Wisconsin traffic signal – Underground work began this week for the new traffic signal planned for the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Wisconsin Avenue.  Extensive work both above ground and underground must be completed before the light is installed and activated, which most likely will be in November. The project also includes dedicated turn lanes on Washington Boulevard, an unmarked state highway.  Traffic will be permitted to pass through the work zone throughout most of the project. 

Lake Michigan pipeline project – The water main to carry Lake Michigan water to the villages of Brookfield and North Riverside has been installed past Scoville Avenue, as construction continues to proceed eastward. The contractor mobilized this week to complete the installation to just west of Austin Boulevard, where workers will then bore under the street to the Chicago side. Street reconstruction activities along the pipeline route are set to begin in mid-September, with all underground pipe installation projected to be completed in Oak Park in early October. A project website managed by the engineering company provides the latest schedule information – click here to view.

Street resurfacing – Old pavement was removed on Pleasant Street between Ridgeland and Harvey avenues. Crews also worked on the storm sewers in this area as well as on Superior Street between East and Elmwood avenues. Concrete operations continued on Humphrey Avenue between Division and Greenfield streets and on Taylor Avenue between Berkshire and Greenfield streets. Sewer and concrete work will continue at these sites throughout next week.

Miscellaneous construction activities – All sidewalk repair and replacement projects are substantially complete. Crews now are focusing on cleanup, repair and replacement of any new sidewalks sections that were damaged or graffitied during construction. Microsurfacing of selected streets is scheduled to resume the second week of September. By applying a thin, micro layer of material on the street surface, the life of the pavement can be extended up to five years. Union Pacific Railroad crews continued working on retaining walls where tracks pass over Village streets, removing loose material and preparing for permanent repairs.       

Public Works Activities – Streets Division crews painted curbs in the area bounded by Harlem Avenue, Austin Boulevard, Division Street and Chicago Avenue. Crews also removed two public benches at 14 Chicago Avenue at the request of the Police Department and collected abandoned bicycles at various locations throughout the Village.  Water & Sewer Division crews repaired a fire hydrant at 149 S. Oak Park Ave. and a water service leak at 1115 Hayes Ave. Crews also reset water shutoff boxes at 1113 Miller Ave. and 705 Wisconsin Ave., and replaced pit water meters at 212 S. Grove Ave. and 22 Chicago Ave. Street Lighting Division crews responded to a light pole knocked down at Harlem Avenue and Lake Street last Saturday (Sept. 2) and repaired a street light cable on the 1000 block of N. Taylor Ave.