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 September 23, 2022

Meetings scheduled for next week:

  • Monday, September 26:
    • No meetings scheduled
  • Tuesday, September 27:
    • Disability Access Commission, 6 p.m. via Zoom
    • Transportation Commission, 7 p.m. via Zoom
  • Wednesday, September 28:
    • Community Design Commission, 7 p.m. via Zoom
    • Housing Programs Advisory Commission, 7 p.m. via Zoom
  • Thursday, September 29:
    • Board of Health, 6 p.m. via Zoom
    • Village Board Finance Committee, 6:30 p.m. via Zoom
  • Friday, September 30:
    • No meetings scheduled

COVID-19 Weekly Reports are posted at www.oak-park.us/covid19
just click on the Status report bulletin heading

Free paper shredding event – The Village is hosting a free paper shredding event for residents looking to safely dispose of sensitive documents from 9 a.m. to noon this Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Public Works Center. Each household is limited to two bags or small boxes of paper items with personal information such as canceled checks and documents containing credit card numbers, social security numbers and medical information. Paper materials that can be placed in the recycling cart or bin, such as newspaper, magazines, chipboard or junk mail, will not be accepted.

Bike ride set prior to IGOV Sustainability Forum – Sustainability Coordinator Marcella Bondie-Keenan will help lead a presentation about the Village’s comprehensive climate plan, Climate Ready Oak Park, at the IGOV Sustainability Forum set for 9:30 a.m. this Saturday, Sept. 24 at Oak Park and River Forest High School. The informational workshop will include tips for saving on energy bills and information about planting native gardens, green transportation, composting and recycling. Attendees can also participate in small group discussions focusing on areas highlighted in Climate Ready Oak Park. Prior to the meeting, attendees are invited to join in a community bike ride starting at 8 a.m. Village Hall and ending at OPRF in time for the sustainability forum. The bike ride is coordinated by the Oak Park Library and Village to provide an environmentally-friendly activity that aligns with sustainable living practices included in Oak Park's comprehensive climate plan.

Plan Commission denies application – The Plan Commission on Thursday voted 3-2 on the proposal to reclassify 327-329 Home Ave. from the R-5 Two Family Zoning District to the R-6 Multiple Family Zoning District. The applicant needed five positive votes to move forward with a positive recommendation by the Plan Commission. Therefore, the recommendation from the plan commission is to deny the application. The applicant had the opportunity to schedule another review of the application at the next regular Plan Commission meeting, per the commission’s rules of procedure, to determine if additional positive votes might be attained. The applicant waived that option and asked that it go forward with a negative recommendation to the Village Board.

Moody’s upgrades Village bonds – Moody’s Investor Service this week upgraded the Village general obligation bonds one notch to Aa3 from A1. An Aa3 rating is considered high grade, three notches down from AAA on the Moody’s scale, while A1 is an upper medium grade. The last time the Village was rated Aa3 was in 2014. Click here to read the latest Moody’s report, which is also posted under the Bond Information & Rating Service Reports section at www.oak-park.us/financialreports.

Parking garage use trending higher – The public use of the three Village-operated parking garages continues to slowly rebound from COVID-19 related impacts. At the Holley Court Garage, revenue is 20 percent higher than 2021 but 28 percent lower than 2019. At the Avenue Garage, revenue is 32 percent higher than 2021 but 46 percent lower than 2019. Revenue at the Lake & Forest Garage is 31 percent higher than 2021 but 42 percent lower than 2019. Click here to see a detailed monthly revenue comparison from 2019 to present for the three garages.

Grant funding for Vision Zero project – The Village learned this week that it has been awarded with a grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation for up to $120,000 to cover 80 percent of the costs associated with developing a Vision Zero plan for Oak Park. The Vision Zero project aims to build a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. Oak Park’s Vision Zero plan is also intended to produce a comprehensive approach to dealing with traffic safety in Oak Park rather than tackling issues on a block-by-block basis.

Employee news – The Police Department recently celebrated the promotion of two new commanders and welcomed two new sworn officers. Department veterans Schonella Stewart and John Curtin were both promoted to commander during a swearing-in ceremony held in the Village Hall council chambers. Commander Stewart most recently served as a detective sergeant and Commander Curtin most recently served as a patrol sergeant. During the same ceremony Joshua Mysliwiec and Jacob Simon were sworn in as patrol officers, and they have both begun their training at the Chicago Police Academy.

Bird migration season awareness – The Village’s Sustainability Team is working with the Communications Department to share messages encouraging residents to turn off lights during bird migration season. Every fall, billions of birds migrate across the U.S., with millions flying over the Oak Park area mostly at night. Light pollution can confuse and disorient birds, leading to possible injury and death. The Village is joining bird advocates in calling for lights out during the hours of 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. each night during migrating season. All residents, and especially those in tall multifamily buildings, can do their part by turning off all non-essential interior lights and landscape lighting during this time or drawing blinds or shades to reduce light pollution. More information about the Lights Out campaign is available on the Chicago Audubon Society website. Residents can also reference a bird migration forecast for Oak Park – click here to view.

Street resurfacing update – Residents whose streets are being reconstructed will receive information about upcoming work in advance of upcoming roadway excavation work. This past week the contractor continued concrete removals and pavement milling at the various street resurfacing locations throughout the Village. A map showing the streets scheduled to undergo street resurfacing can be found under the 2022 project tab at www.oak-park.us/construction.

Sewer improvements ongoing – Progress continued this week at the three locations undergoing sewer improvements. The temporary detour for northbound traffic along Oak Park Avenue near Thomas Street is expected to be removed this weekend as the sewer replacement along Thomas proceeds east toward Linden Avenue. On Kenilworth Avenue, the roadway is now open for traffic after the surface course was installed. On Lenox Street, the aggregate base course was installed this week followed by the first two layers of asphalt pavement. The remaining concrete base is expected to be poured next week at the intersection of Lenox and Ridgeland Avenue.

Pete’s Fresh Market development – Crews for the new Pete’s Fresh Market poured the slab for the underground storm water detention system this week. The slab will cure for about one week and then the remainder of the structure will be installed. The contractor is hoping to haul additional material to the site in the meantime.

Pleasant & Marion development – The developer anticipates that detailing work for the precast structures will be completed this week. Plans call for concrete masonry walls to be installed at the precast columns around the perimeter of the site next week. Underground utility and electrical work associated with the project is ongoing.