Farmers’ Market opening day - More than two dozen regional vendors are slated to participate in the 47th season of the Oak Park Farmers’ Market, which kicks off this Saturday. The Market is held from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday from May 21 through Oct. 29 in the Pilgrim Congregational Church parking lot, 460 Lake St., one block west of Ridgeland Avenue. The first two weeks of the Market feature Go Green Days with a focus on environmental sustainability. Oak Park’s Climate Plan team will be on hand this Saturday sharing information about the draft Climate Plan and gathering feedback about the goals outlined in the plan. More information about the upcoming Farmers’ Market season is posted on the Village website.
IGOV meeting set for Saturday - The Intergovernmental Committee of Oak Park (IGOV) is hosting its annual Spring Assembly event from 9 to 11:30 a.m. this Saturday, May 21 at Brooks Middle School. The focus of the session, which is open to the public, will be all about Oak Park government. Masks are required for all individuals attending the event. More information is posted on the Village website at www.oak-park.us/igovspring22.
Village to receive award from Housing Forward - The Village of Oak Park is slated to receive the Community Partner Award from Housing Forward during its 24th annual Have a Heart Gala this Saturday at the JW Marriott in Chicago. Village President Vicki Scaman and Village Manager Kevin Jackson are planning to accept the award on behalf of the Village. The event celebrates the successes of Housing Forward, a non-profit agency working to end homelessness in west Cook County. The Village works closely with Housing Forward on issues related to homelessness in Oak Park. Click here to view a video produced by the Village earlier this year highlighting how Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding administered by the Village helps support Housing Forward’s mission.
What’s Blooming on Harrison - The Oak Park Arts District is hosting its annual What’s Blooming on Harrison street festival from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. this Saturday. From Humphrey to Cuyler avenues, Harrison Street will transform into an art fair with live music, food vendors, makerspaces and a children’s carnival. More information about the family-friendly event can be found on the Oak Park Arts District website.
Juneteenth celebration planning – Planning is well underway for Oak Park’s Juneteenth celebration, which will include a flag-raising ceremony Saturday, June 11 at Village Hall and a parade and community picnic on Sunday, June 19. Community groups and organizations are invited to participate in the parade, which will step off at 11 a.m. from Longfellow Park and Jackson Boulevard and march north on Ridgeland Avenue to Augusta Street. The community picnic will take place following the parade in Taylor Park. The Juneteenth celebration is being organized by community members and sponsored by the Village. More information about the Juneteenth celebration, including a link to register to participate in the parade, is available at www.oak-park.us/juneteenth.
Youth Skills Workshop registration - Residents ages 15 to 18 are invited to learn skills and techniques that can help them find and keep a job at the Community Relations Department's annual Youth Skills Workshop from July 25-29 at the Oak Park Public Library. Participants in the free workshops learn skills such as resume writing, interviewing, career path development and interpersonal relationships. The workshops are facilitated by third-party contractor Sansa Solutions. Online registration is open through June at www.sansa-solutions.com/oak-park-registration. Information about the program will be shared via the Village’s communications channels in the coming weeks.
Holiday traffic enforcement – The Oak Park Police Department is stepping up traffic enforcement as part of a national campaign to remind motorists to Click It or Ticket now through Memorial Day weekend. Oak Park Police officers will be taking a no-excuses approach, writing citations day and night. Motorists caught not buckled up will be ticketed, and those caught driving impaired will be arrested. Click here to read more about the local enforcement effort.
COVID-19 vaccine boosters – The Health Department is making plans to host COVID-19 vaccine booster clinics for children ages 5 to 11 following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation Thursday that kids in this age group receive COVID-19 booster shots five months after their initial vaccination series. Details about the time, date and location of the clinics will be posted on the Village website at www.oak-park.us/vaccine and shared via the Village’s communications channels when they become available. Last fall the Health Department provided first and second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to about 2,500 local school children when the vaccine was first approved for this age group.
Electricity prices expected to rise - With summer temperatures on the way, Village officials are alerting residents about an anticipated surge in electricity supply rates that could bring about an increase in electric bills. Beginning in June, ComEd’s published electricity supply rates are projected to increase 15 to 25 percent from the previous year across northern Illinois. More information, including resources available to residents and how the price increase relates to the Village’s municipal electricity aggregation purchasing program, is posted on the Village website – click here to view.
Demolition permit submitted – The owners of the fire-damaged property at 1032-1036 Lake Street that housed Polished Nails and Delia’s Kitchen have submitted a building demolition permit. The permit will be reviewed by the required departments to ensure that proper care is taken regarding the protection of both pedestrians and surrounding properties during the demolition process. The permit is under review and there is not currently a scheduled date for the start of the demolition process. The building was severely damaged in a fire last November.
Refuse cart placement concerns – Village staff has received complaints about litter in alleys that may be attributed to instances where refuse and recycling carts are facing the wrong direction at pick-up. LRS, Oak Park’s new waste-hauling contractor, uses a mechanical arm on its trucks for collection. The arm reduces the physical stress on drivers and allows for equity in the work environment. Click here for a video showing arm collections. LRS recommends that refuse carts be situated so the lid is facing the alley and the handle is facing the home. Carts should also be spaced about 2 feet apart. The Environmental Services Division of the Public Works Department plans to coordinate with the Communications Department to share this information with residents.
Oak Park Library Learning Labs - Residents seeking one-on-one help with digital learning or technical topics can find support through the Oak Park Library’s Learning Lab. Appointments are available at all three Oak Park library locations for a focused 30-minute session with a Learning Lab instructor. Find more information and an online sign-up form at www.oppl.org/labs.
LeMoyne Parkway Sewer Project – Crews for the LeMoyne Parkway sewer project installed the main line sewer between East Avenue and Fair Oaks Avenue this week. New catch basins along the curb were also installed just east of the East Avenue intersection. Curb replacement and parkway restoration in these areas will occur at a later date. As work progresses east, north/ south streets intersecting LeMoyne Parkway will maintain access for the blocks north of LeMoyne.
Alley construction – Seven alleys have been paved thus far as part of the Village’s alley construction project. The north-south alley between Humphrey Avenue and Austin Boulevard south of Iowa Street was fully reopened this week. Brick installation is expected to begin tomorrow in the north-south alley between East of Clinton avenues south of Garfield Street. The contractor for the project is also currently removing pavement in the final alley slated for work between Elmwood and Fair Oaks avenues south of Greenfield Street.
Harlem Avenue Resurfacing – Crews for the Harlem resurfacing project are removing the roadway surface from Lake Street to North Avenue. Once the removal is complete, crews will return and pave the roadway. Work will then head south toward I-290 to finish the remainder of the surface removals in the coming weeks.
Pete’s construction update – The west half of the property at the site of the new Pete’s Fresh Market on Madison Street near Oak park Avenue will be fenced off early next week. ComEd has completed its underground work related to the project and is on track to complete remaining overhead work by mid-June. AT&T has been delayed performing its utility work.
Pleasant & Marion Development – Excavation for the new building foundation is in progress for the development at Pleasant and Marion. The remaining aggregate piers for the building will be installed early next week. Underground mechanical and electrical work will begin within the property line during the next two weeks.
Senior Living Center at 703 Madison – Concrete has been poured along Wesley Avenue, with landscaping to follow next week outside the senior living center on Madison Street. Excavation and site grading will also begin next week.
Employee news - Public Works Water & Sewer Superintendent Michael Bills recently completed the American Water Works Associations Utility Management Certificate Program. The American Water Works Association is a national organization formed to promote health, safety and welfare through the improvement of the quality and quantity of water. The Utility Management Certificate Program requires completion of 11 courses ranging from general employee supervision, leadership and management, infrastructure, water supply and demand management and planning, building and financing utilities.