Week Ending March 24, 2023
Meetings scheduled for next week:
- Monday, March 27:
- Tuesday, March 28:
- Wednesday, March 29:
- Thursday, March 30:
- Friday, March 31:
COVID-19 Weekly Reports are posted at www.oak-park.us/covid19
just click on the Status report bulletin heading
Alternative Call Response Taskforce gathers community input – The Village Manager’s Alternative Call Response Taskforce this month completed its community engagement sessions to gather feedback and suggestions for updating Oak Park’s mental health crisis response model. Nearly 40 community members participated in the two sessions – one virtual and one in-person – hosted by the task force to share its draft recommendations. Each session included a question and answer portion, as well as an open forum for participants to suggest modifications to the draft recommendations. The taskforce, which has been meeting since last November to learn about the current model and suggest changes, will incorporate the feedback provided by the community to update its recommendations before submitting them to the Village Manager.
Holiday Inn update – Development Customer Services Department staff recently reviewed the building permit request submitted by the building owner at 1140 Lake St. for the conversion of the upper floor office space of the structure into a Holiday Inn Express and Suites hotel. Staff sent back initial comments on the permit submittal earlier this month. In January 2022 the Village Board approved a Special Use Permit for the property. The owner received an extension of that special use ordinance by the Village Board this past January and submitted its building permit request in February.
Hotel/motel tax revenue soars – The Village collected $14,815 in hotel/motel taxes in January, continuing a trend of strong returns. This marks the highest January total on record, a 36-percent increase over January 2022 and a 10-percent increase over January 2020. The new data continues to provide evidence of the improving hospitality and tourism industry in the Oak Park area and comes after 2022 revenue finished as the highest annual return on record. The hotel/motel tax is collected from stays in hotels, bed and breakfasts and short-term Airbnb-type rentals.
Multi-year municipal gasoline tax analysis – While the number of gas stations in Oak Park has remained constant during the past five years, the annual return in municipal tax revenue has steadily declined. This was the main takeaway from a five-year municipal gasoline tax analysis recently completed by the Development Customer Services Department. The Village collected $3,098,732 from 2018 through 2022 via the 6-percent-per-gallon-sold municipal gasoline tax. Click here to see a graph comparing the annual gasoline tax revenue during the five-year period. As show in the graph, the Village collected $508,840 in gasoline tax in 2022, a 34-percent decrease from the $768,043 collected in 2018.
New Sustainability Coordinator arrives – Abby Zielinski joined the organization as the new Sustainability Coordinator within the Village Manager’s Office this week. Abby has a Bachelor's degree in Environmental and Ecological Engineering from Purdue University, where she received a strong background in sustainability. She previously worked mainly in civil and environmental consulting, and most recently on parks and recreation projects.
HR Coordinator earns certification – Human Resources Coordinator Don Gordon recently earned his SHRM-CP certification, which is a competency based Human Resources certification for HR professionals. The SHRM-CP process involves an exam with two types of multiple-choice questions: stand-alone knowledge-based items that assess knowledge and understanding of factual information, and scenario-based situational judgment items that assess judgment and decision-making skills.
Village Planner participates in CMAP seminar – Village Planner Craig Failor was a panelist at the ADUs in the Chicago Region seminar this past Tuesday. The seminar was presented by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). Craig joined representatives from the City of Chicago and the Village of Bensenville in presenting and discussing municipal policy issues related to accessory dwelling units. The seminar also included information for participants related to the design, construction and financing of ADUs.
Mongolian delegation visits Village Hall – A delegation of prosecutors from Mongolia visited Village Hall this week to observe best practices in the rule of law at the municipal government level. As part of the visit the delegates met with Village President Vicki Scaman, Village Attorney Paul Stephanides, Adjudication Director Robert Anderson, Assistant Village Attorney Rasheda Jackson and other Oak Park officials. The visit was organized by the Congressional Office for Leadership (COIL) Open World Program. During its trip to the United States, the Mongolian delegation is focusing on the rule of law and also meeting with judges, lawyers, prosecutors, academicians and other leaders from a variety of institutions.
Sustainability-focused preservation talk planned – A special presentation titled Greening From the Ground Up focusing on the integration of ground source heat pumps into historic buildings is planned for 6:30 p.m. on April 13 in the Council Chambers at Village Hall. Mark Nussbaum, Founder and Principal at Architectural Consulting Engineers in Oak Park, will be the featured speaker at the event, which is being hosted by the Historic Preservation Commission in collaboration with the Environment & Energy Commission. More details and an informational flyer are posted on the Village website at www.oak-park.us/heatpumps. The presentation is part of a series of community events taking place during April in celebration of Earth Month. Information about other events planned throughout April is available at www.oak-park.us/earthmonth.
Street resurfacing project – The second half of the 2022 street resurfacing project that was delayed to this spring is set to resume and continue into the middle of the summer. Tree pruning and saw cutting has been completed within the project limits and the construction phase is scheduled to begin next with utility work on Pleasant Street. The project is being managed by Hancock Engineering and Village staff. The remaining locations to be improved this spring are the following: Pleasant from Lombard to Humphrey avenues, Lombard from Pleasant to South Boulevard, Garfield Street from Harlem to Home avenues, Maple Avenue from Roosevelt Road to Lexington Street, South Boulevard from Euclid to East avenues, Pleasant from Kenilworth to Oak Park avenues, Elmwood Avenue from Madison Street to Washington Boulevard, Superior Street from Ridgeland to Harvey avenues, Ontario Street from Scoville Avenue to Elmwood, and Maple from Harrison Street to Jackson Boulevard.
Annual sidewalk repairs – The portion of the annual sidewalk repair program deferred from 2022 will be starting soon. Sidewalk replacements will occur in the northern half of Oak Park on all east-west streets. Work will only occur on one side of a street and No Parking signs will be posted at least 24 hours in advance. The project is expected to begin the first week of April and finish later that month.
Division Street water and sewer improvements – The contractor began making water main improvements on Division Street between East and Elmwood avenues this past week. Construction in this section will continue through next week. All work is being performed within the right of way, and impacted residents have received parking passes. The water and sewer improvement portion of the Division Street project is expected to continue through May with street resurfacing to follow into the summer.
Water main valve replacements – The replacement of the remaining two water main valves for this project is scheduled for next week to coincide with spring break for Oak Park Elementary School District 97. Residents will be notified in advance of any temporary water shutdowns that affect their properties.
Pete’s Fresh Market update – The installation of the cul-de-sac on Euclid Avenue associated with the new Pete’s Fresh Market project on Madison Street will take place in the next one to two months. The asphalt contractor is completing punch list items left over from the recent sewer work near the site, and the upcoming AT&T utility work is on hold pending direction from the property owner.
Miscellaneous construction updates – The contractor for the new development at Pleasant and Marion streets is installing wall panels on the fifth floor, trusses and sheathing with drywall installation to follow. Elsewhere, the contractor for the Nicor Gas project is televising the 300-400 blocks of Harrison Streets, resulting in partial lane closures while work is ongoing.