Westchester MAY 2017 Newsletter
From the Desk of The President FIRE DEPARTMENT
We would like to thank Village President Sam Pulia for his leadership and commitment to the Village of Westchester in his two terms as Village President (2009 â€“ 2017). Paul Gattuso will be sworn in as Village President at the May 9th Village Board Meeting.
Today is Monday May 1st. The April 4th elections are behind us and a team of new and seasoned Westchester residents will be representing our interests on the various boards. At the Village Level, Former Mayor Paul Gattuso will be sworn in on May 9th at 7pm for another four year term as Village President. Also taking the oath of office will be Nick Steker and Angelo Calcagno as returning village trustees. Trustee Steker will begin his third term with 8 years of dedicated service under his belt. Trustee Calcagno will be starting his second term with 4 years of equally dedicated service under his belt. Ms. Sherby Miller, will be sworn in as our newest trustee. Ms. Miller, our first African American elected Village Clerk, will now be moving up from her seat at the Village Clerkâ€™s table to a seat on the Village Board as our First African American elected Village Trustee. Having come to know Sherby over the years of her service, I can wholeheartedly stand behind her ability to make positive decisions about our future. Her election is another milestone not only for Sherby, a U.S.Navy Veteran, but also for the embracement of diversity in this village.
I welcome Nick, Angelo and Sherby, my incumbent friends and running mates in 2013, to the Village Board. The trio will join Trustees Carl Celestino, Frank Perry, and Tom Yurkovich, all seasoned veterans who have been serving the residents of Westchester for several years as well. Stan Kolodziej takes over as the new Village Clerk. The Westchester Park District will see two returning Commissioners to their board. Derrick Gordon was elected to another four year term with Jennifer Cavanaugh being elected to a four year term following her board appointment as a result of a former board members resignation. Both will join Park District President Steve Busa and Commissioners Joseph Christopher and Matt Martin; all of whom have created wonderful opportunities for our children through Park District programs and opportunities. The Westchester Public Library will see all three returning Library Trustees returning. Elizabeth Hunter, Jenice Christian-Hampton, and Demitrus Evans will be returning to the Westchester Library Board for another full four
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year term. Ms. Cathy Kuratko & Ms. Sandy Laszkiewicz retired from the board which means there are 2 open seat appointments for the Library Board to make in the near future. If you are interested in being considered please contact Fidencio Marbella, Executive Director, at the Westchester Library 708-562-3573. Westchester School District 92.5 had a contested election on April 4th with six residents running for the 3 available seats. The seats of incumbents Donald Slager, Zach Bradford, and Rebecca Lasky were up with incumbents Slager & Bradford being challenged by Patrizia Fiordirosa, Dana Wesolowski, Julie Flaherty Cheatham & Mary Douglas Pieniazek. Ms. Rebecca Lasky decided to retire after 8 years of bSchool Board service and 20 years of service as the Middle School Secretary. Difficult to do when you are only 29 years of age today. Must be the math I was taught at the Kennedy school by Ms. Zdun? Incumbent Mr. Don Slager will be returning to the board with newcomers Dana Wesolowski and Mary Douglas Pieniazek. They will join School Board Presidnet Carolyn Wilhight and School Board Members Bryan Voegtle, Molly Quiroz, and Otis Randle in deciding matters involving the quality education being taught at our Westchester Public Schools. Proviso High School District 209 that encompasses Westchester, Hillside, Berkeley, Maywood, Broadview, Forest park, Melrose Park, Stone Park, Northlake (parts) was a contested race too. The Proviso Together Party swept the election with all four of their candidates being elected. Westchester’s Amanda Grant was the leading vote getter throughout the district boundary, followed by Samuel Valtierrez, and Arbdella “Della” Patterson. They will join Ned Wagner, Theresa Kelly, and Claudia Medina and now have a clear majority on the board. We are hoping for great things and continued positive results at Proviso Township High Schools, East, West, and Math and Science Academy. Throughout the region there were many uncontested races. Although not having a contested race is great for the ultimate winners, having competition and dialog with fresh ideas can be healthy. People are encouraged to get involved instead of sitting on the sideline. No board
member or board has all of the answers. Most members have work obligations as well as families to raise. If you are doing it right being a member of a board is hard work and requires dedication, long hours, and a willingness to work together to effect positive change. Above all at times you have to have thick skin. There are many decisions that are going to have to be made that affect in some cases the whole village, school district, library, and park that we are all a part of. Working TOGETHER is the KEY. For all the unsuccessful candidates, I want to thank you all for “Stepping up to the Plate and Swinging the Bat.” Your willingness to put yourself out there has not gone unnoticed. You have received votes from many people who truly believed in your message. Having lost the mayoral race in 2005 I can understand your hesitancy for the future. If you are passionate enough like I was to try again you just may be successful. Again, THANK YOU…Sam
CHANGE AT THE TOP As you are well aware by now, my last Village Board meeting will be next Tuesday, May 9, 2017. I will be exchanging seats with President Elect Paul Gattuso who is no stranger to the position. When Paul decided not to seek re-election to the president’s seat in 2009 he supported my candidacy and the plans our slate wanted to accomplish. If you recall, when there was a vacancy early on, I asked Paul to rejoin the council with Deputy Mayor status. That status allowed him to make any and all decisions in my absence. He will now reassume the role of Village President/Mayor. My plan on election night on April 10, 2009 was to serve no more than 2 terms. I truly believe in term limitations as I believe if you are doing the job right you will be totally spent after 8 years in office. I likened it to running a relay marathon race for 26.2 miles with the goal of passing the baton to the next person to continue the marathon into infinity. I have hit that 26.2 mile marker, and quite frankly I am spent and anxious to move onto the next chapter of whatever is down the road. To say that I have learned a lot as your Village President is an understatement. My colleagues make fun of me at every turn as the Marx Brothers would say at times I have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle. I have always felt my job was to gather enough information on an issue from all sides and be prepared to explain in detail the topic of discussion, and the reason as to why I made my decision one way or the other. Because of the several “STATE OF EMERGENCIES ” I had
to declare (resulting in Presidential Federal Disaster Declarations as a result of the devastating flood events we had to endure), I have become the “Flood Master” of the region. Westchester is well known in many circles from the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, to the West Central Municipal Conference, our regional partners in state government in Springfield, and in Washington DC at FEMA headquarters, not to mention my friends at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Over my 8 years, this administration has been tested at every turn. At times it appeared that each and every project has not gone as smooth as we wanted them to go and our three steps forward resulted in four backwards. Maybe they really have, but I have always been and will continue to be a “glass half empty guy” and never satisfied with the status quo. All in all I am proud of what we were able to accomplish for this village. I have kept in my desk our original campaign literature that Nick Steker, Wally Novak, Brian Sloan, Cathy Booth and I developed as our vision and plan for asking for your vote. Our goals have never been for ourselves but for you. We have accomplished many of the initiative we wrote about as candidates. Trustees Pat Casey and Neil Boyle were of the same mindset of bettering Westchester and we moved our agenda forward. Trustees Frank Perry, Celestine Reda, Tom Yurkovich, and Carl Celestino joined the team and all share on the ideals that Westchester is a beautiful village with much potential to become better and better. Thank you all for your support. Unfortunately, we were not able to deliver on others, like a senior center, or making sure all of our empty store fronts were filled with thriving businesses that residents would support. We did play catch-up and made many repairs or replacements of badly needed and neglected street and infrastructure spending millions of tax dollars. We sought out grants and purchased much needed equipment to keep costs down by doing many repair in-house using our own employees to complete projects we would have paid outside contractors far more money to complete. We brought flood relief by enlarging our Mayfair reservoir, and have been a part of bringing similar relief to the north section of the village through regional intergovernmental cooperation to construct a similar reservoir in Bellwood. We brought a new premier grocery store, Mariano’s, to town, and I’m sure there are other accomplishments but it is not about
the pat on the back. These are things I and you should EXPECT from your elected leaders. I did the job you elected me to do to the best of my ability. Hopefully at the end of the day we were able to make all of your lives just a little bit better than before. I tried my best to keep you informed about village issues by writing this Newsletter each month, which is no small task. I have to say that when I saw campaign literature asking for more transparency, I wondered how much more transparent could I be, we are the ONLY Village that delivers such a comprehensive, informative newsletter in the Chicagoland area, delivered to your door. Our board meetings last a long time, and they always have a full agenda posted appropriately and timely. Oh well. I have been asked time and again what am I going to do now that I am retired? The only honest answer is that I don’t know. What I can say is that being a police officer for 40 years, serving on the school board for 13 years, and another 8 as a Village President, I have missed many family experiences with my wife Maureen and sons Joe and Steve and their families. I have more often than I should have put their needs way behind what I felt I had to do for my career, job, school, and village obligations. I have also missed time spent with my oldest granddaughter Caprice who is now 16 and in the teenage years of friends and less family. My plan is to actually be there for them and my six grandchildren Caprice, Sammy, Gia, Brooklyn, Milania and Romy. I’m not planning on running for anything, except possibly running away. In closing, although there is more to say I believe I said it best at the Celebrate Westchester Chamber Dinner. I’ve lived a life that’s full, I traveled each Westchester highway and more much more than this, I did it MY WAY. Thank you to the great village staff and all employees of the Westchester Police, Fire, Public Works Departments. Much Thanks to my work wife, Village Manager Janet Matthys, former Village Manager Stan Urban, Police Chiefs Steve Stelter, Chief, and now Mayor of Willow Springs, John Carpino, Chief April Padalik, and Chief Matthew Evans, Fire Chief Jim Adams and Former Fire Chief Rich Belmonte, PW Superintendents Robert Lewis, Dave Stoiser, and the one and only
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Mr. John Fecarotta Sr., IT Manager Greg Hribal, Economic Development Director Melissa Headley, Finance Director Chris Webber and Former Finance Directors Maureen Potempa and Anne Burkholder and to all of the 16,814 residents of Westchester…. I could not have survived without your support and encouragement. GOD BLESS YOU ALL… WESTCHESTER FIRST…SAM
WASTE MANAGEMENT CONTRACT EXTENSION For the past several months Trustee Nick Steker, Trustee Frank Perry and Village Manger Janet Matthys have been meeting with Vaughn Kuerschner, our Waste Management Representative attempting to hammer out a fair and equitable refuse contract with a vender who has provided Westchester quality service for over a decade. I can vividly recall making a call to Matt Hernandez, who was our representative that fateful morning of July 25, 2010 asking for assistance in the disposal needs of several thousand Westchester residents residing in the 3500 homes that were affected by the flood. Without hesitation, as many as 25 rolloffs were strategically placed around the affected areas, with regular pickups, sometimes returning several times a day to remove thousands of pounds of treasured belongings that were destroyed in the flood event of that weekend. Make no mistake, we did not receive or expect to receive the service for free, however we paid reasonable removal and dumping charges for the service. We, at the board level, know evaluating pricing, service, and experience is always a factor in waiving a competitive bid. I believe we did just that. We compared the service terms we presently enjoy and the potential new services we are to receive against several existing communities’contracts. We were joined in the evaluation by WCMC Solid Waste Agency Director and Westchester resident Neil James in our research. We were unable to accurately compare an apple to apple comparison, as many villages require stickers for yard waste, do not offer the $20 thousand contribution to our Leaf Bag Program and Recycling initiatives. The potential of changing out all of the garbage and recycling carts, paying for the missing ones, and the possibility of having the pick-up dates changed, to me made keeping Waste Management as our
refuse hauler in our best interests. As a result of our efforts we have entered into a 7 year contract with a reduction in our current costs for each of the 7 years. Even with a 3% increase each year from 2018-2024 we will be receiving a 21% decrease in 2017, and even in year 7 will still be receiving a 2% decrease in the costs we are currently paying. The senior rate of those homeowners whose age is 65 or older will see similar reductions from 18% to again 2% in year 7. Waste Management will also be offering, at NO CHARGE, a way for you to have your unwanted electronics, and hazardous household waste (paint products, automotive products, garden chemicals, household cleaners, swimming pool chemicals and other hazardous materials) to be collected at your door. More public education will be forthcoming on the program over the next 2 months as the new Waste Management Contract will NOT go in effect until July 1, 2017. It took several meetings and discussions to secure what I believe is a great deal for all of our residents being serviced by Waste Management. Thank you to the committee for all of your efforts, and for the board to support the decision.
VILLAGE ELECTRONIC RECYLING EVENT On Saturday, April 8th, Trustee Carl Celestino, Trustee Angelo Calcagno, and I with the help of the Westchester Boy Scouts hosted our 1st Electronic Recycling event. The 2 trucks from E-Scrap Technologies, Inc., our new vender, were filled to capacity by 10:15 am. It seemed that all of our residents had been saving the items since our last date last fall, and could not wait to get rid of them. The lines for both the electronics and shredding were in waiting mode throughout the morning. In all, we shredded 28 - 96 gallon containers. The amount of electronics taken in is not known at this time, however based on the old Sony TV’s we lifted the poundage should be substantial. Thank you to Troop 1 and Troop 73 who sent helpers once again. Trustee Celestino commented that last April when we hosted a regional event, including many west suburban communities, we collected 10 thousand pounds of electronics. At this year’s event, which was for Westchester residents only, we collected the same 10 thousand pounds of electronics. Our next electronic recycling event will be the second Saturday of May, May 13th,
from 9am to 11:30am. NOTE: There will NOT be any shredding available until Fall 2017. We only shred twice during the year.
BOARD ASKED TO CHANGE ORDINANCE: CHICKENS/PIGEONS At our meetings in March and April, the Board was asked to make changes to our long standing ordinance regarding allowing chickens and pigeons. A review of our ordinance revealed that chickens are allowed under certain circumstances involving lot sizes of 6000 square feet and having certain set backs from property lines. Staff surveyed several communities in our area revealing that of the ones surveyed, all needed 6 thousand square feet of property except Bellwood which allowed for 5 thousand square feet. A resident on the northeast side of town requested we allow his pigeon coop to remain which contains 9 pigeons that he was training for sport racing. Under our ordinance pigeons are considered fowl like chickens and would fall under the same restrictions. Unfortunately, the homeowner’s property is far less than the standard and even less than Bellwood’s 5 thousand square foot requirement. In my research of the issue I commented that when Westchester was farm land there was an ordinance prohibiting owning
chickens (fowl) dating back to the 1930’s. I also supplied the board with research on the topic from both Colorado State University, and the Centers for Disease Control that made my argument about not changing the ordinance for the serious health concerns that could occur should sanitary protocols not be followed. At this time the board did not vote to change our ordinance so chickens and pigeons are not allowed, unless the board reconsiders its position once I am gone. I hope not. I went to the CDC website and found this additional information: Keeping Backyard Poultry Live poultry, such as chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys, often carry germs such as Salmonella. After you touch a bird, or anything in the area where birds live and roam, wash your hands so you don’t get sick! Owning backyard chickens and other poultry can be a great experience. However, children and other groups of people have a greater chance of illness from handling live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam. Even handling baby birds displayed at stores can cause a Salmonella infection. Keep reading to learn about the steps you
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can take to stay healthy around live poultry. How do people get Salmonella infections from live poultry? Live poultry might have Salmonella germs in their droppings and on their bodies (feathers, feet, and beaks), even when they appear healthy and clean. The germs can get on cages, coops, feed and water dishes, hay, plants, and soil in the area where the birds live and roam. Germs also can get on the hands, shoes, and clothes of people who handle or care for the birds.
VILLAGE ALLOWS BRICK STUCCO/ BRICK SIDING Several months ago, I and some board members received an anonymous letter inquiring why a rehabbed home was allowed to have Stucco placed on the 1st floor of a 2 story single family residence in conflict with our ‘Brick Only” 1st floor requirement. Following our research, staff did indicate that the builder placed stucco over what was a brick 1st floor exterior. As I examined the ordinance, I decided to take a drive on all of the village streets to see actually how many 1st floor stucco or sided homes we had in the Village. I found numerous homes in the High Ridge Section north of Canterbury with vinyl or wood type siding. I found 2 homes with actual stucco from top to bottom in the High Ridge section south of Canterbury. Further investigation revealed that all of these homes were built in the late 40’s and 50’s when the 1st floor brick only restriction was NOT in place, as it was instituted in the early 1960’s. What I did find was that there were two homes with stucco remodeling done on the 1st floor on Westchester Blvd and on Suffolk in the Nixon area. At least one was approved by staff and the second may not have been. After bringing the issue for discussion at the board level we all looked seriously at the homes in question. Faced with the dilemma of having the homeowners tear off the stucco or actually looking at the aesthetic look of the buildings, I suggested we amend our code to allow the stucco or new brick looking panels to be placed over the 1st floor brick should the homeowner want to use these construction materials to upgrade the look of their home. The Board agreed and as long as the original home has 1st floor brick underneath these brick looking panels or stucco could be applied over it. If you are considering using any
material to cover the 1st floor brick, please do yourself a favor and check with the Community Development Director before you do anything. Wood and vinyl siding are still prohibited on the 1st floor of a residence. Westchester has prided itself on our strong building codes and brick constructed buildings for many years. Permits are required for this type of work.
NEW STREET SWEEPING SCHEDULE If you recall, the board approved a change in the Alternate Side Street parking after a 2” Snow Fall last year. New signage (Blue and White) were installed along the side streets on about half of the town. Fortunately, we did not have any measurable snowfall where enforcement was necessary.
In our budget discussions, now underway, the board has been asked to consider an additional charge to cover Capital Improvements to our aging water system most of which has been installed back in the late 1920’s and 1930’s. A major water project is being engineered for the replacement/lining of the water lines along Balmoral from Roosevelt to Canterbury. Low interest IEPA Loans are being applied for under the Clean Water Act to pay for the project. Street replacement is also being engineered for the stretch of roadway under a 70%-30% village participation grant we are eligible to receive from the State of Illinois. The projected cost is currently estimated at 2 million dollars. The project is scheduled to begin in Spring 2019.
GLADSTONE BRIDGE SCHEDULED FOR At the time of the ordinance REPLACEMENT
change the board instituted a Street Sweeping or Street Maintenance Plan for Wednesday’s and Thursday’s, depending on what side of the street you live on. Wednesday and Thursday were selected not to conflict with Garbage pick-up. Complaints were received that streets were never done because of cars being continually parked on both sides, and knowing when the sweeper is scheduled will assist us in making sure all streets are cleaned. Many communities have scheduled sweeping days where parking is restricted between certain times. If you live on an odd numbered house the NO Parking Restriction is for THURSDAY. If you live on the Even Side of the street the NO-Parking Restriction is for WEDNESDAY.
Our goal is to complete the new sign installation on all of the village streets this summer. The restrictions will NOT be enforced on streets that are not displaying the NEW Blue & White Signs. I know anything new will take some time to be totally effective. Please mark your calendars on your service date. The Street Sweeping/Maintenance went into effect on APRIL 1st and will continue until November 30th from 7am to 3pm on Wednesday and Thursday, depending on whether the snow of freezing weather makes sweeping impractical. Please take a moment to look at the Blue & White signage along your side of the street and put a reminder on your calendar not to park on the street in front of your home on the day scheduled for sweeping. Thank You.
BALMORAL STREET PROJECT
Following our required bridge inspection it was determined and recommended that the Gladstone Bridge be replaced. For the past year a small steel plate has been in place on the bridge deck as reinforcement. The village has sought and received funds from the State of Illinois to assist with the cost estimate of 1.2 million dollars. A 80/20% split of the cost will be paid by the village. In an attempt to seek additional funding, I along with Village Manager Janet Matthys, PW Director Robert Lewis and Village Engineer Mark Wrzeszcz from Christopher Burke Engineering went to MWRD to seek additional monies for the project. MWRD is in the final planning for Addison Creek Channel improvements and we thought we would ask and possibly receive some financial assistance in making improvements to the Gladstone Bridge which is already in the works. Unfortunately, the modeling done by the engineers from MWRD and our Engineering Firm did not create any additional benefit to the flow of storm water in adjusting the bridge. At least we tried.
SUNNYSIDE SANITARY SEWER RELOCATION PROJECT At our April 11, 2017 Board meeting the board approved the borrowing of 3.9 million dollars to complete the Sunnyside Sanitary Sewer Project that I and the board have been working on since 2011. The loan will come from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Water Pollution Control Loan Program. The program allows municipalities to borrow monies at a low interest rate to complete projects they approve. The loan will be for 20 years. The sanitary line will replace nearly one mile of sanitary sewer that serves an area from nearly Cermak Road south to 31st street as well as
west of Wolf Road. The diameter of the pipe will be between 24 inches to 30 inches which our engineers have calculated as the correct amount for the area it serves. The useful life of the new pipe will be 50 years. When the original sanitary pipe was constructed the Westchester Woods Subdivision was planned east of Sunnyside which is presently owned by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. The sprawling subdivision was planned to have nearly 500 homes. Sanitary stubs to each of the properties were installed in clay piping which by now may be deteriorated to allow an excess of infiltration. Coupled with the infiltration is the fact that the pipe crosses Salt Creek in three places. One crossing is located in the village boundary and two more south of 31st street in the village of LaGrange Park. Back on July 23, 1929 an agreement was signed by both Westchester President Grant Britten and LaGrange park President Stanley Bracken allowing a License agreement to construct a sanitary sewer line through LaGrange Park connecting to the then Sanitary District of Chicago, (now MWRD) at Brainard and Jackson. Construction is planned to begin later this year.
PLAN COMMISSION APPROVES PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT On Monday April 10th the Westchester Plan Commission held a public hearing on a petition form the Chicago Highlands Golf Club located at 31st street and 294 to review the clubs plan to construct a club house. The request is to construct the club house just east of where the swimming pool is located on the east end of the property. The club house was not contained in the initial PUD submitted back in 2006 as a certain number of memberships were needed to determine the club’s viability. The Chicago Highlands Golf Club is a private club built on property leased from the Archdiocese of Chicago. The Plan Commission approved the development and the matter appeared before the board in our committee of the whole meeting. The board had some additional questions and will have 60 days to decide on the application. The board was in general agreement with the PUD approval.
PLAN COMMISSION APPROVES TEXT AMENDMENT TO ZONING ORDINANCE
Also on Monday April 10th the Westchester Plan Commission held a public hearing on the request of
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Mr. Eric Rossi of Focus IV, LLC to make a change of our zoning code through a text amendment o allow a barber shop, beauty parlor, massage, chiropody, or similar personal service shop to be located in his building at 10526 Cermak Rd. Presently these activities are not allowed in the B-1 Office Business District. Mr. Rossi is planning to lease a suite to a salon. (In case you want to know CHIROPODY is a treatment foot disorders, I had to look it up myself) The board was in agreement with the plan commission recommendation.
CHICAGO RAISES WATER RATE TO CUSTOMERS The Broadview -Westchester Water Agency has received formal notice from the City of Chicago that a water rate increase of 1.87 % will occur beginning June 1, 2017. The percent increase is tied directly to the cost of living adjustment requirement in the Chicago City Council’s ordinance, and will be passed on to BWJWA customers; the Village of Broadview, the Village of Westchester, Hines Hospital, Loyola Hospital and Madden Mental Health Center. The increase translates to 7 cents per thousand gallons. The Village Board was apprised of this increase and will be passing on the increase to each of our customers on the monthly bills starting on June 1, 2017.
BOARD TO DISCUSS WATER RATE INCREASE In conjunction with the water increase that the City of Chicago has levied, the Board will be discussing how to continue funding infrastructure improvements. At our April 11th Committee of the Whole Meeting, PW Director Robert Lewis, along with representatives of the Municipal & Financial Services Group presented a Water & Sewer Rate Study Update. The initial study done by the group occurred in 2015 when we changed to monthly billing and radio read metering. The study was put together to determine what if any water rate increase are going to be necessary to pay for the water projects repayment of debt service on our aging infrastructure, a good portion of which is 90 years old. Westchester has 65 miles of water main, 51 miles of storm sewers, 54 miles of sanitary sewers, and 49 miles of roadway. These are considered for auditing purposes as municipal assets. The village has been working on a capital improvement plan. The plan will be a roadmap for future projects and upgrades. I mentioned
to the Board that it was my belief that when asking residents for increases those increases needed to be placed in funds earmarked for the proposed projects. Costs do continue to increase. Our Sunnyside Sanitary Project initially proposed in a draft form was estimated to be 2.3 million in 2012; that cost estimate has been revised to 3.9 million in 2017. I asked the Director and consultants to consider using new lining technologies presently being done in adjoining communities whenever possible to lessen the total price tag. I suggested a Town Hall type meeting be conducted in the future before the board commit to any planned multiyear increase. The Board agreed and a Town Hall meeting will take place over the next few months when the new board gets seated.
THE VALUE OF WATER CAMPAIGN As you already know I like to find out about topics that affect both you and I. The Board will be talking about the cost of water so I thought I would find out water usage. I found some interesting facts through The Value of Water Campaign. The campaign is designed to build a national will for investment in water infrastructure and water resources. The Value of Water Campaign educates and inspires the nation about how water is essential, invaluable, and in need of investment. Spearheaded by top leaders in the water industry, the Value of Water Campaign is building public and political will for investment in America’s water infrastructure. Educate We want our nation to recognize that water is essential and invaluable. And that it belongs to all of us. We believe that a more informed citizenry is critical to advancing smart and sustainable water policy in America. To this end, we provide tools, resources, and information that grows awareness among the public and decision makers about the value of water. Water and You Water is life. It nourishes us. It cleans us and sustains us. Put simply, water is you. • The average American uses 176 gallons of water per day—that’s 64,240 gallons a year! • 40% of water in America is used to produce the food we eat and the beverages we drink. • How is water used in your home? On average, 17% goes toward showering, 27% is used by the toilet, your faucet drains 15%, your clothes washer another 22%, miscellaneous
needs take up 5%, and those pesky leaks steal another 14%. • If drinking water and soda pop cost equally, your water bill would skyrocket more than 10,000%. Water and the Environment 70 percent of the Earth is water. From seas to lakes, to rivers and creeks, water is everywhere. Valuing water means valuing our future. • 349 billion gallons of freshwater are withdrawn every day in the United States. • 41 percent of that water (143 billion gallons) is used to produce thermoelectric power, another 37% goes to irrigation. • 4% of US energy is used for transporting, treating, and pumping water. • More than one-third of all counties in the lower 48 states will face higher risks of water shortages by mid-century as a result of global warming. Water and the Economy Water is the lifeblood of our economy. We rely on it for manufacturing, energy production, to transport materials across the globe, and more. • One-fifth of the US economy would grind to a halt without a reliable and clean source of water. • 46% of water consumed in America is used to produce the manufacturing products we buy. • 1 to 3.68—the water jobs multiplier. Every job we create in the water sector helps add another 3.68 jobs in the national economy. • 1 to 6—every $1 spent on infrastructure improvements in the US generates $6 in returns. Water and the Community Water connects us. Water is a ride on a boat. Water is a sprinkler, making children laugh with joy. Water brings families and friends together in countless ways. • 22,284—the number of gallons used per day by schools based on an evaluation done of schools in the Tampa Bay region. • The San Antonio Zoo uses approximately 2 million gallons of water a day to care for the animals. • The National Hockey League collectively uses more than 300 million gallons of water each season—it takes 12,500 gallons to make ice for each rink. • Sixty-one percent of Americans rely on lakes, rivers, and streams as their source of drinking water. The other 39% rely on groundwater—water located underground in aquifers and wells. IS WATER THE NEW OIL? Recently I visited the National Mississippi River Museum and
Aquarium in Dubuque, Iowa. I was especially drawn to the exhibit that explained the Remaking of the Chicago River where the State of Illinois actually reversed the flow of the Chicago River to send sewage to the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers, instead of having it contaminate the city of Chicago and the Lake Michigan shoreline. The exhibit explained that in 1885 high water on Lake Michigan backed up the Chicago River, polluting Chicago’s water supply. Sewage clung to the shore Lake Michigan. This led to cholera and typhoid outbreaks that killed thousands. To counter this, the Chicago Sanitary and Ship canal was built in 1900, reversing the natural flow of the Chicago River. Now the water and sewage flowed to the Des Plaines River, the Illinois River and ultimately the Mississippi River just north of St. Louis. Pollution used to be a major problem for those living in the growing city of Chicago. Meat packing plants dumped carcasses and entrails right into the river. The lake was so full of sewage that people died. After the Sanitary and Ship Canal was opened the annual death rate dropped to 1/8th of its former level. The Sanitary and Ship Canal project pitted the interests of people in the Chicago area against the interest of the people of Southern Illinois and St. Louis. Not everyone saw the benefits of reversing the Chicago River. People living downriver from Chicago were forced to deal with a new influx of polluted water. Sewage and slaughterhouse waste became someone else’s problem. But Chicago had a safe and reliable water supply. Lives were saved. Millions of people and countless industries prospered. To them, the solution to pollution was dilution. The educational displays for children and adults alike highlighted thoughts about water and how we depend on it. Did you know the Human Brain is 75% water? Or that our oceans cover 71% of the Earth’s surface? Our bodies are made up of about 10-12 gallons of water-more than half our body weight? The younger we are, the more water we have in our bodies. Boys have more water in their bodies than girls. We need water. Without it we can lose our ability to think clearly or be active or play sports well. Water and the discussions surrounding appropriate costs for infrastructure improvements led me to consider whether Water will be the new Oil. Our use of water, based on the experts, will be examined
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more and more each year. Recent discussions about regulation changes are being proposed to examine and lessen the amount of water run-off into our streams and rivers. Runoff contaminated with road salt and the effect on the environment and aquatic life as a result of the salt content as well as other chemicals being introduced are being detected. Whatever we put on the land will end up in the water. When water moves over the land, it picks up materials and carries them to a downhill stream or lake. When oil, fertilizers, pesticides, waste and heavy metals (like lead and mercury) enter the watersheds, they contaminate freshwater sources, threatening our health. Eighteen million people draw their drinking water from the Mississippi river. Human and animal waste can pollute river water with harmful bacteria which contaminate drinking water. The world’s supply of clean, fresh water is steadily decreasing. Worldwide, over 5 million deaths each year are caused by the lack of clean water. Water supplies are evaporating as global temperatures rise, and our demand for water grows. Even in the United States, demand exceeds supply in many places, and states and communities are arguing over fresh water. Some fresh water sources are being filled by salt water. Water is more valuable than oil; we often pay twice as much for bottled water as we do for gasoline. I have attached some conservation suggestions for you to consider.
WATER CONSERVATION SUGGESTIONS TURN OFF THE TAP Just by turning off the tap while you brush your teeth in the morning and before bedtime, you can save up to 8 gallons of water! That adds up to more than 200 gallons a month, enough to fill a huge fish tank that holds 6 small sharks! The same is true when you wash dishes. Turn off the tap! Scrape your dirty dishes into the trash—then put them in the dishwasher. SHOWER POWER - Taking a shower uses much less water than filling up a bathtub. A shower only uses 1025 gallons, while a bath takes up to 70 gallons. If you do take a bath, be sure to plug the drain right away and adjust the temperature as you fill the tub. To save even more water, keep your shower under 5 minutes long.
Try timing yourself with a clock next time you hop in. FIX THAT LEAK - If your toilet has a leak, you could be wasting about 200 gallons of water every day. That would be like flushing your toilet more than 50 times for no reason. BEAT THE HEAT - The best time to water your yard is in the early morning or late evening when it is cool outside. Watering when it is hot and sunny is wasteful because most of the water evaporates before the plants have time to drink it. Also, when watering the yard, make sure no to water too much a little sprinkle goes a long way. WHO NEEDS A HOSE? Washing your car with a bucket and sponge instead of a hose saves a lot of water. A hose can waste 6 gallons per minute if you leave it running, but using a bucket and sponge only uses a few gallons. Also some car washes recycle water instead of letting it run down the sewer drains. Running a hose for 10 minutes to wash your car uses 100 gallons of water. WATER RESTRICTION IN EFFECT Since 1990 the village has restricted the use of potable drinking water use. The water use restrictions identified in Sections 15.34.030 and 15.34.040 shall be enforced between May 15 and September 15 of each year. The use and withdrawal of water by any person for the following purposes is restricted as set forth in Section 15.34.040: (1) Outdoor Watering. The sprinkling, watering or irrigating of shrubbery, trees, lawns, grass, ground covers, plants, vines, gardens, vegetables, flowers, or any other vegetation; (2) Cleaning Outdoor Surfaces. The washing of sidewalks, driveways, filling-station aprons, porches and other outdoor surfaces; (3) Cleaning Buildings. The washing or cleaning of the outside of buildings; (4) Pool Fillings. The filling of swimming pools. • 15.34.040 - Restriction on residential and commercial uses. All persons using village water shall be restricted in the use of water for the purposes described in Section 15.34.030 as follows: (1) Water from the village water distribution system may not be used for the purposes set forth in Section 15.34.030 between the hours of twelve noon and six p.m. (2) Installation of sod and landscaping restricted: any person installing sod, other landscaping material or newly seeding a lawn shall be allowed unrestricted sprinkling privileges for a period of
two weeks from initial installation. Any sprinkling conducted upon the expiration of this grace period shall be subject to the restriction imposed by this chapter. (3) Sprinkling during unrestricted hours shall be allowed on even numbered days for those residents having an even numbered address, and on odd numbered days for those residents having an odd numbered address. (4) It is unlawful for any person to use water for such restricted purposes other than specified herein until such time as such restrictions are removed by the president and board of trustees.
LAWN SPRINKLER SYSTEMS/BACKFLOW PREVENTION The village in conjunction with the Illinois Plumbing Code has mandated the requirements for lawn sprinklers to be protected from CROSS CONTAMINATION. Backflow prevention devices are required on all sprinkler systems. I have included the General Policy found under section 15.40.10. There are many sections contained in this chapter. Contamination of our drinking water is a real concern. Please for your health and the health of all of us make sure our drinking water remains safe. • 15.40.010 - General policy. (a) Purpose: The purpose of this Chapter is as follows: 1. To protect the public water supply system from contamination or pollution by isolating within the customer’s water system contaminants or pollutants which would backflow through the service connection into the public water supply system. 2. To promote the elimination or control of existing crossconnections, actual or potential, between the public or consumer’s potable water system and nonpotable water systems, plumbing fixtures and sources or systems containing substances of unknown or questionable quality. 3. To provide for the maintenance of a continuing program of cross-connection control which will prevent the contamination or pollution of the public and consumer’s potable water systems. (b) Application: This Chapter shall apply to all premises served by the public potable water supply system of the Village. (c) The owner or official custodian of such premises served by the public potable water supply system shall be responsible for protection of the public water supply
system from contamination due to backflow or backsiphonage of contaminants through the customer’s water service connection. If, in the judgment of the Director of Public Works or his authorized agent, an approved backflow prevention device is necessary for the safety of the public water supply system, the Director of Public Works shall give notice to the consumer to install such a device at each service connection to the premises. The consumer shall, within the prescribed time indicated in said notice, install such device or devices at his own expense. Failure or refusal to do so shall constitute grounds for discontinuing water service to such premises until the same have been so installed. The consumer shall retain records of installation, maintenance, testing and repair, as herein required in Section 15.40.080(d)(4) for a period of at least five years.
POLICE DEPARTMENT MAKES FELONY ARREST On April 5, 2017, a resident residing in the 2400 block of Wellington was the victim of an aggravated vehicle hijacking by a male/black wearing a partial ski mask displaying a handgun. The suspect demanded the keys to the victims silver Ford Fusion. The victim complied and was NOT injured. A similar occurrence occurred in the City of Elmhurst also on April 5th. Detectives working on the case from Westchester, Elmhurst and Hillside were able to identify possible suspects. I am very pleased to announce that based on their efforts the offender and accomplice have been arrested and charged with the crime that occurred in Westchester as well as another in Elmhurst. One of the charged offenders, identified as Shane Pearson, age 24, resides in Broadview. He was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle which is a felony. The second charged offender was Kenneth Manning, age 21, of Chicago. He was charged in our case with one count of felony aggravated vehicular hijacking with a firearm. Additional charges from both Elmhurst and Westchester are pending. The stolen vehicle has been returned to the victim. The newspaper report from the Elmhurst Patch is below: Woman Escapes Attempted Armed Carjacking, Suspect Flees By Andrea Earnest (Patch Staff) A woman pulling a vehicle into her garage was approached by a man pointing a handgun at her, before she quickly escaped. Elmhurst Police are investigating this reported attempted aggravated
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vehicle hijacking that occurred at 9:30 a.m. April 5 in the 900 block of South Mitchell Avenue. The victim was pulling into her garage when she noticed a black male, 6’0 feet tall, with a slim build. The suspect was wearing a gray sweatshirt, blue jeans and a black face mask. He was holding a handgun pointing in the victim’s direction and approached her car on the driver side, according to police. Police said when the woman saw the suspect with a gun, she placed her car into reverse and backed out of the garage, almost striking the suspect in the process. The suspect then fled to a waiting gray 4-door sedan, possibly a Ford Fusion with tinted windows. The vehicle then fled northbound on Mitchell toward Harrison. Police said the woman believes that she may have been followed from Jewel, located at York and Butterfield Road. Police believe that this incident may be related to a similar type of vehicular hijacking that occurred in Westchester a short time later.
ILLINOIS POLICE OFFICER MEMORIAL The Illinois Police Officer Memorial Committee was established in 1985. The monument located in Springfield, Illinois bears the names of the officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their communities. Every year on the first Thursday of May, a ceremony to pay tribute to the fallen officers and their families is held. This year’s ceremony will be held on May 4, 2017 at the Memorial Site at 11am.
NATIONAL POLICE MEMORIAL WEEK IS MAY 15-21, 2017 National Peace Officers Memorial Day is on Monday, May 15, 2017 Each May, during National Police Week, the U.S. recognizes the service and sacrifice of U.S. law enforcement and pays tribute to those who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world visit Washington, DC to participate in a number of special events. A candlelight vigil is held at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in honor of the law enforcement officers who have died that year. The names engraved on the Memorial include fallen officers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and federal law enforcement and military police agencies.
144 Police Officers were killed in the Line of Duty in 2016; four officers in Illinois. This year from January 1, 2017 through April 17, 2017 the total is 37 additional, one from Illinois. Please keep the officers and their families in your prayers. BEAUTIFUL WESTCHESTER I think most of us can agree that Westchester is a beautiful town. This can only continue to happen if each one of us make it happen. Planting colorful flowers, trees and shrubs can go a long way in curb appeal. We may not have a lot of expendable cash to make wholesale replacements of doors, windows and the like but we can take some time to do some scrubbing and painting, as well as maintaining your urban landscape. For those of you, and you know who you are, that I see sweeping the curb in front of your home or cleaning off the storm sewer grates. THANK YOU your efforts have not gone unnoticed. Keeping up our property is one small way that our property values will continue to increase instead of decrease. A big THANK YOU goes out to The Grassroots Garden Club, The Westchester Garden Club, and Trustee Carl Celestino for assisting in the plantings at the village entryway signs, and at the Memorial Fountain, Clock, and the Westchester Garden itself. The flowers look great…Sam
WESTCHESTER BOULEVARD BEAUTIFICATION The Village has invested some of its Hotel/Motel Tax money to restore the gardens along Westchester Boulevard. 154 ne knock-out rose bushes have been replaced in the gardens. With the amount of April showers we have had, I think we will definitely see some new May flowers along the Boulevard.
LITTERING IS ILLEGAL To those of you that think it is cool or fashionable to litter, it is not. Placing garbage in the street or tossing empty bottles on front yards makes out village very unattractive and uninviting. If you are guilty, I’m asking you to please STOP. I’m sure you would not appreciate if your property or that of your parents were targeted in similar fashion. At our Spring Clean Up-day held Saturday, April 22nd, volunteers picked up bags and bags of trash from locations throughout the village. By the way, for those of you who toss cigarette butts out onto the street, a state law went into effect January 1, 2014 with penalties up to $1500 for littering cigarette butts. That’s right, one thousand five hundred dollars for
something that is certainly avoidable.
THANK YOU TO SPRING CLEAN-UP DAY VOLUNTEERS Our Annual Spring Clean-Up Day was held on Saturday, April 2rd. Approximately thirty volunteers were joined by President Sam Pulia, Trustees Angelo Calcagno and Carl Celestino, Village Manager Janet Matthys and Management Assistant Jessica Spencer to clean-up various areas of the Village including the fountain area, the Gladstone area and the Westchester Boulevard garden plots. Thanks to Steve Schweitzer and Zee Diaz from Alliance Turf Management for donating their time and equipment for the event. Special thanks to our youngest volunteers from the Girl Scout Daisies, Boy Scout Troop 1 and Boy Scout Troop 73. Again, thank you all for your hard work and generous donation of your time to help Westchester be the best it can be!
CINCO de MAYO May 5th, also known as Cinco de Mayo, has often been confused with the day Mexico obtained its independence from Spain. It is NOT. Cinco de Mayo is the date that Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin’s army force of about 4 thousand men defeated twice as many French forces in the battle of Puebla in 1862. The French invasion was a result of Mexican President Benito Juarez issuing a moratorium that suspended foreign debt payments for two years to France, Britain, and Spain. Britain and Spain negotiated the debt payments with Mexico however France sent naval forces to Veracruz to demand reimbursement. France, ruled by Napoleon III, used the opportunity to establish a Latin empire in Mexico favoring French interests invaded Mexico forcing President Juarez and his government into retreat. The French army encountered heavy resistance from Mexicans near to Puebla. The smaller Mexican forces were able to defeat decisively the much better equipped French Army. The victory represented a significant morale boost to the Mexican people. In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has taken on a significance beyond that in Mexico. In the U.S. the date has become associated with the celebration of MexicanAmerican culture. In Mexico, the commemoration of the battle continues to be mostly ceremonial, such as through military parades.
EDC TO HOST EDUCATIONAL MEETING At
Development Committee meeting on Monday April 10th, the Committee decided to sponsor and host a new business education event as a benefit to business owners. Your Economic Development Committee invites all local business owners to attend the first of its new series of Conversations in Business luncheons on Tuesday, May 16th from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Westchester Public Library (lower level Community Room). Hope to see you there! This will be the first of its B.O.S.S. series - “Business Owners Strategies and Solutions”, entitled “It’s Your Business, so Know Your FACTS” - supporting your need to know more about Financial Reporting, Accounting Systems, Cash Flow, Taxes, and business Structure (FACTS). The theme of the first luncheon will be how to better use Quickbooks, so that the tools of this system can be leveraged to better help you in your day to day work. Future Conversations in Business Luncheons will continue the B.O.S.S. theme about Marketing and Accounting for your business. Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to Melissa Headley at Village Hall no later than Friday, May 12 by e-mail at mheadley@ westchester-il.org or phone 708-3450199.
HIGH GRASS COMPLAINTS/CODE ENFORCEMENT The April showers will certainly cause the May flowers and lawns to grow. I would like to send out this friendly reminder about lawn grass maintenance. Our ordinance prohibits grass to be longer than 8 inches. As in previous years our Code Enforcement personnel, Community Service Officers, and Police Officers spent an inordinate amount of time following up on numerous complaints about high grass. Below is the definition and general ordinance section where the prohibition can be found. • 7.56.020 - Noxious weed and nuisance greenery control. It shall be unlawful for any owner or occupant of private property within the village to permit any noxious weeds or nuisance greenery to grow on the property, any such noxious weeds or nuisance greenery are hereby declared to be a nuisance. The owner or occupant of any private property abutting any public street, road or way shall maintain the area between the edge of pavement or curb and their property line, commonly known as parkway, in a
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neat, clean and orderly condition and free of any noxious weeds or nuisance greenery. • The term “nuisance greenery”, as used in this chapter, shall mean any weeds, grass or plants exceeding eight inches in height other than trees, bushes, flowers, vegetable gardens or other ornamental plants. Please make every effort to maintain your lawns and greenery. Also please contact the village to report properties that appear neglected. Many may still be unoccupied and researching what bank or mortgage company is the responsible party does take some time.
LAWN MAINTENANCE/ CONTRACTORS PERMITS REQUIRED Every year this office and the Village Hall receives complaints from many lawn maintenance contractors that many lawn maintenance providers are working in the village without being licensed and registered as required. Licensed contractors no matter what the service (landscaping, construction, plumbing, tuckpointing, roofing, remodeling job, etc.), are required to have proof of insurance coverage before being issued a license to do work in the village. Homeowners insurance may be at risk should a person performing lawn maintenance services get injured on your property. Before you sign up for lawn maintenance/construction services make sure the company has registered with the Village. The Village web site contains many types of services of contractors who have registered and are licensed to do business in the village. By NO means are these licensed contractors being endorsed by the village. It is your responsibility to do your due diligence and check references, the Better Business Bureau, or sites such as Angie’s List for any project being contemplated.
GARBAGE DAY COLLECTION With the institution of our street weeping program now might be a good time to re-educate the ordinance regarding times and placement of our garbage and recycling cans and lawn waste bags. It appears that there are some residents placing their garbage containers, recycling bins, leaf bags, yard waste cans, carpeting and general refuge out at the curb way before their collection day. This is in violation of our village code.
The village has been broken down in basically 4 sections for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday pick-ups. There are no pick-ups on Wednesday. Our code requires for placement of all items BEHIND THE CURB AND NOT IN THE STREET beginning at 3PM the day before your garbage day and removed before 7 Am the day following the pickup. Again, please adhere to the rules that have been put in place regarding time, place, and manner covered in section 8.04 of the Village Code.
BRANCH PICK-UP SCHEDULE Branch pick-up began last month. As PW have many jobs to do weekly, such as, water leak repairs, pot hole filling, parkway restoration, dead tree removals, alley grading, and other matters of concern, there is a defined schedule for the chipping of branches. Branches are pickedup the FIRST FULL WEEK OF THE MONTH. Brush/Branch Pick-up also has a schedule Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with logs and large stumps picked up on Friday (called open loading). Please read the Public Work Page of this newsletter for specific details. The next branch pickup will be the week of May 1-5 2017. AARP DRIVER SAFETY COURSE On May 10 & May 11, 2017 the Village will be the host site for a 2-day AARP Driver Safety Course. The course is intended to help driver’s live more independently as they age and remain safe on today’s roads. The AARP Smart Drivers Course covers defensive driving techniques and the normal changes in vision, hearing, and reaction time associated with aging. The course also provides practical techniques for adjusting to these changes to ensure the driver’s own safety and that of others on the road. During the course, participants learn about current rules of the road and how to operate their vehicles more safely in today’s increasingly challenging driving environment. Participant cost is $15 for AARP MEMBERS and $20 for Non-AARP MEMBERS. Attendance on both days of class is required for completion. Classes run from 9am-1pm each day. Food and beverages are not provided. Registration is required. To register please call Jessica at the Village Hall at 708-345-0020 or contact by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARBOR DAY CEREMONY At our April 20th Board Meeting I read a Proclamation declaring April 28th 2017 as ARBOR DAY in the Village of Westchester. In keeping
with the tradition we have been doing each year for the past 8 years on Friday April 28 at 10 am the village celebrated ARBOR DAY by planting a Green Mountain Sugar Maple tree at the Westchester Intermediate School at 10900 Canterbury Street. I reread the proclamation and urged all citizens to celebrate Arbor Day and support the effort to protect our trees and woodlands, and further urged all citizens to plant and care for trees to gladden the heart and promote the well being of this and future generations. The Social, Economic, & Environmental Benefits of Trees • 1 tree reduces storm water runoff by over 4,000 gallons per year. • 100 trees remove 5 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere per year. • “The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.”—U.S. Department of Agriculture • “Landscaping can reduce air conditioning costs by up to 50 percent, by shading the windows and walls of a home.” — American Public Power Association • Healthy trees can increase property values by an average of 10%. Trees provide habitat for birds, mammals, & insects. • The roots of trees help reduce soil erosion by holding soil in place. • “If you plant a tree today on the west side of your home, in 5 years your energy bills should be 3% less. In 15 years the savings will be nearly 12%.” —Dr. E. Greg McPherson, Center for Urban Forest Research • “Trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent and can save 20 - 50 percent in energy used for heating.”—USDA Forest Service • Through photosynthesis, in 1 day an average tree can provide enough oxygen for a family of 4 for that day. • Trees planted along highways & city streets have been shown to help reduce drivers’ stress & reduce speeds. • Mature trees in business districts have been shown to positively affect shoppers’ behaviors. • Trees help people feel better – both mentally & physically. • Trees help reduce flooding by helping to reduce runoff. • “One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people.”—U.S. Department of Agriculture • “There are about 60-to 200million spaces along our city streets where trees could be planted. This
translates to the potential to absorb 33 million more tons of CO2 every year, and saving $4 billion in energy costs.”—National Wildlife Federation Information provided by SPRING GROVE NURSERY 1255 W. Spring Road, Mazon, IL .
TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK 2017 Teacher Appreciation Week is a week-long celebration in the United States observed the first full week in May. This year Teacher Appreciation Week is Monday May 1st to Friday May 5th. Most countries have a designated day or week to show their appreciation of teachers. Numerous countries recognize teachers for their vital contribution to education and development on different dates. Students, parents, and local businesses sometimes show appreciation for teachers by giving gifts or recognizing them with awards. Teacher Appreciation Day is a time to honor teachers for the contributions they make to learning, child development and to the community. I believe the schools here in Westchester, whether public or parochial, and those who are home schooled continue to be the best in the area. Being a teacher is a very difficult profession. As a former school board president and a person who believes that being educated is a path for success, I am asking you to get involved in your children’s school. Call your children’s teacher, attend board meetings, ask how you can help make your schools better. I visited the National Education Association web site and came across some tips that I would like to share. Unlike other careers in which the same method can be applied time and time again, teaching requires an individualized approach as each student learns differently and each has a different set of circumstances. How Can Families Effectively Partner With and Support Teachers • Develop a relationship with your child’s teacher and keep in touch with him/her often • Ask the right questions •Setgoalswithyourchildandhis/her teacher and foster the achievement of those goals • Review your child’s data to ensure he/she is on track • Look in your child’s backpack every day • Frequently view the parent portal (or whichever tool your child’s school uses) • Actively participate at school when possible
NATIONAL REGISTERED NURSE See PRESIDENT, page 28
COMMERCE MAY 2017
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RECOGNITION DAY This year National Nurses Day is celebrated/observed on Saturday, May 6th. National Nurses Day is held annually on May 6 which marks the beginning of National Nurses Week. The day is to recognize the contribution nurses make to our world. The American Nurses Association has designated 2017 as the year of the Healthy Nurse: The Balance of Mind, Body, and Spirit. I am sure that sometime or another you have observed the world of nursing as a patient or person visiting someone who is in the hospital, or nursing facility being attended too. I’m sure you will agree that nurses deserve our thanks and praise. The job of a nurse is a difficult one. Patient care, understanding, and attending to people with pain and suffering on a daily basis takes a special person. Having my mother as a nurse for over 50 years, I was lucky to have both. The final day of Nurses week is May 12th, which coincidently is Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Florence Nightingale became famous as an English nurse for her work of making rounds at night during the Crimean War. In October 1954, National Nurses Week was first observed (100th anniversary of Nightingales mission to Crimea) and later in 1982, May 6th was introduced as National Nurses Day.
MEMORIAL DAY: HONOR OUR FALLEN HEROS The final Monday in May, May 29th, is Memorial Day. A federal U.S. Holiday, it is a day we remember the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day. Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. Military veterans. On June 28, 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act which moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30 date to the last Monday in May. For more information regarding Memorial Day, also previously known as Decoration Day, visit Wikipedia. com. For as long as I can remember, Westchester Park District has always had a Memorial Day Ceremony. This year all Westchester residents are invited to join elected officials from the Westchester Park District, The Westchester Public Library, Westchester School District 92.5 and the Village of Westchester as we
pay homage to those soldiers who have died while serving our country. All residents are encouraged and reminded to fly the American Flag on Memorial Day as a strong show of support for our dearly departed hero’s who have made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us. Please come out and join us at the Memorial Day Ceremony at Mayfair Park at 10:00 am on Monday, May 29th. Light refreshments will be served. OPERATION CARE PACKAGE We have once again partnered up with Proviso Township during the Operation Care Package campaign. Operation Care Package believes it is an honor for us to ship care packages to our deployed troops throughout the world. The organization’s goal is to make sure that no “Hero” serving our country is forgotten. They rely on the generosity of Americans to continue our efforts. YOUR DONATIONS MATTER! A drop-off box can be found in the main lobby of the Village Hall, 10300 W Roosevelt Rd. during hours of operation, seven days a week: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Additional drop-off boxes can be found at all Westchester Public Schools District 92.5 and the Westchester Public Library. All drop off boxes will be picked up on May 15, 2017. For info on requested donations, visit the website at https:// pppnfp.org/project/operation-carepackage/. Additional information can be obtained from Officer Rob Verber at email@example.com or the Westchester Police Facebook page. Thank you for your help and for supporting our Troops!
SANITARY AND STORM SEWER SERVICE LINE Tree root growing season is here once again. When was the last time you had your sanitary and/or storm sewer line rodded to prevent blockages? The Village receives many calls throughout the year regarding whose responsibility it is to fix/ maintain/replace storm or sanitary sewer lines. I have attached the Village ordinances regarding the most prevalent questions regarding the issue. As you can see the ordinances have been in effect for some-time. • 15.08.010 - Responsibility for sanitary and storm sewers. (a) MAIN TRUNK AND LATERAL SANITARY AND STORM SEWERS. The Village of Westchester shall be responsible for the maintenance and proper operation of the main trunk and lateral sanitary and storm sewers wherever located within the village limits. (b) SANITARY AND STORM SEWER
SERVICE LINE. (1) Where the main trunk or lateral sanitary or storm sewer is located under the street pavement, the Village of Westchester shall be responsible for the maintenance (excluding simple maintenance such as rodding and cleaning) and proper operation of the sanitary and storm sewer service line from the point where it connects with the village main trunk or lateral sanitary or storm sewer to the street curb line. The property owner shall be responsible for the maintenance and proper operation of the sanitary or storm sewer service line from the street curb line to his building. (2) Where the main trunk or lateral sanitary or storm sewer is located between the public sidewalk and the street curb line in the parkway abutting the property where there is an obstruction in the sanitary or storm sewer service line, the property owner shall be responsible for the maintenance and proper operation of the sanitary or storm sewer service line from the street curb line to his building. (3) Where the sanitary or storm sewer service line is connected to the village main trunk or lateral sanitary or storm sewer located in the center parkway or in the parkway on the opposite side of the street from the property where there is an obstruction in the sanitary or storm sewer service line, the Village of Westchester shall be responsible for the maintenance (excluding simple maintenance such as rodding and cleaning) and proper operation of the sanitary or storm sewer service line from the point where it connects with the main trunk or lateral sanitary or storm sewer to the street curb line which fronts upon the parkways abutting the property where there is an obstruction in the sanitary or storm sewer service line. The property owner shall be responsible for the maintenance and proper operation of the sanitary or storm sewer service line from the street curb line to his building. (4) Where the main trunk or lateral sanitary or storm sewer is located in an unpaved public alley, vacated alley, or easement in the rear of the property where there is an obstruction in the sanitary or storm sewer service line, the property owner shall be responsible for the maintenance and proper operation of the sanitary or storm sewer service line from the point where it connects with the village main trunk or lateral sanitary or storm sewer to his building. (5) Where the main trunk or lateral sanitary or storm sewer is located in a paved public alley, the Village of Westchester shall be
responsible for the maintenance (excluding simple maintenance such as rodding and cleaning) and proper operation of the sanitary or storm sewer service line from the point where it connects with the village main trunk or lateral sanitary or storm sewer to the rear property line of the property where there is an obstruction in the sanitary or storm sewer service line. The property owner shall be responsible for the maintenance and proper operation of the sanitary or storm sewer service line from the rear property line to his building. 15.14.130 - Repair of laterals. The repair of laterals (pipes running from the sewer main to the premises served after the wye) shall be the responsibility of the owner. All repairs and maintenance to laterals to premises, other than singlefamily detached dwellings, shall be made by and at the expense of the owners or occupants of the premises served. The village may, in the case of an emergency, repair any lateral and the reasonable cost of such work shall be repaid to the village by the owner of the premises served. In the event the owner of the premises served does not repay to the village the expense of any emergency repair on the owner’s or occupant’s premises, the village shall have a lien against said property for the amount of said repairs or maintenance.
SANITARY SEWER LINE REPAIR INSURANCE As I mentioned in the April Newsletter, the Village recommends you consider purchasing the Sanitary Line insurance policy. This is just another reminder that is highly recommended that homeowners sign up for the National League of Cities Sewer Line Warranty Program. We had a second instance where the homeowner was faced with a huge charge as a result of a broken clay lateral sewer line. By Ordinance, the Village’s responsibility is with the main sanitary sewer line and not with the line from your home connecting to it. I have not had to use the service myself however I have been told of several success stories where the insurance helped immensely. The village receives no financial gain regarding the service. The service is provided voluntarily through the SEWER LINE WARRANTY PROGRAM through SEWER LINE WARRANTIES OF AMERICA. For more information go to www.utilitysp.net or phone 1-866-974-4801.
BICYCLE SAFETY QUIZ May is National Bike Month. I am on
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the mailing list of RIDE ILLINOIS and received some information recently. RIDE ILLINOIS was formerly known as the League of Illinois Bicyclists, dedicated to improving bicycling conditions in Illinois. Their goal is to advocate for all Illinois bicyclists, promoting bicycle access, education and safety. The information contained a web address to take the Illinois Bicycle Safety Quiz Challenge. There are 3 parts to the quiz, a Bronze, Silver, and Gold Level. Last year I went on the web site and actually took all three levels. I can’t say I got all of the answers right the first time, however the explanations that accompanied the correct answers made sense when I reviewed them. I will be reviewing them once again this year and suggest you do the same. The Secretary of State website CYBERDRIVE ILLINOIS does have a BICYCLE RULES OF THE ROAD BOOKLET, similar to the RULES OF THE ROAD for vehicles we review before we re-take our drivers test. Safetyofallusersoftheroadisaprimary focus of all police departments across the land. We want everyone whether traveling on foot, bike, car, or truck to get where they are going safely. Please make every attempt to take the quiz. I dare you. I think you will be surprised on what you did not know. I know I did. The Quiz can be taken at www.bikesafetyquiz.com for more information go to www.rideillinois. org.
ILLINOIS MUNICIPAL LEAGUE LOBBY DAY On April 25-26th, Trustee Nick Steker, Village Manager Janet Matthys and I traveled down to Springfield to attend the Illinois Municipal League Lobby Day. During this time we met with not only our Senate and House Representatives who we speak to on a regular basis, but also with many municipal leaders who have similar issues to present to a host of our state elected representatives and senators. Meeting and forging relationships of commonality is the key to successful outcomes. We dismissed our registered lobbyist a few years ago due to budgetary constraints, so meeting face to face in his place, up close and personal, is the direction and tact we are going to employ. Even with the inability of our state to put a budget together we did our best to lobby Westchester on your behalf.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY I like to end the newsletter this
month with a shout out for Sunday May 14, 2017 also known as Mother’s Day. As I have written in the past Mother’s Day is a very important day for me and it should be for everyone. As a male we can never imaging what a woman goes through during pregnancy, and although many of us were present in the delivery room we surely cannot imagine the pain level and utter discomfort the birth of a child could be. There are also women who have not experienced childbirth who also have raised, nurtured, and unconditionally loved their children who I consider great mothers too. Grandmothers and yes, even mother-in-laws fall into the category of motherhood that also need to be recognized on this important day. For those of us who have lost their mom’s to a better world remember that unconditional love that you probably failed to recognize as you were growing up but certainly would give your left arm to see, hug, and kiss them once again.
FROM THE BOARD At the March 21st Special Board Meeting, the following items were discussed on the Active Agenda: • An Ordinance Authorizing the Village of Westchester, Cook County, Illinois to Borrow Funds From the Water Pollution Control Loan Program At the March 21st Special Board Meeting, the following items were discussed: • Building Department • Police Department • Planning Commission & Zoning Board of Appeals • Board of Fire & Police Commissioners • Revenue • Administration & Finance • General Budget Discussion At the March 28th Village Board Meeting, the following items were approved under the Consent Agenda: • Approval of the Record of Bills ending 03-23-17 in the amount not to exceed $745,511.20 • Approval of Minutes of the March 14, 2017 Village Board Meeting and Minutes of the March 21, 2017 Special Meeting • An Ordinance Amending Section 14.01.110, Entitled “Fees”, of Article 11, Entitled “Permits” of Chapter 14.01, Entitled “Administration” of Title 14, Entitled “Buildings and Construction”, of the Westchester Municipal Code • An Ordinance Amending Section 5.92.010 and Section 14.52.040 of the Westchester Municipal Code • An Ordinance Authorizing the Issuance of a Joint Purchasing
Requisition for the Purchase of Rock Salt for the Village of Westchester, Illinois • An Ordinance Authorizing Sign Variations for the Property Located at 1926 Mannheim Road, Westchester, Illinois • A Resolution Authorizing the Execution of a Façade Improvement Grant Program Agreement Between the Village of Westchester and Palmer Florist, Inc. for the Property Located at 1926 Mannheim Road • A Resolution Approving the Amendment of the Village of Westchester Home Flood-Proofing Assistance Program At the March 28th Village Board Meeting, the following items were approved under the Active Agenda: • An Ordinance Amending Chapter 14.03, Entitled “International Residential Code 2012”, of the Westchester Municipal Code At the March 28th Village Committee of the Whole Meeting, the following items discussed under New Business: • Request to Reschedule the April 25, 2017 Village Board and Committee of the Whole Meetings • BWJWAWater Rate Increase • Fire Alarm System Contract • Amendment to the Water System Modeling Contract At the March 28th Village Committee of the Whole Meeting, the following items discussed under Old Business: • Compliance Inspection Checklist – • Modifications to Municipal Code Section 10.08 Poultry • Backflow Inspection and Basin Inspection Program • Film Policy At the April 5th Special Board Meeting, the following items were discussed on the Consent Agenda: • A Resolution Ratifying the Execution of a Professional Engineering Services Agreement with Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd. for the Preparation of Contract Bidding Documents and Specifications for the Installation of Fire Alarm Systems at Village Fire Stations, in the Amount of $10,500.00 • A Resolution Approving and Ratifying the Execution of an Amendment to a Professional Services Agreement Between the Village of Westchester and Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, Inc At the April 5th Special Board Meeting, the following items were discussed on the Active Agenda: • An Ordinance Amending Section 14.01.110, Entitled “Fees”, of Article 11, Entitled “Permits” of Chapter 14.01, Entitled “Administration” of Title 14, Entitled “Buildings and Construction”, of the Westchester Municipal Code • An Ordinance Amending Section 5.92.010 and Section 14.52.040
of the Westchester Municipal Code • A Motion to Authorize the Issuance of a Request for Proposal for Refuse Pick-Up At the April 11th Village Board Meeting, the following items were approved under the Consent Agenda: • Approval of the Record of Bills ending 04-06-17 in the amount not to exceed $625,030.03 • Approval of Minutes of the March 14, 2017 Committee of the Whole Meeting, Minutes of the March 14, 2017 Executive Session, Minutes of the April 5, 2017 Special Board Meeting, and Minutes of the April 5, 2017 Executive Session • Approval of Departmental Monthly Reports: Community Development Department, Police Department, Fire Department, and Public Works Department • An Ordinance Amending Section 14.52.020, Entitled “Village Inspection of Real Estate – Certificate of Compliance Required”, of Chapter 14.52, Entitled “Certificates of Compliance”, of Title 14, Entitled “Buildings and Construction”, of the Westchester Municipal Code • An Ordinance Authorizing the Village of Westchester, Cook County, Illinois to Borrow Funds from the Water Pollution Control Loan Program • An Ordinance Amending Section 5.102.220, Entitled “Number of Licenses,” of Chapter 5.102, Entitled “Video Gaming,” of Title 5, Entitled “Business Licenses and Regulations,” of the Westchester Municipal Code • A Resolution Approving and Establishing the Village of Westchester Procedures and Standards for Commercial Filming and Taping At the April 11th Village Board Meeting, the following items were discussed on the Active Agenda: • A Motion to Authorize the Issuance of a Request for Proposal for Refuse Pick-Up At the April 11th Village Committee of the Whole Meeting, the following items discussed under New Business: • Plan Commission Recommendation to Approve Petition PC-16-0002 Planned Unit Development for the Chicago Highlands Golf Course Clubhouse, Westchester (The Chicago Highlands Club LLC, Petitioner). • Plan Commission Recommendation to Approve Petition PC-17-0002 Text Amendments to Chapter 18.28 of Title 18 of the Village of Westchester Zoning Ordinance (Eric Rossi, Focus IV, LLC, Petitioner). • FOG Contract At the April 11th Village Committee of the Whole Meeting, the following items discussed under Old Business: • BWJWAWater Rate Increase • Waste Management Contract Extension
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