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Approve Water Works Upgrade

But Two Oak Lawn Trustees Feel More Study Is Necessary

The Oak Lawn Village Board meeting on Tuesday night brought on a lengthy discussion by board members on Larry Deetjen’s Village Manager report.

Deetjen outlined a proposed ordinance to upgrade the local waterworks system through the issuance of revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $15 million.

The upgrade, according to Deetjen, will result in decreased costs to the village, and addresses safety concerns voiced by all communities the village serves from Oak Lawn to Mokena and New Lenox. In addition, Oak Lawn will receive a return on usage from the communities served.

A quick approval vote was apparently expected. However, Trustee Mike Carberry (6th) felt that the plan needed to be discussed further and requested postponing a vote until the next board meeting.

ÒThis has been coming for five years,” said Trustee Bob Streit (3rd). ÒWhat more do you expect to learn about the project in the next two weeks?”

The project is expected to have costs above $15 million, but an exact figure was not known. Trustee Alex Olejniczak (2nd) agreed with Carberry and felt the board needs to have real debt numbers before approval is given.

Deetjen expressed his feeling that it would be a mistake to wait any longer on the project but would agree with whatever the board voted to do.

Trustee Tim Desmond (1st) called for a vote following additional comments by Carberry and Olejniczak. The motion passed 4-2 with Carberry and Olejniczak voting against going ahead with the project at this time.

In other news, throughout the meeting there were allegations by Trustee Carol Quinlan (5th) and Streit of a lack of transparency on various issues.

Quinlan objected to a Òno bid” contract for United Healthcare to be the new insurance providers for village employees. The allegation was disputed by Mesirow Financial representative Laura Sandman. According to Sandman, United Healthcare (UHC) gives all agents the same rate and in fact the commission fee paid by the village will be 1 percent. The usual commission fee is more than 3 percent.

An agenda item requested by Streit and Quinlan to amend Title 1, Chapter 9, Section 8 entitled ÒRecords open for inspection, reports” was tabled without discussion.

Other agenda items included the approval of the second annual ÒRunning with the Bulldogs” 5K walk/run to be held on Sunday, Sept. 22 benefiting the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation, a charity that provides free toys, gifts and gift cards to children and teenagers in treatment for cancer.

The event will be held at Richards High School, 10601 S. Central Ave., Oak Lawn. Online registration is at http://www.runwiththedogs.com. Early registration, will assure a T-shirt to participants. Starting time is 8 a.m.

A ÒDo It Herself” workshop will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20 in a tent at the Home Depot store, 4060 W. 95th St.

Drive 4 Pledges Day, a reminder to never text and drive, has been designated for Thursday, Sept. 19.

Approval was given to award the low bid for firefighter protective clothing to Illinois Police and Fire Equipment in the amount of $208,095.50.

The Starbucks at 103rd and Cicero Avenue will undergo a renovation. A Starbucks representative received approval to place a trailer on the site during the renovation. The project is expected to take two weeks to complete.

The Village President’s report brought criticism once again regarding a lack of transparency. Mayor Sandra Bury has appointed Sue Murphy to the Special Events Commission. Police pension board re-appointment of Emmett Egan drew criticism from Streit because he said a resume was not presented to the board.

The Traffic review commission appointment of Norm Lupescu drew more criticism since a resume was not provided to the board. Streit went further to point out that Lupescu had recently been arrested on a traffic related issue.

The irony of Lupescu’s appointment to the traffic review commission and his alleged traffic related arrest drew some laughter from the crowd. No comments or changes were made regarding Bury’s appointments.

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