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Park will fix Metra lot lights

Palos Park Metra commuters who have been left in the dark by a faulty electrical cable in the south end of the parking lot will soon be able to see the light.

Village officials voted unanimously Monday to pay $8,550 for the Tinley Park-based Kevin Electric to repair the lighting system at the Metra lot, 123rd Street and 82nd Avenue. Commissioner Dan Polk was not present.

Public Works and Streets Commissioner Nicole Milovich-Walters said the village received complaints last summer from Metra riders that lights on the last five poles in the southern end of the lot would occasionally go out. Public works employees investigated and found that the breaker had been tripped and reset it but the problem persisted, she said.

Palos Park officials last fall approved replacing the lighting at the Metra station with LED bulbs and were optimistic the new lighting fixtures would fix the problems, but the occasional blackouts continued, she said.

“So we called out an electrician [Kevin Electric] to investigate and we found a buried cable between two poles was shorting out,” Milovich-Walters told the Village Council and approximately a dozen residents in attendance. “The existing conduit was cracked allowing water in which trips the breaker and the last five poles on the system go dark.”

Milovich-Walters said the conduit and cable have to be replaced and due to the existing landscaping and sprinkler system and limited area between the curb and fence, the work will require directional drilling of a new conduit and installation of new wiring.

Village staff estimated the work would cost $20,000 and budgeted that much in this year’s budget, but the proposal from Kevin Electric came in considerably under that amount. Kevin Electric is no stranger to Palos Park having completed maintenance work at the village’s public works sanitary lift stations and water pumping facilities.

“[Kevin Electric] understands the problem and have worked with us a lot in the past,” Milovich-Walters said. “We’re very pleased with the price as it came in considerably less than what we had budgeted.”

Now that the contract has been awarded, Milovich-Walters anticipated the work would begin “soon,” but did not have an exact starting date. The project will be completed by the end of the year, she said.

“For safety purposes we want to have that area lighted,” Milovich-Walters said. “With the contract in the place, we’re hoping [the work] will begin soon.”

Hot Dog Day

In other news, Milovich-Walters invited all residents to come out to the Village Green from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 23, as Palos Park celebrates National Hot Dog Day.

Around 800 hot dogs were consumed at the inaugural event last year and event organizers are preparing for even more hot dog devouring this time around.

“We’ve bought 1,000 hot dogs and will have two grills going,” Palos Park Recreation and Parks Director Theresa Tevsh said. “Last year, we had long lines and had to go to the store to purchase more hot dogs two or three times. We’re ready this time.”

Hot dogs are priced at 50 cents each. Chips and drinks will also be available for sale.

“Hot dogs off the grill for only 50 cents…where can you get that deal? Nowhere,” Milovich-Walters said. “Bring your entire family. Hot Dog Day is so much fun.”

New this year is a pet parade around the Village Green that will begin at 5:30 p.m. A band will perform and a contestant in this year’s Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is scheduled to appear, Tevsh said.

For more information, visit www.palospark.org.  

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