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Worth mayor said Lucas Berg Commission will to be dissolved

Worth Mayor Mary Werner informed residents who attended the Aug. 3 village board meeting that the Lucas Berg Commission, which was formed more than 15 years ago and comprised of members of the Care of the Earth group, is going to be dissolved.

The Care of the Earth group has been in existence since the 1970s.

“The commission has not met since the Lucas Berg site was deeded back to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District by the Army Corps of Engineers in 2014,” said Werner. “This is just a formality.”

She added that the primary focus of the group was to prevent the dumping of sludge from the Cal-Sag Channel into the 78-acre property and to preserve the site that borders on 111th Street to the north, Oketo Avenue to the east and Southwest Highway to the west.

“That threat was removed when Cong. Dan Lipinski (D-3rd) successfully inserted language into the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, which prevented the dumping of the material and led to the site being transferred to the MWRD,” added Werner. “It is now up to the MWRD to determine the future of the site and I am meeting with them later this month.”

Earlier this year, Werner stated that if the MWRD did not have a corporate use planned for the site, it could possibly be sold. At that time she said that the village would be interested in purchasing the land, if at all possible, as the majority of the acreage is in Worth.

Trustee Colleen McElroy asked Werner if there were any plans to honor and recognize the people who had worked hard for so many years to preserve the site. Werner said that plans will be made to recognize their efforts.

McElroy also asked Werner if the position of life safety officer, which was established in 2005 in conjunction with the Lucas Berg Commission, would also be dissolved. “This is a separate issue from the Commission,” McElroy said.

Werner agreed but said the position would also be dissolved. McElroy’s husband, Mike, has served as the life safety officer since the position was established. The mayor said at the conclusion of the meeting that the MWRD has their own security since it is now owns theland. But Werner added that the village is given access twice a year for cleaning up the area and Mike McElroy can still play a large role in that.

In another matter, in lieu of an economic development report from McElroy, Werner announced that she would be meeting with the board in the near future to review the business licensing process especially as it applies to special uses.

In board action, the trustees approved a resolution outlining rules for the public comment portion of board meetings. According to the rules, each person will be permitted to speak one time only, with a limit of three minutes per person. Only one person can speak at a time. Total time available for public comment during any meeting shall be limited to 40 minutes unless the village board waives the rule prior to the commencement of the time for public comment.

The rules are designed to avoid repetitive comments, testimony, and general questions unrelated to village business.

In other business, the board agreed to direct the village attorney to update the police department portion of the village’s municipal code.

Also approved were Halloween trick-or- treat hours from 3 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 31.

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