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Council approves plans to demolish abandoned homes

By Joe Boyle

The Palos Hills City Council has approved plans to demolish abandoned homes that have become an eyesore for the city.

Mayor Gerald Bennett indicated during last Thursday’s city council and committee meetings that once the homes are demolished, they will not rebuild on those sites.

“We will not rebuild again on those sites so that we can alleviate flooding,” the mayor said. “Some of the homes are scattered throughout the area, and some homes are right in a row.”

Bennett said money raised to complete the demolition will come out of the capital fund. Nick Oeffling, the commissioner of the Public Works Department, added that they will receive about $3 million in federal money.

Ald. Mike Price (1st) mentioned that the new car wash at 105th and Harlem is close to opening. A ribbon-cutting ceremony should occur soon, Price said.

“It’s a beautiful facility,” Price said.

Ald. Martin Kleefisch (1st) wondered if the owners will keep up with the landscaping? Price assured him that they would.

City Attorney George Pappas had mentioned at a previous meeting he appeared at the Bridgeview Courthouse regarding the status of Valley Plaza lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed because the owner of the property has been accused of allowing the land to fall into disrepair.

The judge had given the defense 21 days to respond. Pappas said he will be waiting for an answer.

Ald. Ricky Moore (4th) said that each alderman can be equipped with a mailbox set up with extensions if they choose to use the service. Ald. Pauline Stratton (2nd) said that at this time she will not use the service. Oeffling said the mailboxes and extensions should be set up by the end of June.

The owner of the Palos Hills Pancake House was supposed to attend a liquor commission hearing last Thursday but declined. Bennett said they had no alternative but to revoke the liquor license. The license was suspended for violation of not serving a full-service menu and not serving liquor.

Moore had asked at a previous meeting if the license can be reactivated or does the license for the business have to re-issued again? Bennett replied that by revoking the license, this reduces the number of licenses by one. A new license could be given to someone else to come in and re-issue a license for a new person who agrees to change the operation.

That person could return in six months and re-apply to the city council for approval of the liquor license, Bennett added.

Ald. Dawn Novak (5th) announced at the meeting that the City of Palos Hills Resource and Recreation Department will be hosting a Health Fair Expo from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, April 26, at the Palos Hills Community Center, 8455 W. 103rd St.

A health care vendor will be on hand, in addition to various screenings. More information can be obtained by calling Palos Hills Recreation Department at (708) 430-4500.

Stratton also informed the board that due to scheduling conflicts the next Parks meeting will be moved to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 6 at the council chambers at City Hall.

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