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Worth narrowly approves COVID testing and medical services site

By Joe Boyle

With COVID-19 positivity rates declining in Illinois, some members of the Worth Village Board wondered why a business emphasizing testing is necessary?

Trustees Rich Dziedzic and Brad Urban brought the issue up during the Worth Village Board meeting Tuesday night, questioning if Free COVID Drive Thru Testing Inc. should be operating with the current positivity rates plummeting.

Owner Fadi Abuisneineh said that the only reason the business has COVID in the title is that it comes up in search engines when residents are looking for testing sites.

But Abuisneineh pointed out that the center, located at 11111 S. Harlem Ave., Unit A, will also provide other medical services, including drawing blood and collecting urine samples.

Abuisneineh said he has a lab located at 80th and Harlem in Bridgeview. The Worth location will be a collection site and COVID testing will be just one part of the functions of the business.

But Dziedzic said since the board voted down another business that was going to offer COVID testing, why would this situation be any different?

“Because it is also a medical office,” Mayor Mary Werner said.

Dziedzic and Urban said they would like to have more clarity and the ordinance should be amended to include in writing that the business also provides additional medical services.

It was agreed that the language be added to the amended ordinance, and Dziedzic requested that a separate vote be taken.

Dziedzic and Urban voted “no.” Trustees Laura Packwood and Kevin Ryan voted for the ordinance. Trustees Tedd Muersch Jr. and Pete Kats were not at the meeting.

With a 2-2 tie, Werner gave the tie-breaking vote of “yes.”

The board also approved an ordinance amending the village’s municipal code regarding large vehicle parking. According to the ordinance, it is now unlawful to park or store any vehicle on streets with an Illinois license plate classification higher than Class F between the hours of 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. This will include parking along alleys or parkways.

An ordinance establishing a temporary moratorium on tobacco-related uses in the B1 and B2 zoning districts passed. Currently, there are 17 businesses that sell tobacco in the village.

The board also approved an ordinance amending the municipal code regarding the Economic Development Commission, which was disbanded by the village in 2017. Recognizing that the EDC no longer exists, the village wanted the code revised to eliminate any references to the former commission.

An ordinance approving a contract with Affiliated International Resources Inc. was approved to repair the monument sign located outside the Worth Village Hall, 7112 W. 111th St.

A hearing took place before the village board meeting regarding the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. The village has met the requirements of the IEPA regarding pollutants for the annual permit.

A request was approved for the Marrs-Meyer American Legion Auxiliary to sell poppies on Poppy Day, which is set for Thursday, May 26. The rain date will be Friday, May 27. The auxiliary and volunteers will be selling the poppies at various street corners and retail locations within the village. The volunteers will be wearing bright yellow safety vests.

Urban, who is the head of the public works committee, said that the village had seven water main breaks in the past month. Urban pointed out that it is not unusual to have nearly 20 water main breaks over the winter. This year had a normal number of breaks, Urban said.

The board also honored the Bellan family, the owners of the Garden Chalet, for hosting the fundraiser to provide additional funding for the therapy dog program initiated by the Worth Police Department. The fundraiser was deemed a huge success last month. Officer Michael Cozzi said over $28,000 was raised.

The owners of Garden Chalet also mentioned during the meeting that they celebrated their 32nd anniversary this week.

Packwood, who is the head of the golf committee, said that signs of spring are ahead as golf carts are ready to go and the driving range is opening.

The board did approve a business license for ABC Heating Cooling of Chicago, 11302 S. Harlem Ave. Owner Seiena Figuigui said the business will be selling heating and cooling equipment, boilers and hot water tanks.

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