Wednesday, December 5, 2012
On April 9, 2012 Oak Forest residents will cast their vote for mayor, city clerk, city treasurer and three aldermanic seats. If residents are wondering how to throw their hat in the ring, Patch has the details.
On April 9, 2013, Oak Forest residents will head to the polls to shape city government, as several important posts are up for election. Early in December, it's not confirmed who will run for which roles, but Patch spoke with Oak Forest City Clerk Scott Berkhardt about what residents interested in running have to do to get their name placed on the ballot. Positions up for election include: Each position is a four-year term. Aldermen Rich Simon (Ward 2) and Chuck Toland (Ward 4) will seek another term, along with Mayor Hank Kuspa and City Clerk Scott Burkhardt. It's unknown if Alderman Peter Muscarella and Treasurer Dwayne Fox will run for reelection. Any person seeking election to a city office or alermanic seat, must gather signatures. …
Thursday, October 11, 2012
The Oak Forest City Council approved a more than $55,000 sidewalk construction project from 147th Street to 159th Street along Central Avenue at its Oct. 9 meeting. Work is scheduled to begin Oct. 22.
Walking from 147th Street to 159th Street along Central Avenue is about to get a whole lot easier for Oak Forest residents, after aldermen Tuesday approved a contract with Lorusso Cement Contractors, Inc., and the city by the Oak Forest City Council. At the council's Tuesday, Oct. 9 meeting, the council approved the contract, in the amount of $55,385 for the sidewalk work. “We will have continuous sidewalk from 147th Street to 159th Street,” Kuspa said. According to Kuspa, who was speaking for City Administrator Troy Ishler, who was absent from the meeting due attendance at a conference, the work will cost more than the $50,000 grant the city received from the Illinois Department of Economic & Commerce Opportunity. “Troy is going to go …
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
The Oak Forest City Council approved a measure to refund 2004 bonds and issue 2012 bonds, possibly saving the city more than $700,000. The savings would stem from a lower interest rate, with the money earmarked for capital needs.
The city of Oak Forest could have a nice chunk of change—possibly up to $700,000—coming its way in a few weeks, thanks to a bond reissuing that was approved by the city council on Tuesday, Oct 9. The bond re-issuance comes after a decrease in interest expense, according to Finance Director Colleen Julian. “We can't lose here, this is after all the costs,” Julian said. “My thought is that, 'God, we've taken quite a few hits over the years because of the bad economy, this is the payback.'” Reissued bonds would be part of Series 2012 and would refund Series 2004 A bonds, with the issuance not to exceed $10 million, according to Julian. Julian told the council that there are two options for receiving the money, once the bonds are put on the …
Thursday, September 13, 2012
A 400-pound steel beam from the World Trade Center, which was destroyed Sept. 11, 2001, is now part of Oak Forest. The beam will be displayed during the I Am An American parade and then placed at City Hall, until officials can decide on a permanent spot.
A piece of American history found a new home in Oak Forest and will be displayed during the I Am An American parade on Saturday, Sept. 15. The piece, a metal beam from the World Trade Center that was attacked by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001, will ride in a red, white, and blue painted public works truck during the parade. The steel beam was secured for the city with the help of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Illinois Senator Maggie Crotty, and Grane Trucking Company, Maher said. The beam weighs approximately 400 pounds and is mangled and twisted from the attacks, according to a press release from the city. Acquiring the beam was no small feat, said Chrissy Maher, Oak Forest's Public Relations Coordinator, and it was Mayor Hank Kuspa who …
Friday, September 7, 2012
The return of the 'I Am an American Day Parade' was already a momentous occasion—but a very special addition will make it even more moving.
A piece of American history will soon arrive in Oak Forest. The City of Oak Forest is honored to announce that a steel beam from the World Trade Center will be a part of the I Am An American Day Parade on Sept. 15. The city recently acquired the beam from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey with the help of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Illinois Senator Maggie Crotty, and Grane Trucking Company in Chicago. “Senator Durbin and Senator Crotty were instrumental in helping us acquire a piece of our country’s history,” said Oak Forest Mayor Hank Kuspa. “Once we received approval from the port authority our only hurdle was transportation. That’s when Grane stepped in and made it happen.” Kupsa, who works fulltime as a facilities …
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
The City of Oak Forest and four other municipalities, continue negotiations with Oak Lawn on water supply services. Alderman approved an additional $8,500 in spending for negotiations during Aug. 14 city council meeting.
Oak Forest aldermen are ready to shell out more money for contract negotiations between the city, Mokena, Tinley Park, Orland Park, New Lenox and Oak Lawn for water supply services provided by Oak Lawn. Aldermen Aug. 14 agreed to pay up $8,525 to three consulting firms to continue negotiations with Oak Lawn. The amount represents 11 percent of total negotiation fees, with Orland Park, Tinley Park, Mokena and New Lenox picking up the remaining 89 percent of the tab, respectively. Oak Forest previously agreed to pay more than $10,000 to continue negotiations in March, after the group of municipalities agreed to a short-term contract with Oak Lawn. Alderman Rich Simon questioned the effectiveness of the negotiations, asking if a resolution is…
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Mayor Hank Kuspa and the City of Oak Forest want resident feedback on where the City should go.
Hank Kuspa, mayor of the City of Oak Forest, and other officials want to hear from you. The city is currently seeking feedback from residents, business owners and organizations about where the City should go. The series of Strategic Planning Initiative meetings are part of the effort; before the meetings started, the city sent out questionnaires to people in Oak Forest. On June 5, about 40 people offered what they liked and what they think could be improved about the City. "Many of the comments that you have brought up today are things that the (City) Council and I are well aware of,” Kuspa said. Read more about Kuspa and the Strategic Planning Initiative meetings.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
The first of several Strategic Planning Initiative public meeting drew a crowd of residents, who offered their opinion on the strengths, opportunities and threats for Oak Forest.
The first of six meetings to discuss the future of Oak Forest sparked conversation on business development and other specifics on how the city can improve. About 40 residents attended the Strategic Planning Initiative meeting Tuesday night in the Acorn Public Library. The purpose of the meeting is to gather resident feedback, as well as input from different groups within the community, on the direction they want Oak Forest's future to go. District 142 Superintendent Margaret Longo and Oak Forest Mayor Hank Kuspa led the meeting. People were asked what they thought were Oak Forest’s strengths, what opportunities there might be for improvement and what “threats” the city faces. "Many of the comments that you have brought up today are things …
Thursday, November 3, 2011
The Bark for a Park committee held its second fundraiser for an Oak Forest Dog Park at Oak Forest Community Center, Wednesday, Nov. 2.
The Oak Forest community proved it's not too ruff to show its support for a dog park. The Bark for a Park committee and its leader Ald. Laura Clemons (1st Ward) hosted a Nov. 2 all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner to raise funds for Oak Forest's own dog park. Volunteers served dinner and raffled off prizes throughout the night at the Oak Forest Community Center. For a $10 ticket, guests received: salad, all-you-can-eat pasta, garlic bread, dessert and soft drinks or water. The event brought in $1,170 from the raffle baskets and dog crate prize. Roughly 110 people bought tickets at the door ($1,100), and pre-event sales at about $1,190. Clemons estimates they served about 300 people total. "We were thrilled to see so many families and their …
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Oak Forest residents concerned about water bills might have more cause to worry if Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's water rate hike goes into effect.
Oak Forest Mayor Hank Kuspa is ready to take another look at alternatives for water delivery as word of a significant rate increase trickles down the Chicago government pipeline. Suburbs that get their water from Lake Michigan, including Oak Forest, could pay for 47 percent of the infrastructure improvements Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has outlined in his budget proposals, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. "I'm very concerned about not being able to have any control over the most basic of services for our residents—clean, safe water," Kuspa said. That would mean a 25 percent hike to water rates next year and 15 percent for the following three years to help cover the cost of the city’s plan to convert four pumping stations from steam to …