Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Higher projected revenues offset the jump in spending in Oak Forest's $15.7 million budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year, which the council voted to approve last week.
Spending might be up from last year in Oak Forest's $15.7 million budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year, but so are revenues. And with a surplus of $574,000, that means the city is on target to meet its goal of a fund balance of $3.5 million by the 2016 fiscal year. The Oak Forest City Council approved the budget at its Tuesday, April 23, meeting. The city's new fiscal year begins May 1. READ: City Council OKs $766K Contract for 2013 Road Program “It is our financial policy to maintain a sufficient fund balance to protect the city against the need to reduce service levels or raise taxes due to temporary revenue shortfalls,” said city finance director Colleen Julian in a press release. “The projected surplus is moving us in the right direction…
Monday, April 29, 2013
The contract, which was awarded to Waseka-based Iroquois Paving Corp., was about $288K less than Oak Forest officials estimated. Patch maps out the streets that made the cut to be paved and repaired as part of this year's program.
The City of Oak Forest will spend a little more than $760,000 on this year's road program, which paves and repairs selected streets annually. Iroquois Paving Corp., which is based in Watseka, was awarded the contract by the Oak Forest City Council during its April 23 meeting, according to a city press release. The contract is for $766,388.62, which is about $288,000 less than what officials had originally estimated, the release stated. READ: City Program Helps Homeowners Replace Ash Trees When it comes to targeting the roads that need attention, the city engineer and the director of public works evaluate all of Oak Forest's streets rank them by the severity of repairs needed, according to the city website. City officials then determine how…
Thursday, March 28, 2013
A round up of items from the Oak Forest city council's Tuesday, March 26, meeting.
The Oak Forest police and the city's building departments both are receiving new printers and copiers, while the City Council finalized the purchase of an apartment building at 15659 S. Lamon Ave., approving both moves by 4-0 votes at its Tuesday, March 26 meeting. READ: City Council OKs Lawn Care Service for Vacant, Abandoned Properties Three copiers will be leased by the city from Proven Business Systems as part of a five-year agreement. Two combination printer-copier-scanner units will be used by the police department, while the third will be in the Building Department. The city will pay $418.00 per month for the three machines. The council also finalized an agreement to purchase the apartment building at 15659 S. Lamon Avenue, which …
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
The Oak Forest City Council agreed to a contract with Dutch Valley Inc., to maintain the lawns of the city's abandoned or vacant properties.
Oak Forest residents living next to vacant or abandoned properties in the city won't need to worry this year about the landscaping becoming unsightly eyesores. The city council approved Tuesday a contract with Dutch Valley Inc., to tend to those empty properties in Oak Forest. Under the contract, the city will pay $28-per-cut, $2 less than last year. In 2012, the city paid $11,800 to its previous contractor to maintain 65 properties, said Building Commissioner Gary Gerdes. “We spent $30-per-cut last year, so we'll have a slight reduction in price this year,” he said. A $400 lien is placed against the property for every cut the city pays for, something that should make up for the service's expense, Gerdes added. When questioned by Aldermen …
Thursday, February 28, 2013
The new three-year deal between Oak Forest and Sikich LLP for auditing services continues the pair's five-year relationship. The contract calls for two minor bumps in costs in year two and three, and can be extended an additional two years.
The city of Oak Forest will continue to open its books to Sikich LLP for at least the next three years of auditing services, after aldermen Tuesday agreed to a new three-year contract. Sikich, which audited the city's books for the past five years, was lauded by Oak Forest Finance Director Colleen Julian for their work during the previous contract. “We have been with Sikich for the last five years and I think they have a large presence in the municipal audit field,” Julian said. “They've done a great job.” The contract with the city did not go out to open bid, Julian said, because of the relationship Sikich and the city have developed. “If I thought it would add a lot of benefit to the city, I would recommend going out and looking at other…
A guide to the April 2013 aldermanic race pitting incumbent 4th Ward Alderman Chuck Toland against firefighter/paramedic John "Jack" Janozik.
Chuck Toland took office as 4th Ward alderman in 2007. Toland prides himself on his open communication with constituents and transparency in his role. His opponent, John "Jack" Janozik, is an Oak Forest Fire Department lieutenant and paramedic who feels in tune with what residents need and want. Both aspire to bring more business to Oak Forest, and alleviate the tax burden on residents. CANDIDATE BIOS Early voting begins March 25. Election Day is April 9. Join Patch! Create a free user account and join the discussion about the future of Oak Forest. You'll be subscribed to the free daily newsletter and breaking news alerts. Got a news tip? Email Patch editor Lauren Traut. Take me back to Election Central!
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Oak Forest aldermen approved a year-long agreement with the Oak Forest Park District to allow the park district to run the batting cages in the Oak Forest Community Center. The agreement will cost both sides $0.
It's batter up for the Oak Forest Park District, thanks to a move by the Oak Forest city council at its Feb. 26 meeting. Aldermen approved a year-long agreement between the city and the park district to allow the park district to use the batting cage area of the community center building. The agreement is similar to an agreement the city has with the park district to use the basement of city hall for wrestling programs, said City Clerk Scott Burkhardt. “The park district asked if they could be the user of the facility,” Burkhardt said. “What is before you this evening is an agreement that would allow the park district to use that facility.” The agreement is free for the city and park district, with the the only cost to the city for heating…
Oak Forest Public Works Director Troy Ishler announced that the city removed the final infested Ash tree from city parkways on Tuesday, Feb. 26. The city removed more than 1,800 trees over a two-plus year span.
After more than two years of chopping, cutting and sawing, the Oak Forest Public Works department finished removing every infested Ash tree from Oak Forest parkways Tuesday morning, Feb. 26. In total, the city removed 1,849 trees from city parkways over the two-plus year span, with 500 trees removed by a contractor, said Public Works Director Troy Ishler. “I'd like to personally thank the public works department for the outstanding job they've done on this,” Ishler said. “They've gone above and beyond what they normally do to handle such a huge project and they've done very well.” During the Oak Forest city council meeting, Ishler announced that since all the trees were removed, the next phase of the project—stumping and reforestation—was …
A guide to the April 2013 aldermanic race pitting newcomers Ken Barry and James Hortsman against each other, following the removal of incumbent Pete Muscarella and newcomer Greg Simos from the ballot.
With an incumbent knocked off the ballot early in election season, and a newcomer removed for invalid signatures, the 6th Ward alderman seat will be filled by a new face, for a four-year term. CANDIDATE BIOS Early voting begins March 25. Election Day is April 9. Join Patch! Create a free user account and join the discussion about the future of Oak Forest. You'll be subscribed to the free daily newsletter and breaking news alerts. Got a news tip? Email Patch editor Lauren Traut. Take me back to Election Central!
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Oak Forest aldermen Feb. 12 decided that after 105 days of unpaid water bills, they'll put a lien on the owner's property.
Oak Forest residents with overdue water bills will face harsher repercussions from the city—including possible liens to cover the bills. Under the updated ordinance approved Feb. 12, if a water bill goes unpaid for 105 days, the city can place a lien in the amount of the bill. Previously, the ordinance only accounted for unpaid sewerage bills. The ordinance applies to all properties—even those foreclosed upon. If a lien is placed on a foreclosed home, the bill is paid when the home is sold. Recently, residents saw a water rate increase, set in place to cover an increase in the cost of water from suppliers Oak Lawn and the city of Chicago. The water rate in Oak Forest increased to a volume rate of 63 cents per 1,000 gallons; the average…