Countryside Ald. John Finn (1st) said the city’s business license fee structure had not been amended in 20 years. The new plan is based on square footage. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Countryside Ald. John Finn (1st) said the city’s business license fee structure had not been amended in 20 years. The new plan is based on square footage. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Countryside Park to get environmentally friendly parking lots

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By Steve Metsch

Countryside Park is getting environmentally friendly parking lots.

The city council at its Sept. 28 meeting unanimously approved replaced paved lots at the south and north ends of the park with permeable pavers.

The pavers are considered friendly to the environment because they allow rainwater to pass through rather than collect in puddles as it now does on the asphalt parking lots.

A bid for the work was opened on Sept. 26, City Engineer John Fitzgerald told the city council.

“One bid was received. No errors were found,” he said.

The winning bid from MYS Inc., a general contractor based in Palos Heights, was for $599,233.

The bid came in $43,192 less than what had been estimated, Fitzgerald said.

A $325,000 grant from the MWRD is being used to pay for part of the project, Fitzgerald said. The city covers the difference.

“That’s going to start before the snow flies,” he said of the project. “There’s a deadline of Nov. 30, so we hope they can comply with that.”

In other business, the council approved an ordinance amending the city code regarding annual business licenses.

Ald. John Finn (1st) who chairs the finance committee, said “our license fee and schedule has not been updated for 20 years.”

“Some of it was cumbersome and hard to understand,” Finn said.

Other communities’ license fees were reviewed, he said. Countryside’s new fee structure will be based on the square footage of each building. Inconsistencies that exist now will be remedied, he said.

Ald. Tom Frohlich (1st), who heads the Flagg Creek Advisory Board, said, “I’m happy to report that August was a very good month.”

There were more than 7,400 rounds of golf played in August. That puts the total number of rounds 679 ahead of this time last year, Frohlich said.

“I think more people are aware of Flagg Creek now,” Frohlich said. “I’ve heard a number of people call it a hidden gem.”

“The grounds are looking great,” he added. “All is well at Flagg Creek.”

Mayor Sean McDermott, who often plays there, agreed: “The course is in great shape.”

Ald. Scott Musillami (3rd), chair of the special events committee, said the city’s inaugural Bluegrass and Brews festival was well-attended.

“We’re going to do it again (next year) but will look to maybe having the sound system more tuned to bluegrass music,” Musillami said.

McDermott opened the city council meeting by expressing concern for “our friends in Florida.”

He, of course, referred to the widespread damage in the Sunshine State caused recently by Hurricane Ian.

“It’s a horrible situation and sometimes we’re very lucky to live in the boring Midwest with the relatively moderate weather we have to deal with,” he said.

“But please keep everyone in Florida in your thoughts and prayers,” McDermott said.

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