Shireen O'Brien, a Marine veteran, is accompanied by her service dog, Riley, during the Worth Village Board meeting Tuesday night. O'Brien thanked the board and everyone who provided donations that allowed her to purchase the dog. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Shireen O'Brien, a Marine veteran, is accompanied by her service dog, Riley, during the Worth Village Board meeting Tuesday night. O'Brien thanked the board and everyone who provided donations that allowed her to purchase the dog. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Worth Park District wants Lucas-Berg site to become recreation area

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By Joe Boyle

Worth Park District representatives have scheduled a meeting with Cook County Commissioner Sean Morrison (R-17th) to discuss ways to develop an intergovernmental relationship to offer the Lucas-Berg site for public recreation.

Mike McElroy, president of the Worth Park District Board, said during the village board meeting Tuesday night that the park district has worked with former U.S Rep. Dan Lipinski in the past to develop the Lucas-Berg site at 7600 W. 111th St.

McElroy said the goal now is to have the Lucas-Berg site become land for public recreation. Also in attendance at the meeting were Robert O’Shaughnessy, director of parks and recreation, and Paula Marr, recreation assistant.

Worth Park District representatives will be meeting with Morrison on Thursday, Feb. 9, to develop a relationship with Cook County to make the Lucas-Berg site a location where families can gather and take part in recreation activities.

“It’s about time that folks have peace of mind about this,” McElroy said. “Eventually, we would like to have this land open to the public.”

Worth Park District representatives also said that a community meeting regarding a referendum for a tax increase to assure programs continue for the village will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 9, at the Terrace Centre, 11500 S. Beloit Ave.

McElroy pointed out that the park district is asking for a 0.2000% increase for every $100,000 in estimated property value.

The referendum asking for the tax increase for the park district will be on the April 4 ballot.

“I want to thank all of you for providing services,” McElroy told the board. “We have to be the eyes and ears for the public. In the past 60 years, we have not asked for additional funding. We have a small staff but we care for 10 parks. Looking forward by the year 2030 we will need help. We have great plans but we are going to need help. We need your partnership.”

McElroy and O’Shaughnessy had mentioned last fall that with the future acquisition of the 30-acre Altman Park will double the existing green space but will also increase maintenance costs.

Along with Altman Park at 115th and Beloit, the park district plans to upgrade Veterans Memorial Park and replace and repair pathways and parking lots.

Trustee Brad Urban was in agreement.

“A lot of people don’t realize that a swing set has an expiration date,” Urban said. “They need to be upgraded.”

McElroy also said that the Terrace Centre needs to be maintained or eventually replaced. Additional funding will be necessary in the future, McElroy said.

“That’s the key because we have to change due to changing demographics,” McElroy said about an increase in families and children in the village. “We would like to satisfy our residents. They should not have to go to Oak Lawn or Chicago Ridge. They should have this here.”

Veteran applauds community

Shireen O’Brien, a Worth resident who served in the Marines, attended Tuesday’s meeting along with her husband and her service dog, Riley. A fundraiser was held last month to provide monetary assistance for O’Brien to purchase the dog. O’Brien had been dealing with a series of threatening illnesses since she concluded her service.

O’Brien mentioned during the meeting that more than enough money was raised to purchase Riley, a lifesaving service dog. She presented a check to the Fraternal Order of Police who played a role in organizing the fundraiser.

“I can’t say thank you enough,” O’Brien said. “I can’t believe the amount of people who have contacted me. Again, thank you very, very much.”

Mayor Mary Werner also mentioned that Cook County has introduced a new universal health phone line for residents in need of food, who have questions about health, and needing information about medical issues. The new number to call is 211.

“This is for everybody in Cook County,” Werner said. “That was pretty exciting news they shared with the mayors this week.”

Village Clerk Bonnie Price mentioned that Park Lawn has requested tag days to take place on April 7, 8, 14 and 15.

The Police and Fire Commission hired Krzystow Szwab as a probationary police officer retroactive to Feb. 1.

A resolution authorizing participation in the Northern Illinois Municipal Electric Collaborative was signed by Werner that approved a contract with the lower cost electricity provider for a period of up to 36 months.

The IDOT permit maintenance agreement and maintenance under the Illinois Highway Code were also approved by the board.

The fish fry returns to The Edge Bar & Grill at Water’s Edge Golf course. The first fish fry will be held from 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, which is Ash Wednesday. The fish fry will then be held from 4 to 9 p.m. each Friday from Feb. 24 through April 7. No reservations are required.

The board also approved a business license application for Meat House Zabina Halal and Kosher, 11300 S. Harlem Ave. Owner Hani Siam said the business will be selling packaged meat.

1 Comment

  1. Mike McElroy on February 9, 2023 at 9:25 pm

    Thank you for a great story. Correction. Lucas Berg has NEVER been used as a landfill.



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