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North Palos asks Worth for help enforcing fire regulations on businesses

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By Joe Boyle

The North Palos Fire Protection District would like to see businesses that have numerous violations in Worth suffer the consequences.

The fire department does not give out the citations specifically. They require an official from the village to give the offending businesses the citations.

“North Palos Fire Protection District has been serving Worth since 2009,” said Mayor Mary Werner during the village board meeting Tuesday night. “But they have never given out citations themselves. They just don’t do that.”

Representatives of North Palos had informed the village they have visited several businesses on several occasions, warning them to take care of the violations. The offenses range from fire extinguishers that do not work properly to exit signs that are not luminated.

Trustees Brad Urban and Laura Packwood asked how these citations would be presented? The trustees suggested that Carol Rak, code enforcement officer for Worth, should accompany the fire chief when businesses receive citations for frequent violations.

“Carol usually gives a business seven to 10 days to address the problem before giving out citations,” Werner said.

However, Urban said that by the time Rak accompanies the fire department representatives to visit the businesses, they have already been visited by them on numerous occasions.

“By that time, Carol should just give them the citations if the fire department has warned them several times,” Urban said.

If a business had been cited previously, it would strengthen the village’s position, said Village Attorney Greg Jones. The board will make a final decision on the matter soon.

Urban, who is the head of the public works committee, said that several bids for the 2023 Motor Fuel Tax street resurfacing has taken place. However, the bids were higher than expected, with the lowest bid coming in at $1.1 million.

The trustee said that the process will be repeated and more bids will be taken.

Large truck parking restrictions were approved that will allow trucks that have nothing higher that an F plate to park in designated areas. The restrictions will take place in the Water’s Edge Golf Course parking lot, by the maintenance building, and the boat launch.

“We just can’t have heavy trucks in these lots because it just tears up the parking lots,” Urban said. “We just have to do it. You can’t just let one do it because they all will.”

Parking adjustments are being considered near 107th Street along Oak Park Avenue near Peaks Park. Three parking spots for disabled drivers along Oak Park will be moved to the park parking lot. Currently, the vision of motorists is obscured due to the parked vehicles and they may not see pedestrians crossing the street.

Urban said the Hometown Hero Banners are being put up this month.

Werner also commented that the police department fishing derby Saturday at Lake Katherine was another success.

“The fishing derby is great,” Werner said. “It is great because it gets the police, the schools, the kids and the parents involved. Everybody has a good time.”

An ordinance approved a special use permit to establish and operate an insurance agency office at 6608 W. 111th St., which includes parking variances for several other businesses.

An ordinance was approved for a leasing agreement with GPS Technologies concerning golf cart yardage display units. Packwood, who is the head of the golf committee, said all the golf carts will now have GPS units.

Packwood said that golfers with the GPS will now know the distance to the greens. And the golfers can order food and beverages from their carts that can be brought to them.

“It will make the game go faster and if a golfer is having problems, it can be determined in the office and help is on the way,” Packwood said.

She also mentioned that it will keep golfers honest as well. On occasion it has been noted that some golfers who are on the 15th or 16th hole would go back to the second hole and play over again.

“They won’t be able to do that anymore,” Packwood said. “If they try to go back to the second hole, the cart will just automatically shut off.”

Packwood said the fee for the GPS units will be $7,000 a year. She added that golfers who play on courses with GPS units no longer play anywhere else.

Packwood also mentioned that the bid to Eliud Jijon Castro for painting the main building, half-way house, cart barn and replace all the bad wood at the Water’s Edge Golf Course has been rescinded.

A bid from Certa Pro Painters, of Oak Park, has now been approved to do the work. The repairs will be made and will not exceed $23,000, Packwood said.

A business license was tentatively approved for Eve Coutre, 11111 S. Harlem Ave., which is under new ownership. Selena Boutique, 7028 S. Harlem Ave., a new dress store, received a business license.

Business licenses were also granted to Semante & Associates, 6608 W. 111th St., an insurance agency, and Gold and Beyond, 11326 S. Harlem Ave., a jewelry store.

Werner reminded everyone that the Memorial Day remembrance service will be held Sunday, May 21, at the Veterans Memorial Park at 111th and Harlem. Coffee and doughnuts will be served at 10 a.m. at the adjacent fire house. The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m.

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