Jack McCormick, 11, a member of Boy Scout Troop 596, makes popcorn during the Oak Lawn National Night Out on August 1 in the village's Municipal Hall parking lot. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Jack McCormick, 11, a member of Boy Scout Troop 596, makes popcorn during the Oak Lawn National Night Out on August 1 in the village's Municipal Hall parking lot. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Oak Lawn: Village is in better economic health

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By Joe Boyle

After some difficult years due to the pandemic, the economic health of the Village of Oak Lawn is on the rise.

Additional funding has gone into the coffers for the Oak Lawn police and fire pensions. Village Manager Tom Phelan admitted during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting on Aug. 8 that they had some good fortune.

However, they have worked hard to make sure the village is keeping up with its pension responsibilities, he said.

Mayor Terry Vorderer said that he was pleased with that good news.

“Oak Lawn is doing its best to provide services,” the mayor said.

Trustee Paul Mallo (3rd) said that he has received plenty of positive feedback on the National Night Out event that took place on Aug. 1 in the Municipal Hall parking lot.

“It was very well attended and everyone had a good time,” Mallo said. “We added more this year. I want to thank Police Chief Dan Vittorio for all his help and advice.”

Vittorio returned the compliment.

“This was all Trustee Mallo’s doing,” Vittorio said. “He deserves all the credit.”

Vorderer said it was a great evening and noted that there were a lot of families in attendance.

“I brought my grandkids and this was a great night,” Vorderer said. “They had hot dogs and snacks. Everyone was enjoying themselves. I advise everybody who hasn’t to come out next year.”

Trustee Alex Olejniczak (2nd) said it was a great occasion with the police and fire departments well represented at the event. He commented on the popularity of the police dog, Thor, who was a big hit with the kids and the parents. Officer Bob Carroll and Thor took part in a presentation in which the 2-year-old dog was seen tracking down the scent of narcotics.

The fire department also put on their annual presentation in which they had a controlled burn in which units resembling living rooms were put up in flames. One of them had sprinklers while the other unit did not.

Olejniczak also commented on the many families that were present at the National Night Out.

“We have a lot of new officers on the force and a lot of them were there with their families and kids,” Vittorio said. “We have a lot of young new officers.”

Olejniczak also gave an update on the construction project that is taking place at 95th Street and Southwest Highway.

The water main phase project along Southwest Highway between Oak Lawn Community High School and McVicker Avenue will soon be completed, Olejniczak said. The project should be completed within 30 to 60 days.

Vorderer said the project is moving along and diligence is necessary because of the heavy traffic along 95th and Southwest Highway.

“We want to make sure this intersection at Southwest Highway and 95th Street is totally completed,” Vorderer said. “Oak Lawn High School is right at the corner so we want to make sure it is safe. I want to thank Alex, Tom Phelan and Paul Mallo for their leadership on this issue.”

Summer events

The board also approved ordinances for several activities taking place throughout the summer. The St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish’s 12th annual Charge-On-5k Run will be held beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, at Lawn Manor Park, 108th and Kostner Avenue. Participants will be running through the neighborhood.

The Kid Identification Safety Seat event to be held Saturday, Aug. 26, at the Patriot Station also received board approval. The 13th annual St. Linus Oktoberfest was approved by the board. The fest will be held from 4 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, on the parish grounds, 10300 S. Lawler Ave.

Vorderer also reminded residents that a 9/11 ceremony will be held on Monday, Sept. 11, at the Metra Patriot Station.

“We would like to see a lot of people come out to pay tribute to the thousands of people who died on 9/11,” the mayor said.

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