regional palos heights logo

Palos Heights City Council rejects City Hall renovation

Spread the love

By Bob Bong

Palos Heights aldermen rejected a $1.7 million renovation project for its aging City Hall building at a sometimes testy City Council meeting Tuesday night.

Aldermen voted 5-3 to shoot down a plan that would have made some bathrooms compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, moved the Building Department back to the front of City Hall, repair the heating and air conditioning system, update electrical systems, and move offices.

“A ‘no’ vote will incur extra expenses,” proponent Ald. Heather Begley said. She estimated new architectural work would cost about $30,000 on top of $67,000 already spent on the plan that was killed Tuesday night.

She was clearly disappointed that the project was shelved after 18 months of discussions about the renovation.

“This has not been the smoothest bathroom remodel,” she said, adding that City Hall needs work that will not go away, but will cost more after this latest delay.

Ald. Robert Basso voted against the project and brought up the idea of building a new City Hall instead of spending more money on the existing building.

“This building is functionally obsolete,” he said. “We should be able to find a way to build a new City Hall.”

After Ald. Michael McGrogan and Begley disagreed on whether he had attended any of the planning sessions for the renovation project, Ald. Brent Lewandowski brought up the idea of eliminating committees headed by different aldermen and replacing it with a committee of the whole meeting.

Several area communities, including Orland Park, hold committee of the whole meetings ahead of their regular village board meetings.

Mayor Bob Straz said that sounded like a possibility.

An unscientific poll conducted by The Regional was unanimously opposed to the project.

“I, as a longtime resident of Palos Heights, am appalled that the mayor thinks nothing of $110,000 on average per remodel of each of the very small bathrooms. He said the bathroom remodels was $440,000. That very high number seems quite high for such small bathrooms. I feel they didn’t really try hard to save the taxpayers money and are trying hard to spend all those raised tax dollars so they can keep raising them,” said Harlan Weivoda.

“I’m not for spending $2 million. I’m ok doing an update on needed infrastructure and, of course, some updates. But not a full remodel of the city hall,” said Mary Sodetz.

Tuesday’s vote means the planning for any future renovations will have to start over.

Ald. Jeffery Key expressed obvious frustration after the vote complaining that hard work done during committee meetings ahead of City Council meetings is often ignored or overturned when the projects come up for a vote.

“I’m becoming more and more frustrated,” he said citing money spent on a new parking lot that was later killed among other projects.

“We kick the can down the road,” he said adding it winds up costing more when the projects are finally approved.

Aldermen Begley, Key and Lewandowski voted “yes” on the renovation. Aldermen McGrogan, Basso, Jerry McGovern, Jack Clifford, and Don Bylut voted “no.”

Local News

The Chicago Red Stars' Ally Schlegel said she is looking forward to playing at Wrigley Field when the team hosts Seattle there in June. IMAGN photo

Chicago Red Stars and Bay FC to play at Wrigley Field

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Chicago Red Stars forward Ally Schlegel loves Wrigley Field. “I adored Wrigley the second I went to my first Cubs game,” Schlegel said. “I fell in love with it thinking it was the perfect sporting experience with how they built it up down there.” She will go from a…

New Trinity Christian men's basketball coach Jordan Mast led Antelope Valley to the NAIA Tournament this season. Photo courtesy of Trinity Christian College Department of Athletics

Trinity Christian College names new hoops coaches

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Trinity Christian officials were busy on April 11 ushering in new eras for its basketball programs. Trolls Athletic Director Wendy Reid announced that Jordan Mast is taking over the men’s basketball program, while Jasmine Porter has been named women’s hoops coach. Mast comes to the school in Palos Heights…

Reavis baseball coach Don Erickson rakes a soggy mound during a game against Evergreen Park on April 12. The longtime Rams coach is retiring after this season. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Reavis baseball coach and Hall of Famer Don Erickson to retire after season

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent A deal is a deal. Longtime Reavis baseball coach Don Erickson has said he would retire after his son, Sam, graduates from high school, so he can watch Sam play in college. Erickson doesn’t get to many of his son’s high school games because Sam plays at Downers Grove…

Palos Park resident Nick Hoffman said his patience is wearing out with noise and parking problems caused by the Palos Islamic Center.

Palos Park residents, mosque reps discuss noise issues at council meeting

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva What could have been an explosive situation was actually quite civil. Some Palos Park residents were angry about loud activity and behavior of some members of the Palos Islamic Center the past two years and sounded off at the April 8 village council meeting. Fresh on their minds was noise…

regional orland park police logo

Midlothian man arrested for Orland Park carjacking

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom wire reports The Orland Park Police Department announced the arrest of a suspect in a vehicular hijacking that occurred on the evening of April 3. Shawn Flores, a 44-year-old Midlothian resident, faces charges following his apprehension on April 4. The incident began when a male victim was forcibly removed from his vehicle…

big PoliceLights1

Blotter: Evergreen Park police issue scam alert

Spread the love

Spread the loveThe Evergreen Park Police Department is warning the public of an ongoing scam where a caller claims to be an Evergreen Park Police Officer, and instructs the individual to send money in order to avoid criminal charges. In some versions of this scam, the offenders tell individuals they missed a court date related…

The Palos South eighth-grade Girls Volleyball Team is: Top row (left to right) Dorian Urquizo, Annika Hock, Maja Pszczola, Elaina Yasin, Hannah Koenig, Makaleigh Terry, Maya Surdel, Brooklyn Parr, Maggie Purtill, Coach Marty Duggan. Bottom row (left to right) are Raliyah Bruce, Sarah Cairo, Sofia Wilson, Katy Zumerchik, Khadija Faisal, Alexa Morales. (Supplied photos)

Palos South eighth-grade girls volleyballers go undefeated

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports Palos South’s eighth-grade girls’ volleyball team finished first in the Southwest Interscholastic Conference (SWIC) on March 9, completing an undefeated season with a record of 19-0. This is the fifth straight year that Coach Marty Duggan has led the Cardinals to a first-place finish in the tournament, which was held…

Members of the Moraine Valley Community College Speech and Debate Team are competing at nationals. (Supplied photo)

Moraine Valley Speech and Debate Team headed to nationals to defend title

Spread the love

Spread the loveWhen the Moraine Valley Community College Speech and Debate Team heads to the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament in Reno, Nevada, for nine days this month, they’ll have a target on their back as incoming consecutive champions. But they’re ready. “Last year’s team was amazing. Everyone was on their A game. This year…

Bridgeview Village Trustee Kalid Baste said the pro-peace resolution passed by the board sends a message. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Bridgeview condemns wars around globe in new resolution

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch As village officials noted, warring factions in the Middle East and elsewhere probably don’t care much about what happens at the Bridgeview Village Hall. But the village board still took a strong stance against war at its latest meeting. At their April 3 meeting, trustees unanimously approved a resolution that…

Sandburg senior starting pitcher Ethan Highfill delivers a pitch during a 5-3 loss to Lincoln-Way West on April 3. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Baseball | LW West stays unbeaten, snaps Sandburg’s seven-game win streak

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Sandburg’s sizzling start to the season was cooled off, at least for a day, by a visit from even hotter SouthWest Suburban Conference foe Lincoln-Way West, which topped the Eagles 5-3 on Monday in Orland Park. The loss snapped Sandburg’s seven-game winning streak and ran the Warriors’ record to…

Neighbors

Illinois Senate advances changes to state’s biometric privacy law after business groups split

Illinois Senate advances changes to state’s biometric privacy law after business groups split

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – It’s been more than a year since the Illinois Supreme Court “respectfully suggest(ed)” state lawmakers clarify a law that’s led to several multi-million-dollar settlements with tech companies over the collection of Illinoisans’ biometric data. On Thursday, a bipartisan majority in the Illinois Senate did just that,…

Capitol Briefs: Bill creating new early childhood agency among 244 to advance

Capitol Briefs: Bill creating new early childhood agency among 244 to advance

By ALEX ABBEDUTO HANNAH MEISEL & COLE LONGCOR Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker’s plan to create a new state agency to oversee Illinois’ various early childhood programs moved forward on Friday after the state Senate’s unanimous approval. It was one of 244 bills that cleared the Senate this week. Early childhood…

Lawmakers, cannabis industry calls for ban on ‘delta-8’ and other psychoactive hemp products

Lawmakers, cannabis industry calls for ban on ‘delta-8’ and other psychoactive hemp products

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Illinois’ largest cannabis business association is pushing to ban the sale of delta-8 THC, an increasingly popular psychoactive substance that’s popped up in corner stores across the country in recent years. New legislation filed in Springfield this week revives an ongoing debate over delta-8 and other…

As state continues to inventory lead pipes, full replacement deadlines are decades away

As state continues to inventory lead pipes, full replacement deadlines are decades away

By COLE LONGCOR Capitol News Illinois Clongcor@capitolnewsillinois.com Lead pipes in public water systems and drinking fixtures have been banned in new construction since 1986, when Congress amended the Safe Drinking Water Act, but they are still in use across the U.S. and in Illinois.  The presence of lead pipes has persisted due in part to…

Illinois Senate advances changes to state’s biometric privacy law after business groups split

Illinois Senate advances changes to state’s biometric privacy law after business groups split

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – It’s been more than a year since the Illinois Supreme Court “respectfully suggest(ed)” state lawmakers clarify a law that’s led to several multi-million-dollar settlements with tech companies over the collection of Illinoisans’ biometric data. On Thursday, a bipartisan majority in the Illinois Senate did just that,…

Giannoulias calls for disclosure of lobbyist contracts

Giannoulias calls for disclosure of lobbyist contracts

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – For decades, lobbyists in the Illinois Statehouse have been required to report how much they spend wining, dining and entertaining lawmakers. Currently, though, there is no law requiring lobbyists to disclose how much they are paid by corporations, industry groups or other special interest organizations.. That…

Komatsu mining truck named 2024 ‘coolest thing made in Illinois’

Komatsu mining truck named 2024 ‘coolest thing made in Illinois’

By COLE LONGCOR Capitol News Illinois Clongcor@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – A mining truck manufactured by Komatsu was crowned the winner of the 2024 “Makers Madness” contest, earning the title of “the coolest thing made in Illinois” at the Governor’s Mansion Wednesday.  The truck was one of more than 200 entries in the 5th annual contest hosted…

Regulators weigh future of gas industry in Illinois, while clamping down on Chicago utility

Regulators weigh future of gas industry in Illinois, while clamping down on Chicago utility

By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com CHICAGO – Natural gas is fueling a fight between consumer advocates, a powerful utility company and the state. Amid competing advertising campaigns, accusations of mismanagement and state decarbonization efforts, the Illinois Commerce Commission is starting a process that will shape how the state regulates the increasingly controversial industry. …

Capitol Briefs: State allocates additional $14M for grocery startups

Capitol Briefs: State allocates additional $14M for grocery startups

By ALEX ABBEDUTO & COLE LONGCOR Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillnois.com Grocery startups can now apply for funding allocated in last year’s $20 million Illinois Grocery Initiative aimed at preventing and eliminating food deserts in Illinois. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, which is administering the grants, is currently accepting applications in the second round…

Pritzker names Sen. Ann Gillespie new head of state insurance oversight agency

Pritzker names Sen. Ann Gillespie new head of state insurance oversight agency

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker on Monday announced a change in leadership at the agency in charge of regulating the state’s insurance industry. State Sen. Ann Gillespie, D-Arlington Heights, will take over as acting director of the Illinois Department of Insurance starting April 15, replacing Dana Popish Severinghaus,…