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Oak Lawn ups fines for blowing off illegal fireworks

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By Joe Boyle

Oak Lawn residents who blow off illegal fireworks this summer will find that doing so will be more expensive.

An ordinance was passed by a 5-0 vote by the Oak Lawn Village Board on March 12 that will increase the fine from $50 to $100 for residents who are lighting illegal fireworks.

Mayor Terry Vorderer mentioned that the board responded to a complaint from a resident during a meeting last month about incessant noise that occurs every Fourth of July due to people setting off fireworks.

The resident asked the board if more could be done to prevent or at least limit the amount of fireworks that are blown off around the holiday.

Vorderer said that he and the board would look into it.

“I agree with you, the fines are too low,” Vorderer said during last month’s meeting.

“Police respond to many calls on that night and can’t always be everywhere,” said Vorderer, a retired Oak Lawn police officer. “Plus, a lot of people can go right over to Indiana and buy as many fireworks as they want.”

Police Chief Daniel Vittorio added that residents will be fined for each incident in which they are caught blowing off fireworks. Conceivably, some residents could be levied fines greater than $100 if they continue to blow off fireworks.

Vittorio added that when police fine these residents, the fireworks they still possess will be confiscated.

Sparklers and smoke bombs are among the few legal fireworks in Illinois.

Commends police

A resident who was a victim of carjacking at a gas station on Cicero Avenue spoke during the public forum portion of the meeting to applaud the response of police.

“After it happened, I was so shook up, I couldn’t think,” he said. “But the police were very professional. We have a great community. This was a terrible event for me but I have gone to this gas station for years with no incidents. I love Oak Lawn and I want to stay here. I just want to thank the police for all that they have done.”

Trustee Ralph Soch (6th) said he knows the victim and thanked him for talking to the police.

“That doesn’t happen all the time,” Soch said. “So, I want to thank (him) and I want to thank the police.”

Emergency recognition

The Oak Lawn Regional Emergency Communications Department was recognized for responding to calls and caring for exploited children. The center was recognized for providing a safeguard for these kids and preventing abductions.

The OLREC includes services for Chicago Ridge, Hometown, North Palos, Roberts Park and Summit. The municipalities represent 35 square miles and nearly 147,000 people.

The board also approved the hiring of one police lieutenant and one fire engineer under the direction of the Fire and Police Commission from the current eligibility lists due to retirements.

An ordinance was amended to raise the legal age of purchasing or possessing tobacco products in the village from age 18 to age 21.

The board also approved the annual Oak Lawn Public Library Fan Fest, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 11. The pop culture celebration will include free comic books, local vendors, a kids’ cartooning class, space characters, and prizes.

A resolution requesting Community Development Block Grant funds for the sanitary sewer lining project for the village in the amount of $400,000 for 2024 was also approved.

1 Comment

  1. Lynda Schalasky on March 24, 2024 at 12:15 am

    The speed of cars on 91st.from ridgeland to cicero ave which includes 3 school zones is dangerously fast.we also have 54 ft.tractor trailer trucks who come from Cicero down 91st.street to harlem.No one is ever seen getting a ticket.They could make enough money with fines to fix our terrible streets. What’s happened to laws in Oaklawn??

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