An example of the Hometown Heroes banner was on display at the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting Tuesday morning. The banners will appear throughout the village in designated areas honoring current and former U.S. veterans from Oak Lawn. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

An example of the Hometown Heroes banner was on display at the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting Tuesday morning. The banners will appear throughout the village in designated areas honoring current and former U.S. veterans from Oak Lawn. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Oak Lawn trustee says village needs state grocery tax

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By Joe Boyle

An Oak Lawn trustee said that Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposal to eliminate the state’s grocery tax will be costly for the village.

Trustee William “Bud” Stalker (5th), accompanied by Mayor Terry Vorderer, recently returned from a fact-finding trip to Springfield where they learned more about the governor’s proposal to eliminate the grocery tax.

The governor believes that by eliminating the 1% grocery tax, it will save taxpayers money when they purchase food. However, Stalker said this idea will have a negative effect on Oak Lawn and other municipalities.

“The loss of the grocery tax would be a loss to our budget,” Stalker said during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting Tuesday morning. “I would ask residents to oppose this.”

“The loss of the grocery tax would be a loss to our budget and would result in a loss of $2.2 million a year for the village,” Vorderer said.

Pritzker has said that Illinois shoppers would save a dollar on every $100 they spend on groceries with the elimination of the grocery tax. But the Illinois Municipal League also opposes this proposal, citing that the city of Chicago would lose $80 million and Orland Park $2.5 million annually.

Stalker said he has discussed the matter with state Sen. Bill Cunningham (D-18th) and said they will fight to prevent the elimination of the grocery tax. The Illinois Municipal League is asking mayors to report their projected losses as a way to pressure lawmakers to act.

If approved in Springfield, the state grocery tax would be eliminated on July 1.

Road repairs

Trustee Paul Mallo (3rd) asked residents during the meeting to be patient as road repairs continue in the village. Most of the work is being done overnight from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., the trustee said. The project should be completed next month.

Mallo also passed along his condolences after the shooting death of Chicago Police Officer Luis Huesca as he was returning to his Gage Park home in the city on Sunday. Huesca was reportedly returning home from work.

“This is just so tragic,” Mallo said. “We have to stop having these processions to Blake-Lamb Funeral Home. This happens way too often.”

Hometown Heroes

Vorderer noted during the meeting that the village is unveiling its Hometown Heroes program that will recognize current and former U.S. veterans from Oak Lawn. Banners will be put up in designated area of the village and will include a photo of the local veteran and information about his service.

“We are proud to honor our former and current veterans,” said Vorderer, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Vietnam. “We hope to have them up before the July 4 parade.”

The banners are for Oak Lawn residents only. Veterans will have to serve with one of the six U.S. military branches to be eligible.

Residents can drop off a photo of the veteran at the front desk of the Oak Lawn Municipal Center, 9446 S. Raymond Ave. The $100 fee — required when dropping off the photo — will allow for the veteran’s banner to hang in the village for two years.

At the completion of the two years, families will be asked if they want to renew having the banner continue to be raised.

Further information about the Hometown Heroes program can be obtained at the Village Hall or on the Oak Lawn website.

Vorderer also proclaimed that April 26 will be “Arbor Day in Oak Lawn.” The mayor noted that the first Arbor Day took place April 10, 1872, in Nebraska. People living in the state marked that day by planting 1 million trees.

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