From the Village: Community meeting to be held about armed robbery

Oak Park Village Hall | Sun-Times Media File

The following updates come from the Village of Oak Park Village Manager report:

Police to host community meeting – Representatives of the Police Department, including Chief Tanksley and Zone 5 Resident Beat Officer Paul Razzino, will host a neighborhood meeting to discuss the recent armed robbery on the 200 block of S. Clinton Ave. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m., Thurs., July 24, at Brooks Middle School. In addition to answering questions from residents and providing information on the particular incident, crime prevention strategies will be discussed.

Development Customer Services activities – Members of theDevelopment Customer Services team continue to actively support local businesses by attending ribbon-cutting ceremonies and events sponsored by Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce. Recent events included a ribbon cutting at Bladez Barbershop, 745 Garfield St. and an honorary member presentation Friday at The Competitive Foot, 102 N. Marion St. Ribbon cutting events also are scheduled for at 11 a.m., Fri., July 25, at Glitter Nail Salon, 912 Madison St., which is celebrating two years in business, and Friday, Aug. 22, at Amor de la Terre, Chicago’s first all vegan, eco-friendly, ethically produced shoes and accessories boutique at 130 N Oak Park Ave.

Successful tweetup – The tweet-up at Poor Phil’s on July 11 hosted by theCommunications Department was well-attended. Designed as an opportunity for Oak Park’s most active social media users to meet each other face-to-face, the event brought out more than a dozen people for snacks and refreshments. The Communications Department has hosted several prior tweet-ups as part of its ongoing community engagement efforts.

Support lent to solar panel purchasing program – The Village is helping promote a program to offer discounted pricing of rooftop solar energy panels for local residents. The program helps homeowners interested in installing solar panels on their homes join a new bulk purchasing program through Solar Chicago, which offers discounted pricing by pooling the collective buying power of participants. The vendors providing the panels were chosen through a competitive bid process. The deadline to apply to be part of the program is Sept. 30. More information is posted on the Village website.

Energy use research project – The Village is working with the University of Chicago’s Data Science for Social Good program, which is intended to help participants make informed decisions about energy use as part of a research project. The program will use data from participants’ smart meters to help property owners understand influences on individual electric bills and identify opportunities for consuming less energy. We have lent our official support to the project as well as the email addresses of the approximately 300 individuals who expressed interest in participating in the Smart City USA project. Click here to read the letter that was distributed to potential participants.

Community Relations activities update – The first half of 2014 was an active one for the Community Relations Department, which had 859 contacts with individuals during the first six months of the year. Contacts covered a wide range of diversity and quality of life concerns. Landlord/tenant dispute resolution was the largest single category with 267 contacts, followed by special events requests (177), general information requests (82), general community complaints (66), graffiti tags removed (65), community relations concerns (41), referrals to community resources (37), neighbor conflicts (34), fair housing/diversity issues (32), film permits (27),diversity counseling sessions (16),sign complaints (9) mediations conducted (6). The Department also coordinated and produced a very successful 41st A Day in Our Village festival and the annual July 4 parade that showcases the many dimensions of diversity in our community. In addition, the department continued working closely with the Community Relations Commission on organizing a cross-community dinner and dialogue event with the Austin and West Garfield Park neighborhoods as a platform to plan and prioritize outreach activities that will lead to greater cultural and social understanding among our communities.   

Police activities update – Police responded to 3,250 calls in June, up from the 2,959 calls in May. The 1,031 high-priority calls represented about 32 percent of the June volume. Medium-priority calls – such as accidents without injuries – represented the largest percentage of June calls (42 percent). Oak Park Police officers have responded to nearly 16,000 calls so far this year. Officers were on the scene of high-priority calls in an average of three minutes and 33 seconds in June. Oak Park continued to represent the largest percentage of calls handled by the West Suburban Dispatch Center in June at 60 percent, a percentage consistent with our population share.Click here to see the Police call data for June.

Capital improvements update – Water mains and services have been installed on Highland Avenue from Van Buren Street to Jackson Boulevard and on Van Buren from Cuyler Avenue to Harvey Avenue. Pavement and curb removals are scheduled to begin next week. Drainage and concrete work have been completed for state-funded resurfacing projects on Grove Avenue, Lombard Avenue, Taylor Avenue and Berkshire Street, with asphalt grinding to begin next week. Sewer cleaning and inspection work continues in various locations throughout the Village.  The condition of some of the sewers scheduled for inspection may require Board approval of a change order to complete the project. Replacement of the speed table on Marion Street at Westgate Street has moved to the west lane, with pavers set to go in next week and the final brickwork the week of July 28. Street surface patching is underway at various locations in the Village, with micropaving and crack filling scheduled to start in late July or early August. Notices for sidewalk replacement are being sent and work is expected to begin late next week.

Public Works activities – In addition to repairing street openings where water line repairs were made, crews also replaced damaged and deteriorated sidewalk bricks in the downtown area, power washed and painted the Union Pacific Railroad walls where the latest round of murals will go and installed speed bumps in alleys at various locations. Crews also delivered barricades for block parties, filled potholes, repaired signs and removed graffiti. The fourth Village-wide cycle of street sweeping was completed, a sink hole at 818 N. Lombard Ave. and a pit meter frame at 401 N Ridgeland Ave. repaired and catch basin inlets cleared from Austin Boulevard to Harlem Avenue and from Garfield Street to Roosevelt Road. Forestry crews focused on pruning to ensure sign and roof clearances as well as cleaning up the relatively light damage from Saturday’s storms. Landscape planters were installed and relocated along North Avenue and watering bags attached to all of the newly planted trees. Stump grinding and removal of trees affected by the emerald ash borer continued. Contractors were called in to remove an elm tree with a 40-inch diameter that fell into a backyard in the 800 block of Clinton Avenue.

VOP-TV manager wins peer award – VOP-TV Manager Joe Kreml has been awarded the Knope of the Week award for his engaging presentation to theEmerging Local Government Leaders network hosted at Village Hall last week. The award is named for Leslie Knope, the fictional lead character in the TV show Parks & Rec, and it goes to a particularly enthusiastic or inspiring local government leader each week. Our Social Media Coordinator Patrick Rollens is a past winner of the award.

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