Voting Meeting: Chicken Controversy, Local Heroes Honored, Garden Club Recognized
Also: liquor licenses approved for Mecenat, $168K for south fire station, $125K fiber-optic cable plan codified, $90K for tree-removal service and $95K for well reconstruction.
It’s rare for a Western Springs Village trustee to request that a resolution be pulled from a meeting’s typically smooth omnibus vote. So there were laughs at Monday’s board voting meeting when Trustee James Maragos requested that a measure clarifying terms of poultry ownership in the village be voted on separately.
“I didn’t do this as a joke,” Maragos said. “I think this goes about it in a roundabout way. Why do we need to have residents keeping poultry [at all]? Why don’t we just clean it up [instead] of going with this outmoded language?”
“This is in anticipation of quite a big movement where people want to create food sources in their yard,” explained Trustee Janet Dahl. “There are a lot of people that are on that bandwagon… We kind of decided that we’d make it clear that if you really want to have hens, you’d have to do it in a [specific] way.”
The resolution in dispute (which passed 5-1 over Maragos’ dissenting vote, as he claimed he would prefer the banning of live poultry) clarifies the terms of keeping poultry in the village. The new code will forbid the keeping of roosters, and mandate that hens must be kept in enclosures 200 square feet per fowl and at least 75 feet from any neighbor’s home. (These conditions would be difficult for most villagers to meet, because few lots in Western Springs are large enough for such a coop.)
Before the voting meeting, Chief of Police Pamela Church stepped forward to present commendatory certificates to residents who have provided an outstanding service to the safety of villagers.
“It is the policy of the department to acknowledge and recognize residents… for exceptional and extraordinary performance,” Church said.
The first certificate was presented to Ronald Miller, for assisting in the rescue of a resident back in September. While riding his bicycle on the 4000 block of Wolf Road, Miller responded to cries for help, found that a resident had broken his leg inside his home, and contacted emergency personnel, who assisted the resident.
The second was to the five members of the Western Springs Safety Village Committee (Amy Avakian, Lisa Braithwaite, Missy D'Alise, Lee Rosenberg and Mandy Wichman), who won two awards last year for their Safety Village program at Forest Hills, and who continue to search for a permanent location for the program.
Also honored in an official resolution were members of the Western Springs Garden Club as they celebrated their 85th anniversary, continuing as the village’s oldest civic organization. In reciprocity, the Garden Club presented the Village with a tree to be planted on the Tower Green in the spring.
“On behalf of the Village, I wanted to express again our appreciation for the fine work of the Garden Club,” said Village President William Rodeghier. “We’re blessed in this village with many organizations that enhance our quality of life, and certainly the Garden Club is one of those.”
The unanimous omnibus vote included a series of resolutions designed to get the new Mecenat Restaurant up and operating as a liquor-serving restaurant with a bar and an outdoor café, and a resolution approving $125,430 for the construction of a fiber-optic cable to run to the South Fire Station, with access extended to District 101 and (pending agreements from their respective boards,) St. John of the Cross Parish School and Lyons Township High School South.
Other votes unanimously passed included:
- The appointment of Village Manager Pat Higgins to execute loan documents relating to the Village’s pursuit of a reverse-osmosis water plant.
- Approval for the disposal of a 2001 Mercury Sable from the Police Department.
- Renewal of a one-year contract to Sinnott Tree Service of La Grange for tree removal in the village at a cost estimated at $90,000.
- Approval of a $168,065.48 contract for concrete construction at the developing Ridgewood Fire Station to Davis Concrete Construction.
- Approval to waive all bidding and approve an amount no more than $95,000 for Layne-Western of Aurora, IL to renovate Village water Well No. 4.
- The appointment of James Koch to the recreation commission until December 2013.
Several Boy Scouts from Troop 3 of All Saints Episcopal Church were in attendance for their Citizenship in the Community merit badge.
In his financial report, Trustee James Horvath informed the Board that the State of Illinois had begun paying off its significant financial debt to the Village, but still owes approximately $300,o00. In better news, a $700,000 grant for the Ridgewood fire station has come through.
A special meeting of the Board has also been called for 7:00 p.m. on March 23 to work out issues relating to the medical building on 47th Street at the entrance of the Commonwealth district. The meeting was necessary because the next voting meeting will take place after a closing deadline of March 25.