Proponents of the two most-public populist causes in Western Springs each gave a single prepared speech at Monday night’s Board of Trustees voting meeting, in stark contrast to the that dominated the meeting of two weeks ago.
Speaking in support of the to preserve Timber Trails Unit II as open parkland, Eleanor Roberts, a lifelong resident of the Village who recalled a time “when Field Park actually had fields,” spoke of her sadness at seeing the “green” of Western Springs stripped away over the years, including the demise of Vaughn’s Garden Center.
“I’ve watched it happen once, and I don’t want it to happen again,” Roberts said. “Peace and serenity of lovely green open space is disappearing from Western Springs. I grieve for the loss… We see the interests of Openlands in the preservation of the Timber Trails property in its natural state as a wondrous window of opportunity to restore some of that open green beauty to our Village."
A seemingly-impressed Village President Bill Rodeghier called it a “tough act to follow,” a challenge taken up by Marcy Rossi, spokesperson for the newly-christened Western Springs Residents Concerned About Fluoride.
Rossi presented a bevy of statistics and recent studies about the common water additive, which has been phased out by a growing minority of communities in the U.S. She said that fluoride’s only benefit—preventing tooth decay through topical application—is obsolete in an era of easily-accessible, highly-fluoridated toothpaste, and not worth the risks of fluorosis, thyroid problems, lowered IQ in children and other health risks from fluoride exposure, or the expense of using the additive.
“The goal is to take the time to have a public discussion about the recent science as well as the amount of fluoride we are currently receiving from all sources, so that residents can decide for themselves if they are comfortable with the projected levels of fluoride in our water,” Rossi said, quoting her organization’s mission statement.
Note was made that the Public Works Department has been diluting the high-fluoride Well No. 4 water with some water from Well No. 1 (typically inactive) to bring levels down from 2.1 mg/L to 1.67 mg/L.
“The process by which we’re going to determine the makeup of our water will be done in a public meeting or in an appropriate committee,” Rodeghier responded. “It’s not going to be done without significant input from people like you… I think it’s something that we’re going to take into account.”
Following the statements, Western Springs Chief of Police Pam Church presented honors to three Cadet members of the Department’s Explorer Post 740 who logged over 100 hours of community service in the Village. The cadets received Sheriff Tom Dart’s Youth Medal of Honor in November for their service.
Lyons Township juniors John Fornalsky and Luis Calderon and senior Anthony Oswalt were all honored before the board along with their families. (A fourth recipient, Tim Geroulis, a College of DuPage student, was unable to attend due to illness; Dart himself was also unable to attend.)
“They’re all very, very dedicated,” Church said. “We’re very proud of them. They are our future law enforcement officers and leaders.”
Ordinances passed in the Board’s omnibus bill included the following:
- A “preliminary engineering services agreement” with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) for reconstruction of the east commuter train platform.
- A $34,089 contract to Twin Supplies, LTD for “the purchase and installation of certain lighting fixtures, wiring and bulbs… within the Grand Avenue [Community Center,] paid almost entirely by grants from the Illinois DCEO and the Illinois Clean Energy program.
- Approval of an agreement with IDOT for the recapture of funds related to the 2010 resurfacing of Ellington Avenue.
- The purchase of four 2012 Chevy Tahoes from Advantage Chevrolet in Hodgkins for use by Village police and staff.
- A contract for the $22,006 purchase of lacrosse helmets from The Lax Shop in Chicago for resale at cost to lacrosse program participants.
- A raffle license for Lyons Township High School’s post-prom raffle.
One item regarding additional details provided to the Cook County Clerk’s Office regarding the 2011 tax levy was passed separately to merely “amend,” not “amend and supersede,” the routine tax-levy reduction ordinance passed in December of 2011.
The proposal for purchasing a ground/pad-mounted 1,000 kVA transformer at a cost not to exceed $100,000 for use with the new reverse-osmosis water plant (and to avoid an unsightly pole-mounted 55-gallon drum) was pulled from the omnibus and remanded back into committee for further discussion.