June 13, 2013 City Council Meeting Minutes


The regular meeting of the Hickory Hills City Council was called to order by Mayor Mike Howley on Thursday, June 13, 2013, at 7:32 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers.


Mayor Howley led the Pledge of Allegiance.


Upon roll call, the following were present:

  • Mayor, M. Howley
  • Aldermen, D. Ferrero
    B. Fonte
    T. McAvoy
    M. McHugh
    J. Szeszycki
    B. Waight
    S. Zimmerman
  • City Clerk, D. Catizone
  • City Treasurer, D. Schramm
  • City Attorney, V. Cainkar
  • Police Department, T. Dietz
  • Public Works Director, L. Boettcher
  • Building Commissioner, J. Moirano

    Alderman Joseph Stachnik and Police Chief Al Vodicka were absent. There being a quorum present, the meeting was called to order.


    Alderman McHugh moved to open the meeting to the public. Alderman Waight second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, McHugh, McAvoy, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.

    No one spoke during this portion of the meeting.


    Alderman McAvoy moved to close the meeting to the public. Alderman Ferrero second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, McAvoy, McHugh, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.


    Alderman Szeszycki moved to approve the minutes of the regularly scheduled meeting of May 23, 2013 as printed subject to deletions or corrections. Alderman McAvoy second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, McAvoy, Szeszycki, Zimmerman aye. Aldermen Fonte, McHugh, Waight pass. So approved.



    Mayor Howley introduced Mr. Christopher Knights, ESDA Director. Mr. Knights reviewed with the Council the Emergency Operations Plan and would like updated phone numbers on this plan. He noted the Tornado Sirens are activated. Lastly, Mr. Knights discussed NIMS (National Incident Management System) and who is certified in the City. He noted several employees of the Police Department are on the roster, but he doesn’t know who is certified from the Public Works Department. Mayor Howley suggested Mr. Knights meet with Larry Boettcher and review.

    Mayor Howley read a letter from a resident, Lauren Phelan, on a recent swift response to a sewer problem. She thanked all City employees involved.

    Mayor Howley noted the final draft of the newsletter is completed and will be going out soon.

    Mayor Howley noted the Lions Club is soliciting sponsorship for their 5K Race on October 26th.

    Mayor Howley thanked the Building Commissioner and the Building Department for work done on the Danos property on 95th Street. He noted it looks great with the new plantings.

    Mayor Howley informed the Council that KoKo’s Restaurant is closed at this time. He also met with the owner of George’s Steak House and they are experiencing some construction problems. It does not look like Mr. Mario Mondello is involved with “The Flame” project.
    It was explained to the owner of the property that any further business would have to come before the Council for approval. No licenses have been issued on this building.


    No report submitted.


    Mr. Schramm noted he will give a report on the City’s investments at the next meeting.


    Ord. 13-7

    Attorney Cainkar presented Ordinance 13-7, an Ordinance terminating Special Service Area Numbers 1 through 4. Attorney Cainkar noted these taxing projects have been completed. Alderman Szeszycki moved to approve Ordinance 13-7. Alderman Ferrero second. Roll Call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, McAvoy, McHugh, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.


    Mr. Lang was absent. He had sent some items for approval. Mayor Howley presented Invoice #10361301 for work done on the 2013 miscellaneous street resurfacing MFT 13-00000-01-GM, pay estimate #1 (partial) in the amount of $207, 330.62 to D. Construction. Alderman McHugh moved to approve Invoice #10361301 in the amount of $207, 330.62 to D. Construction. Alderman Waight second. Roll Call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, McAvoy, McHugh, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.

    Mayor Howley also noted that a bid letting was held on Tuesday, June 12, 2013 for the 2013 micro-resurfacing MFT 13-00000-02-GM. The lists of bidders with their respective bids are as follows:

    AC Pavement Striping Co. = $52, 899.00
    Micro surfacing Contractors LLC = $77, 709.00

    Robinson Engineering is recommending award of the contract to AC Pavement Striping Company for the bid amount of $52, 889.00. Alderman McHugh moved to award the contract to AC Pavement Striping Company in the amount of $52, 889.00. Alderman Waight second. Roll Call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, McAvoy, McHugh, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.



    Alderman Szeszycki moved to approve the bills payable for the first half of June, 2013 in the amount of $560, 807.87. Alderman McHugh second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, McAvoy, McHugh, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.



    Alderman Szeszycki reported he has distributed a memo detailing the current health plan’s 4 options to be effective January 1, 2014 (three PPO options and one HMO option). He stated since the last meeting the City Treasurer and Finance Chair have met with the Employee Health Insurance Committee. He suggested that the current plan be extended to the first of the year due to employee deductible issues. Then at the first of the year, employees would choose one of the 4 options being offered. He noted he is looking at some incentives to offer employees to enroll in certain plans. Alderman Szeszycki stated based on the cost savings, the City’s dental plan would move to Met Life as of July 1, 2013. The Vision Plan with VSP did not change. The City has a responsibility to the taxpayers to come up with fair and decent insurance. His recommendation is to approve the 4 options proposed with the 9.4% increase in premium.

    Some of the proposed incentives are not finalized with the Employee Insurance Committee at this time. Treasurer Schramm mentioned these are for a high deductible health plan or the HMO plan. He also noted that some of these decisions can be made in the next 6 months.

    Mayor Howley summarized that there are 3 PPO options and 1 HMO option being offered. The existing PPO will no longer exist as of January 1, 2014. What the employees currently have in the PPO is a $500.00 deductible, co-insurance of 90%/70% and an out of pocket of $500.00.

    Treasurer Schramm explained that this is the same plan with benefit changes that include increased co insurance, increase out of pocket and increase office visits.
    This would be a savings to the City of approximately $25, 000.00.

    At this time, Sharon Marciano of the Employee Advisory Insurance Committee, thanked the City Treasurer, Dan Schramm and Alderman John Szeszycki for their contribution of time and effort in complying and organizing the four option health insurance renewal plan. She noted the Committee understands the financial constraints the City is under, and the important responsibility the Council has to use wisely the funds generated by tax payers. At the Employee Insurance meeting it was explained that for the next 6 months the current PPO and HMO options would remain in effect with roughly a 9.35% increase but as of January 1, all employees would have to choose from 4 options. These 4 options include an unchanged HMO option, and HSA option, and 2 PPO options. The 2 new PPO options include increases to the co-insurance percentage, the amount of the deductible and maximum out of pocket and the cost of doctor and specialist office visits. While there is a cost savings in regard to the premiums, it is the opinion of the employees that these savings are small in comparison to the increase in costs in other areas. The Insurance Committee request would be to include the current PPO plan with no changes as one of the options. This decision would provide all parties with an advantage. The City would save money for those employees that switch to the lower cost options, and those employees who feel the higher premium is worth it would get the added protection and peace of mind of the lower deductible, co-insurance percentage, maximum out of pocket and office visits. Lastly, the employees acknowledge the rising costs of health insurance for employers and employees. Yet they consider the excellent health care for our families be worth the cost and they hope the Council does as well. She thanked the Council for their time.

    Treasurer Schramm stated under the Affordable Care Act the City will need to offer more insurance options. He feels that the current out of pocket $500.00 is not in line with the current plan benefits offered to other small employers. He also stated 70% of the current employees are not hitting the deductible limits. He wanted the Council to know that they have reviewed all this data to come up with different options.

    Sue Lehr, Public Works Representative on the Employee Insurance Committee explained the process of bringing the information on options to the Public Works employees. She favors the different health insurance options. She noted she asked the opinion of her department and after review, the majority liked the options, but they would like to see the current PPO as an option.

    After some discussion, the Mayor asked for a consensus of the Council to have the current PPO option along with the 3 other options. It was the consensus of the Council to keep the current PPO as one of the 4 options being offered to employees. The Council will consider this option and continue to tweak the renewal plan and incentives until the next meeting.

    Stachnik/Public Safety

    Alderman Stachnik was absent. No report submitted.

    Zimmerman/Public Works

    Mr. Boettcher reported Public Works has completed installation of the Chamber’s Banner program exclusively on Roberts Road.

    Mr. Boettcher noted rain events have backed up the landscaping on 88th Avenue. IDOT must approve traffic signals at 95th Street before temporary wooden poles are removed. Major work should be completed by the end of June.

    Mr. Boettcher reported new lights have been installed at Public Works and City Hall with funds from a grant received.


    No report submitted.

    Waight/Law & Ordinances

    No report submitted.

    Health & Environmental Control

    Alderman Fonte reported he is in receipt of the recycling rebate from Waste Management with a total of $1, 036.00.

    Ferrero/Community Affairs/Youth Advisory

    Alderman Ferrero noted the Street Fair currently has 67 crafters and 12 food vendors. She has dropped off letters seeking donations for band sponsorship at the Street Fair.

    McAvoy/Chamber/Business Development

    Alderman McAvoy tabled the proposed liquor license change request to the next meeting.

    Alderman McAvoy noted the Hills Chamber networking luncheon was held on June 11th at Janosik’s Banquet Hall and very well attended.

    Alderman McAvoy reported he is working on prizes for the Bingo Tent at the Street Fair. He is seeking volunteers to work the Bingo Tent.


    Alderman McHugh stated he is in receipt of a request from the Roadhouse on Roberts Road to have a band after the Street Fair from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.




    Alderman Ferrero moved to adjourn the meeting until the next scheduled or specially called meeting. Alderman Waight second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, McAvoy, McHugh, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.

    Meeting adjourned at 8:51 p.m.