August 28, 2014 City Council Meeting Minutes

August 28, 2014 City Council Meeting Minutes


The regular meeting of the Hickory Hills City Council was called to order by Mayor Mike Howley on Thursday, August 28, 2014, at 7:35 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, B. Fonte
    T. McAvoy
    M. McHugh
    J. Stachnik
    J. Szeszycki
    B. Waight
  • City Clerk, D. Catizone
  • City Treasurer, D. Schramm
  • City Attorney, G. Perlman
  • City Engineer, T. Lang
  • Police Chief, A. Vodicka
  • Public Works Director, L. Boettcher
  • Building Commissioner, J. Moirano

Aldermen Ferrero and Zimmerman were absent. There being a quorum present, the meeting was called to order.

At this time, Alderman McAvoy introduced Susan Dineen a resident of the third ward. Ms. Dineen has founded a new not-for-profit/501C charitable organization, Huie Grimes Foundation. Ms. Dineen stated the foundation’s mission is to provide no cost grave markers to honor loved ones, whether they have recently passed or are a deceased loved one from prior generations. More information on the foundation can be found on the website Alderman McAvoy moved to approve a $100.00 donation to the Huie Grimes Foundation from the discretionary fund. Alderman Stachnik second. Roll call: Aldermen Fonte, McAvoy, McHugh, Stachnik aye. Aldermen Szeszycki, Waight nay. So approved.


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

Philip Medlin
9010 Chestnut Drive

Mr. Medlin voiced his concerns regarding sewer and storm water backups. He understands this is nature but would like to have some kind of a solution. Mr. Medlin stated the water backups in his lower level.

Jeff Psolla
9021 Chestnut Drive

Mr. Psolla is also present regarding sanitary sewers backing up in his home. He noted he has already had extensive damage to his house. Mr. Psolla would like to know if the lining of the sewers had anything to do with the backups happening now.

Mr. Marty Martinez
9091 Primrose Lane

Mr. Martinez stated he has the same issue with water gushing down his backyard and into his basement. He also noted on Primrose where water is just pouring down the street. Mr. Martinez stated some work was done and gravel was filled in on Blue Ridge and this is still sinking. When it rains the water is very deep on Primrose and Blue Ridge. He would like to know how the water can drain out of this area.

Mrs. MaryLynn Ferkaluk
8534 Blue Ridge

Mrs. Ferkaluk also voiced her concerns regarding flooding on Blue Ridge. She asked for solutions to this problem.

Public Works Director Larry Boettcher and City Engineer Tom Lang addressed the residents’ concerns in regard to the massive flooding that occurs through-out the City during rainstorms. They also addressed past and ongoing flooding issues.
Mr. Boettcher stated there was too much water coming down in too short of a period of time. Five major rainfall events have affected our City with the heaviest occurring last Friday about 1:00 a.m. During this storm, Midway Airport reported 3.95 inches of rain fell within an hour. With regards to Blue Ridge, the drainage is restricted by the outflow pipes which are a 24” + 36” pipe. These discharge to Justice and flood them out when flowing at maximum capacity. Maybe a smaller restrictor placed in the outflow at the detention pond at Steeple Hill might help reduce flooding, but this pond is maintained by a private association. Mr. Boettcher stated the sanitary sewer system was also affected by this storm. Our City’s 50 year old sanitary system could not handle the storm water. For several years, we have been working to bring City sanitary main lines into compliance. The MWRD latest ordinance requires that within the next five years all towns develop a plan to address private sanitary laterals that MWRD believe contribute to over 60% of clear water into the sanitary system that the MWRD must treat. Majority of the City handled this historic storm event well with some sanitary backups.

Mr. Boettcher stated on 85th Avenue there is a historic 20 foot ravine drainage way for this area. The developer placed a 36” CMP in the ravine and backfilled during development. To minimize flood in rear yards on 85th Avenue, an expensive perimeter storm sewer outflowing to St. Pat’s Pond or 87th Street or place a detention pond north of 91st Street would restrict 15 acres from a direct flow causing flooding in rear yards on 85th Avenue.

City Engineer Tom Lang added that the City had smoke testing done throughout the community on the sanitary sewer system. This identified problem areas. He would have to go back and review this report for further options.

The residents below expressed their concerns regarding recent flooding issues.

Mr. Ken Blackman
8908 S. 85th Avenue

Mr. Jeff Johnsen
8900 S. 85th Avenue

Mr. Kurt Schwendeman
9011 S. 85th Court

Mr. Schwendeman voiced his concern regarding the creek near his home that is overflowing and causes the rear yards to flood. Also, he would like the storm sewer inlet in the ravine modified so it doesn’t clog. There must be a better grate that can be placed there. Mr. Boettcher explained the grate is in place so leaves can float upward and is a standard IDOT specification.

Alderman McAvoy questioned in terms of the service line problems, if there is any way we can identify these by televising the area that was discussed. Tom Lang said these are already noted in the smoke testing map. Alderman Szeszycki asked if it is an option for the City to help residents with lateral line repairs.

Lastly, Mayor Howley stated a report will be completed to address water concerns and offer possible solutions. Mayor Howley also invited residents to participate in this discussion of the report tentatively scheduled for the September 25th City Council Meeting

8645 Kean Avenue

Jason presented an idea for a fundraising Haunted House in Hickory Hills. He is looking for a venue. The Council suggested some locations for him to pursue.

Alderman Szeszycki stated the residents on 82nd Court have some water issues but were unable to attend this evening’s meeting.


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


Alderman McHugh moved to approve the minutes of the regularly scheduled meeting of August 14, 2014 as printed subject to deletions or corrections. Alderman Fonte second.

Corrections: Page 2, first paragraph Second plan is to install PVC piping to allow water to drain quicker. The next option would be installing a new pipe to run into St. Patricia Pond. And this was only an additional option not a plan. Roll call: Aldermen Fonte, McAvoy, McHugh, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Waight aye. So approved.



Liquor License Request – Mayor Howley is in receipt of two temporary liquor license requests from St. Patricia Parish. 1) Octoberfest which will be held on September 27, 2014. 2) Wine Tasting on November 21st and Alderman McHugh moved to approve these two liquor license requests with fees waived for September 27, 2014 and November 21, 2014. Alderman Waight second. Roll call: Aldermen Fonte, McAvoy, McHugh, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Waight aye. So approved.

Howl Through The Hills – Mayor Howley thanked School District 117 for promoting the 5K Run/Walk. The race will be held on October 25th starting at City Hall. To sign up please go to

School Funding – Mayor Howley passed an article around that sounds the alarm on a school funding bill. He also mentioned Mrs. Debbie Chafee, a Hickory Hills resident, has launched a social media campaign to stop state legislation that would change the school funding formula in Illinois.


Clerk Catizone reported the deadline for the City newsletter articles is September 15th. The newsletter will be sent out the first week in October.

Girl Scouts – Clerk Catizone is in receipt of a request from the Girl Scouts to host a fall product program from October 1st-30th, 2014 and also the cookie program from January 1st – January 25, 2015. No objections were noted.


Treasurer Schramm presented the Treasurer’s Report dated July 31, 2014 for approval. Alderman McAvoy moved to approve the Treasurer’s Report for period ending July 31, 2014. Alderman Szeszycki second. Roll call: Aldermen Fonte, McAvoy, McHugh, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Waight aye. So approved.


Attorney Perlman presented Ordinance 14-9, an ordinance
disposal by Public Auction/Sale of personal property owned by the City of Hickory Hills. Alderman McHugh moved to approve Ordinance 14-9. Alderman Waight second. Roll call: Aldermen Fonte, McHugh, McAvoy, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Waight, Mayor Howley aye. So approved.


Mr. Lang presented an invoice for AC Pavement Striping Company in the amount of $4,167.28 for micro-surfacing. Alderman Szeszycki moved to approve payment of $4,167.28 to AC Pavement Striping Company (2014 Micro-surfacing, MFT 14-00000-02-GM, pay estimate #2, final). Alderman McHugh second. Roll call: Aldermen Fonte, McAvoy, McHugh, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Waight aye. So approved.



Alderman Szeszycki moved to approve the bills payable for the second half of August, 2014 in the amount of $417,535.89. Alderman Stachnik second. Roll call: Aldermen Fonte, McAvoy, McHugh, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Waight aye. So approved.



Alderman Szeszycki distributed the current video gaming revenues.

Stachnik/Public Safety

No report submitted.

Zimmerman/Public Works

No report submitted.


No report submitted.

Waight/Laws & Ordinances

Alderman Waight is in receipt of one business application for Top Nail Spa located at 8080 W. 95th Street, #104. This is a nail supply store. No objections were noted.

Fonte/Health & Environmental Control

Alderman Fonte reported our current e-recycling hauler
will be charging a fee as of September 1, 2014. It was the consensus of the Council to discontinue this program. More information will be gathered regarding this matter.

Ferrero/Community Affairs/Youth Advisory

Alderman Ferrero was absent. No report submitted.

McAvoy/Chamber Business Development

Alderman McAvoy distributed information regarding the
Chamber’s Golf Outing on September 17th at the Palos Hills Golf Course. The fee is $70.00 for golf.




Mayor Howley and the Council congratulated Treasurer Schramm on his new granddaughter.


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

Meeting adjourned at 9:34 p.m.