September 25, 2014 City Council Meeting Minutes

September 25, 2014 City Council Meeting Minutes


The regular meeting of the Hickory Hills City Council was called to order by Mayor Mike Howley on Thursday, September 25, 2014, 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
    T. McAvoy
    M. McHugh
    B. Fonte
    J. Szeszycki
    B. Waight
    S. Zimmerman
  • City Clerk, D. Catizone
  • City Treasurer, D. Schramm
  • City Attorney, V. Cainkar
  • City Engineer, T. Lang
  • Police Chief, A. Vodicka
  • Public Works Director, L. Boettcher
  • Building Commissioner, J. Moirano

Alderman Stachnik was absent. There being a quorum present, the meeting was called to order.


Chief Vodicka introduced the City’s newest member of the Police Department, David Eenigenburg. Police Commissioner Henry Kman administered the oath of office. Police Chaplain Father Mol gave a blessing to the new recruit. A short recess for refreshments was taken at this time.


Marek Gil
9320 S. 79th Avenue

Mr. Gil expressed his concern that a neighbor is working in the driveway on campers. He stated this creates a nuisance for the neighbors with noise and by working late into the night. Mayor Howley recommended that Mr. Gil give the address to the Chief of Police and they will issue a letter. Also, the Ordinance Officer will look into this matter.

Mayor Howley explained the City Engineer and the Public Works Director will address the water issues on the following locations: 85th Avenue, 85th Court, Blue Ridge and 82nd Court.

Mr. Lang gave an overview of a flood study report that was completed in the 1980’s. This report covered some of the areas which he discussed this evening. He noted a Public Hearing was held and many residents opposed these proposed projects.

With regards to 85th Avenue, this area has an outlet which will make the project easier. The existing sewer is under sized and the area lacks the over flow routes. The new sewer project will construct a new storm sewer along 85th Court from 91st Street to 89th Street. The new sewer would pick up the 32 acres from south of 91st Street and the approximately 20 acres from the west. It would drain north of 89th Street, head east to 85th Avenue, then north to its outlet at 87th Street. It would pick up the 36 inch CMP in the rear yards between 85th Court and 85th Avenue, with a total tributary acreage of 64 acres. This storm sewer would be sized for a 100 year storm event. It also provides an opportunity to pick up further sewer at 87th Place. Mr. Lang stated this is the best option to address this problem. The cost of this storm sewer project is approximately three quarters of a million dollars to a million dollars. If the City does not fund this sewer project, another option would be to size a ditch along the rear yards of this area and these would have to be maintained by residents. Mr. Lang stated this new storm sewer would also tie into the problems on 85th Court. This would service the flooding problem in that area.

The Council discussed this option and talked about looking into IEPA funded loans.
After some discussion, it was a consensus of support for the Council to move forward using Utility Tax Funds and possibly MFT Funds. The time frame is completion by the summer of 2015. Mayor Howley noted the City will be looking at the IEPA loans but if it is an extensive delay, we will not use this option. The City Engineer will look into this and update the Council as soon as possible.

The second area reviewed was 8728 S. 85th Court. Mr. Lang explained heavy storms create runoff from Hillside that either shoot over Hillside from Lynwood or bypass the grates, or the receiving sewer is of insufficient capacity to handle those events. When this occurs, the overland system must kick in to convey the excess water. Often, the overland flow routes either do not exist or impede the flow of water, i.e. fences, sheds, gardens. This happens in this case. The inability of the storm sewer to handle the storm event causes it to overtop Hillside, flow east thru the yards fronting Hillside, then continue flowing to the east and thru the yards fronting 85th Court. All sewers are CMP, which has poor flow efficiencies. Mr. Lang stated the solution to this issue is to install new structures at Hillside and Lynwood with vaned grates, or open backed grates, to provide a greater capacity to accept runoff from Lynwood. Run new sewer to low point on Hillside, between 8759 and 8805, adding new grates there as well. Next, construct a new, larger storm sewer that would connect to the 85th Avenue sewer project, ultimately draining 121 acres. This would be sized for the 100 year storm event. Mr. Lang addressed the residents on 85th Court, telling them their fences would have to be removed and then will be installed when completed. The cost of this project will be considerably less than the 85th Avenue project.

Blue Ridge Area – Mr. Lang noted until a large investigation is undertaken by the City to determine how many homes have foundation drains into the sanitary sewer (the most logical accepted reason for sanitary overflows), which was common practice when these homes were built. The most cost effective answer to protect homes from sewer backups that have historically been subjected to this is to install overhead sewers in those residences. Mr. Boettcher gave a definition of the overhead sewer. Mayor Howley suggested the residents present this evening can meet with the Public Works Director after this meeting to discuss their options.
Blue Ridge – Storm Sewers
Mr. Lang stated that a major overflow route does not exist for storms in this area. Complicating matters is that the municipal jurisdiction ends along the east property lines of this development where the Village of Justice begins. Additionally, the City has an intergovernmental agreement with Justice that impacts portions of this subdivision. The agreement was prepared in the early 80’s between Hickory Hills and Justice to limit the flow into Justice. Mayor Howley, Mr. Lang, Alderman McAvoy and Mr. Boettcher met with the Mayor of Justice recently to address the ditch along 90th Avenue which is poorly maintained. There is now an agreement on maintaining this ditch which will help this situation. Mr. Lang stated the existing system does not provide satisfactory protections during high intensity rainfall events and water ponds in two locations on Blue Ridge. The recommendation here is to improve and alter the overland flow routes from Blue Ridge to the detention area. This will be difficult and will require overland drainage easements along side-yards and rear yards. Long term, the south portion of the cemetery is very low and could be potentially used as a detention pond. The City’s engineering firm will be investigating this project in depth and perhaps explore MWRD assistance.

9335 82nd Court
Mayor Howley noted no residents were present at this time from this area. The City will share with these residents the engineer’s recommendations.

Mayor Howley thanked the residents present for all of their patience.


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


Alderman Zimmerman moved to approve the minutes of the regularly scheduled meeting of September 11, 2014 as printed subject to deletions or corrections. Alderman Ferrero second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, McAvoy, McHugh, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. Alderman Fonte pass. So approved.



Howl Through The Hills – Mayor Howley reported all is going well with the planning of the 5K Run/Walk which will be held on October 25th at 9:00 a.m.


Clerk Catizone reported she is in receipt of the Intergovernmental Agreement for the Environmental Health Inspections Services for the period of December 1, 2014 through November 30, 2015. Please note that the fees have been changed to $100.00 per inspection. This is the first increase since 2002. Alderman McHugh moved to approve the Intergovernmental Agreement with Cook County for Health Inspections. Alderman Szeszycki second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, McAvoy, McHugh, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.

Clerk Catizone is in receipt of a request from Sertoma for an ad in the Annual Fall Festival Program Book in the amount of $100.00. Alderman Szeszycki moved to approve this $100.00 donation to Sertoma. Alderman McHugh second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, McAvoy, McHugh, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.


No report submitted.


No report submitted.


No report submitted.



Alderman Szeszycki moved to approve the bills payable for the second half of September, 2014 in the amount of $658,547.71. Alderman McHugh second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, McAvoy, McHugh, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.



Alderman Szeszycki distributed the Video Gaming monthly report to the Council. Alderman Szeszycki noted the Property and Casualty renewal was reviewed and approved. This included a 3.5% increase with some small changes. Current premium is $78,127.00 with a deductible of $2,500.00. Alderman Szeszycki stated he also looked into raising excess liability coverage. At this time, no changes will be made. No objections from the Council.

Stachnik/Public Safety

Alderman Stachnik was absent. No report submitted.

Zimmerman/Public Works

No report submitted.


Alderman McHugh reported a Community Dinner will be held at the Community Center on Tuesday, November 11th from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Alderman McHugh would like all the elected officials to assist with serving.

Waight/Laws & Ordinances

Alderman Waight is in receipt of three business applications. 1) Haunted House located at 8722 W. 87th Street opening October 10th. This is a temporary business certificate. 2) Wingz It Iz located at 8033 W. 87th Street. This is a fast food restaurant. 3) H Massage and Spa located at 8717 W. 95th Street. This is a massage spa. No objections were noted.

Fonte/Health & Environmental Control

No report submitted.

Ferrero/Community Affairs/Youth Advisory

No report submitted.

McAvoy/Chamber Business Development

No report submitted.


Mayor Howley and the City Council extended their condolences to Joe Stachnik on the passing of his father.


Alderman Szeszycki inquired if an insurance claim was submitted for the damage done to the gas tanks at Public Works. Treasurer Schramm noted he spoke with Mr. Boettcher and the damage was an erosion issue and no claim was filed.

Treasurer Schramm reported he has filled the part time position in the Finance Department; Debbie Kozik will start on October 6th.


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 9:08 p.m.