January 8, 2015 City Council Meeting Minutes

January 8, 2015 City Council Meeting Minutes


The regular meeting of the Hickory Hills City Council was called to order by Mayor Mike Howley on Thursday, January 8, 2015, at 7:33 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
    J. Stachnik
    B. Fonte
    T. McAvoy
    M. McHugh
    J. Szeszycki
    B. Waight
    S. Zimmerman
  • City Clerk, D. Catizone
  • City Treasurer, D. Schramm
  • City Engineer, M. Spolar
  • Police Chief, A. Vodicka
  • Public Works Director, L. Boettcher
  • Building Commissioner, J. Moirano

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

At this time, Mayor Howley presented the winners of the Lights of Hickory Contest. Present to accept their award were Mrs. Klimek, 1st Place, 1st Ward, 7818 W. 98th Street and Mr. Leja, 1st Place, 3rd Ward, 9017 W. 89th Street. A complete list of winners were announced as follows:

1st Ward – 1st Place Klimek 2nd Place Doubis
7818 W. 98th St. 9318 S. 78th Ave.
2nd Ward – 1st Place Majka 2nd Place Strus
9120 S. 85th Ave. 9231 S. 85th Ave.
3rd Ward – 1st Place Leja 2nd Place Selvek
9017 W. 89th St. 8848 W. 92nd Pl.
4th Ward – 1st Place Kubis 2nd Place Ayala
8800 S. 83rd Ave. 8815 Pleasant Ave.


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

The following is a list of residents that were present to express their concerns for “D” Truck parking in driveways:

Mr. Raymond Johnson Mr. Armand Staats
Mr. Tom Tough Mr. Jose Garnbay
Mr. Rashad Haddaq Mr. Ibrahim Hamid
Mr. Januoz Marusarz Mr. Joel Sirevicius
Mr. Mike Demonbreun

Alderman Zimmerman noted he spoke to Mr. Johnson and he informed him he had received a letter stating tickets would be issued. Mayor Howley noted that no tickets are currently being issued and that a discussion will be held at the Committee Meeting on January 22nd at 6:00 p.m.

The discussion would look at box truck parking and other limits. Mayor Howley stated based on comments from the Council at the last meeting, that “D” trucks would not be issued tickets and the City would modify the current ordinance. Mayor Howley invited any interested party to attend the Committee Meeting on January 22nd. Alderman Stachnik stated this is a long time ordinance that has to be cleaned up for the community. Alderman Ferrero stated she has received some complaints against these trucks.

Mrs. Dolores Conoboy
8907 S. 83rd Court

Mrs. Conoboy brought pictures of her flooding issue to show the Council.

Mr. Cesar Romero
8901 S. 83rd Court

Mr. Romero was also present again to voice his concerns regarding water and flooding of his home. He also thanked Alderman McAvoy, Alderman Szeszycki, and Public Works Director Boettcher for coming over to look at this issue.

Mr. Miguel Garcia & Family
8906 S. 83rd Court

Mr. Garcia’s daughters spoke during this portion of the meeting to state how the flood at their home has affected their lives.

After residents expressed their concerns, Mayor Howley extended an apology for all they have gone through. He noted the City’s engineering firm is in the process of reviewing this area for possible solutions. Mr. Boettcher also explained some options for controlling water in this area. These options will be presented to the Council to review.


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


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



No report submitted.


Clerk Catizone reported she is in receipt of a request from St. Patricia School to place signs on 88th Avenue, 95th Street, 87th Street and Roberts Road for their upcoming Open House on February 1st. No objections were noted.

Clerk Catizone announced the Spring Newsletter will be going out on March 2nd. All articles are due on February 6th.

Clerk Catizone noted the Clerk’s Office in December sent out commercial vehicle sticker renewals. Please remind anyone with a commercial vehicle that you must have the 2015 displayed by January 31st. The 2015 Business Certificate Renewals will be mailed in late February. These expire on April 30th.

Clerk Catizone mentioned that the Boxing For the Troops will be held on January 20th at the Community Center beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Clerk Catizone distributed a list of the 2015 Council Meetings. No objections or changes were noted.


Treasurer Schramm noted he will give his report under Unfinished Business.


Ord. 15-01 – Chief Vodicka presented Ordinance 15-01, an ordinance amending Chapter 42, Offenses against Public Peace, Safety and Morals, Section 42.24, Possession of Cannabis, of the Hickory Hills Municipal Code. Alderman Waight moved to approve Ordinance 15-01. Alderman McHugh second. Chief Vodicka stated this adjusts the fines for possession of cannabis. Alderman Szeszycki wanted clarification if the fine would double if they went to a hearing. Chief Vodicka noted that the fine does not double when they appear at the hearing. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, McAvoy, McHugh, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.


No report submitted.



Alderman Szeszycki moved to approve the bills payable for the first half of January, 2015 in the amount of $407,606.55. Alderman Ferrero second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, McAvoy, McHugh, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.

Customary Bills Payable
Mayor Howley noted the total for the approved customary bills payable for the second half of December, 2014 was $275,423.56.



Alderman Szeszycki distributed the latest video gaming revenues for the Council’s review.

Stachnik/Public Safety

No report submitted.

Zimmerman/Public Works

Mr. Boettcher reported Public Works had delivered 100 packets of information to residents residing on streets that are in need of trees. After 100 are accepted, Public Works will summarize by Ward addresses of delivered packets and those who accepted.

Mr. Boettcher noted with regards to the residential water meter replacement program, Public Works has initiated the smallest area (#7) that has 153 private meters. This area is south of 95th Street and Arrowhead Condos.

Thirty letters were sent out on December 22nd and another two dozen this week. Homeowners are requested to make an appointment for water meter exchange. As of today, Public Works has installed ten new meters. These meters are radio read and can be read with a drive by at any time. These new meters can become the guide line for existing meter accuracy.


No report submitted.

Waight/Laws & Ordinances

No report submitted.

Fonte/Health & Environmental Control

No report submitted.

Ferrero/Community Affairs/Youth Advisory

No report submitted.

McAvoy/Chamber Business Development

No report submitted.


Treasurer Schramm reviewed the 2015 Water and Sewer
Rate Increase Options. He stated he wanted to review a few items before going over the options. First, WSWC has increased Hickory Hills water rates 14.5% as of January 1, 2015 from $4.20 to $4.81 per 1000 gallons. He noted other operating costs for both water and sewer systems are projected to increase 5% in 2015. We are proposing the following 3 rate increase options to be effective February 1, 2015 billing period:

Option #1 and Option #2 rate increase proposals estimate a break even for operating the water & sewer systems in 2015.

Option #3 is a proposed rate increase in 2015 for sewer operating costs only.

Option #1 proposes covering the entire $300,000 water operating cost increase through a water rate increase and no line charge increase. By increasing the water rate only, the City is at risk of losing revenue and operating cost funding as experienced in 2014 when we purchased and billed 30,000,000 gallons less than projected to break even.

Option #1 proposes covering the entire $30,000 sewer operating cost increase through a line charge or connection charge increase. This proposed line charge increase hits multiple connection commercial accounts with a small increase to residential accounts. Sewer water rate under this option remains the same as we already increased water rate substantially under Option #1.

Option #2 proposes spreading the water operating percentage cost increase evenly between a water rate increase and line charge increase. It also proposes increasing the sewer water rate only 7% and leaving the line charge/connection charge the same as current rate. Since we are only covering a $30,000 sewer operating cost increase it doesn’t make sense to change both rates 2%-3%.

Option #3 is a proposed sewer increase only. Since we have been spending approximately $250,000-$300,000 for major sewer repairs and replacement for the past several years, we have depleted the Sewer Capital/EPA Fund and have been using the Utility Tax and Working Capital Fund for these major repairs for the last 2-3 years. This option also covers not only the $30,000 sewer operating increase for 2015, but also builds up or offsets the $100,000 of the annual $250,000-$300,000 in major expenditures.

Treasurer Schramm stated if we go with our recommended options, Option #2 for water and Option #3 for sewer, the minimum residential user bill would go up $4.90 a month or $59.00 per year, and the average residential user (6,000 gallons a month) would go up $6.80 per month or $82.00 a year.
If the Council would go with Option #2 for both water and sewer, then the minimum residential user would go up $4.60 per month or $55.00 per year, and average residential user would go up $6.50 per month or $78.00 per year.

After a lengthy discussion, Alderman McHugh moved to approve Option #2, absorb the projected water & sewer operating cost increase in 2015 through a water line charge increase from $4.30 to $4.80 per month. And a water rate increase from $6.54 to $7.26 per 1000 gallons. And Option #3, increase sewer line charge from $3.45 to $4.00 per month, and increase sewer water rate from $1.16 to $1.40 per 1000 gallons. Alderman Szeszycki second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, McHugh, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. Aldermen McAvoy, Stachnik nay. So approved.

Mayor Howley thanked Treasurer Schramm and Finance Chairman Alderman Szeszycki for all the work done on these options.




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, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.

Meeting adjourned at 9:11 p.m.