January 12, 2017 City Council Meeting Minutes

January 12, 2017 City Council Meeting Minutes


The regular meeting of the Hickory Hills City Council was called to order by Mayor Mike Howley on Thursday,
January 12, 2017, at 7:32 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers.


Mayor Mike Howley led the Pledge of Allegiance.


Upon roll call, the following were present:

  • Mayor, M. Howley
    Aldermen, B. Fonte
    M. McHugh
    T. McAvoy
    J. Stachnik
    J. Szeszycki
    S. Zimmerman
  • City Clerk, D. Catizone
  • City Clerk, V. Cainkar
  • City Treasurer, D. Schramm
  • City Engineer, M. Spolar
  • Police Chief, A. Vodicka
  • Public Works Director, L. Boettcher

Alderman Ferrero, Alderman Waight and Building Commissioner Moirano were absent. There being a quorum present, the meeting was called to order.


Fire & Police Commissioner Henry Kman administered the oath of office to Mr. Joseph Murphy, the new police officer. Chief Vodicka welcomed Officer Murphy and gave a brief bio. Police Chaplain Father Joe Mol offered a blessing. A short reception followed.


Mayor Howley announced the following residents as winners in the 2016 Lights of Hickory Hills Contest:

First Ward:
1st Place
Moskala Family
9335 S. 77th Court

2nd Place
Las Family
7831 W. 90th Place

Second Ward:
1st Place
Schendl Residence
9156 S. 83rd Court

2nd Place
Gacek Family
9341 S. 87th Avenue

Third Ward:
1st Place
Stewart Family*
9028 Forest Lane

2nd Place
Kelly Family
9125 W. 92nd Place

Fourth Ward:
1st Place
Kubis Family
8800 S. 83rd Avenue

2nd Place
8759 S. 82nd Avenue

*Was present at meeting to accept award.


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

No one spoke during this portion of the meeting.


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


Alderman Szeszycki moved to approve the minutes of the regularly scheduled meeting of December 8, 2016 as printed subject to deletions or corrections. Alderman McHugh second. Roll call: Aldermen Fonte, McAvoy, McHugh, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Zimmerman aye. So approved.



Mayor Howley expressed condolences to the Viverito Family on the passing of their daughter, Marianne. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.

Mayor Howley extended his best wishes and thanks to Kevin Farrell on his recent retirement from the Public Works Department.

Mayor Howley reported the Sabre Room zoning matter has been deferred for the time being.
They are reviewing some changes before it’s presented to the City Council. Mayor Howley also mentioned the City has received a letter from Palos Hills regarding issues they would like to be addressed. Mayor Howley stated Robinson Engineering and Public Works have reviewed and addressed these issues. He noted this may be premature as plans have not been submitted yet.

Mayor Howley announced Standard Bank has been changed to First Midwest and new signs shall be erected shortly.


City Clerk Catizone is in receipt of two sign requests. St. Patricia would like to post signs for their School Open House. Signs will be posted January 13th to February 7th at 88th Avenue and 95th Street, 87th Street and Roberts Road and 87th Street and 88th Avenue. The second request is from the Hills Baseball/Softball Association. They would like to post signs announcing their registration dates. Signs would be posted at 88th Avenue and 95th Street and 87th Street and 88th Avenue January 12th thru February 24th. No objections were noted.

Clerk Catizone attended the Hickory Hills Senior Club meeting on Wednesday, January 11th and had the honor of swearing in the new officers for 2017. They are Gerry Witkowski, President, Fran Schrafer, Vice President, Judy Mack, Secretary and Rita Molenets as Treasurer. She wished them a great year.


Treasurer Schramm updated the Council on the Standard Bank merger with First Midwest Bank. The transition date is February 6th to go to the First Midwest systems. He will be meeting the bank this week.

Treasurer Schramm noted last year the water rates were increased by 3% as the City of Chicago raised their rates. For calendar year 2016, the water operations are slightly positive. He feels at this time no increases in water rates are proposed.

Treasurer Schramm stated he would like to have a briefing and reviewing of the 2016 financials placed on the January 26th Committee Meeting Agenda.


No report submitted.


No report submitted.



Alderman Szeszycki moved to approve the bills payable for the first half of January 2017 in the amount of $667,932.13. Alderman Stachnik second. Roll call: Aldermen Fonte, McHugh, McAvoy, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Zimmerman aye. So approved.

Mayor Howley noted the customary and ordinary bills for the second half of December 2016 were a total of $415,575.73.



Alderman Szeszycki distributed the latest Video Gaming Report from the Illinois Gaming Board and revenue remains strong with a total of $230,000.00 for the year.

Stachnik/Public Safety

Chief Vodicka distributed the Quarterly Report for the Police Department. It includes the nuisance reports and animal warden reports for the last quarter.

Zimmerman/Public Works

Public Works Director Boettcher reported MWRD started excavation in the Forest Preserve near Kean Avenue. After four days of activity, the initial task of cleaning and making a new ditch to the north outlet pipe that drains the pond of water off Kean Avenue was completed. But during this activity, Public Works explained the need to clean only the existing south ditch to drain the structures immediately south of 91st Place. On the last day of December, MWRD’s contractor completed excavating the new north ditch to drain the Kean Avenue Pond. For the balance of the last day, they then started only ditch cleaning at the South headwall. Most of the ditch was cleaned, but they ran out of time. Their contract with the rental company ended the last day of December and the new rental contract awaits approval. He noted about 150 feet of the ditch was not cleaned, but rainfall may clean this remaining portion. It is draining now, however Public Works still has to clean all pipe of debris as temperatures allow.

Mr. Boettcher reported Tuesday of this week a preconstruction meeting was held with Insituform regarding City’s bid contract to line 1,050 LF of CMP 30” pipe in rear yards of 83rd Court from 89th Street to 87th Street. The contractor will initiate cleaning and televising as soon as possible weather permitting and lining shortly thereafter. He noted cleaning work will be performed at the low end of pipe on 87th Street, while TV work from the high end near 89th Street.


Alderman McHugh reported he has received several bids for the painting of the Council Chambers and work will begin soon.

Alderman McHugh noted 4 units are available for rent at the Parkview Apartments.

Waight/Laws & Ordinances

Alderman Waight was absent. Mayor Howley presented one business license application for USRC Hickory Hills, LLC DBA Hemo Kidney Dialysis Clinic located at 9640 – 9642 S. Roberts Road. The owner is US Renal Care from Plano, Texas. They plan on opening November 2017. No objections were noted.

Fonte/Health & Environmental Control

Alderman Fonte reported Waste Management’s “At Your Door Special Collection” Program has begun and in the first two weeks 49 households have called for a pickup. He will keep the Council informed.

Ferrero/Community Affairs/Youth Advisory

Alderman Ferrero was absent. The Council congratulated Alderman Ferrero on her new granddaughter, Josephine.

McAvoy/Chamber Business Development

Alderman McAvoy reported there is a nuisance vehicle parked at 8701 S. Kean Avenue without the property owner’s permission. He noted there is a provision in the Nuisance Ordinance (12.03c) that allows the City Council to have this vehicle towed. Alderman McAvoy moved to have this vehicle at 8701 S. Kean Avenue towed. Alderman Fonte second. Roll call: Aldermen Fonte, McAvoy, McHugh, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Zimmerman aye. So approved.

Alderman McAvoy noted the Hills Chamber meeting will be held on Thursday, January 19th at 7:30 a.m. at Les Brothers Restaurant.

Alderman McAvoy thanked the Public Works Department along with Robinson Engineering for their efforts on the Kean Avenue ditch project.

Alderman McAvoy distributed a copy of the 3rd Ward January Volunteer Report to the Council.

Alderman McAvoy reported he attended the Palos Hills Council meeting last Thursday. He was there to hear their experience with solar street lights. Alderman McAvoy stated there are several intersections in his ward that would benefit from the solar street lights. He would like to discuss this further during the budget meetings.


Alderman McHugh presented a request from Robert’s Roadhouse to hold a raffle for a benefit they are hosting on January 14th. No objections were noted and this request will be given to the Clerk’s office to process.


Mayor Howley introduced pictures of the property on 76th Avenue directly west of Denny’s. This is an open Com Ed lot that has been an eyesore for quite some time. Mayor Howley has had discussions with Com Ed on ideas to enhance this property with some kind of perimeter fencing. Options will be discussed at the January 26th Committee Meeting and placed on the agenda.


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

Meeting adjourned at 8:21 p.m.