July 13, 2017 City Council Meeting Minutes

July 13, 2017 City Council Meeting Minutes


The regular meeting of the Hickory Hills City Council was called to order by Mayor Mike Howley on Thursday,
July 13, 2017, at 7:31 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, D. Ferrero
    B. Fonte
    T. McAvoy
    M. McHugh
    J. Stachnik
    J. Szeszycki
    B. Waight
    S. Zimmerman
  • City Clerk, D. Catizone
  • City Treasurer, D. Schramm
  • City Attorney, G. Perlman
  • City Engineer, M. Spolar
  • Police Lt, A. Vodicka
  • Public Works Director, L. Boettcher
  • J. Moirano

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


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

Mr. James Fox
9425 W. 81st Avenue
Hickory Hills

Mr. Fox expressed his concern for a public safety issue. He noted cars are coming off 95th Street and cutting through his area to avoid the street light. Cars are speeding on 81st Avenue at speeds in excess of 40 mph. There have been a few near misses when he has taken his children for walks. He would like to see a stop sign at the corner on 94th Street and 82nd Avenue. Mayor Howley noted there is a steep hill there and a stop sign request was presented to the sign committee. It was ruled more of a hazard. Mayor Howley stated he shares his concerns and suggested Mr. Fox talk with Chief Vodicka and work with the Aldermen to discuss a plan. Mr. Fox also suggested posting signs which would alert drivers to slow down.


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


Alderman McHugh moved to approve the minutes of the regularly scheduled meeting of June 22, 2017 as printed subject to deletions or corrections. Alderman Waight second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, McHugh, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. Aldermen McAvoy and Stachnik pass. So approved.



Mayor Howley along with the City Council extended birthday wishes to Clerk Catizone on her birthday this week.

Howl Through the Hills 5K Race/Walk – Mayor Howley announced this year’s 5K Race will take place on Saturday, October 21, 2017. This is a week earlier than last year due to the Moraine Valley Community College 5K which is October 28, 2017.

Street Fair – Mayor Howley extended a personal thank you to Alderman Ferrero and the Community Affairs Committee for the excellent job on the Street Fair this year.

Finding of Fact S & M Auto Brokers 7825 W. 95th St. – Mayor Howley presented the S & M Auto Brokers Inc. Finding of Fact from the Plan Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals. The ZBA conducted a public hearing on June 26, 2017 on a petition by S & M Auto Brokers Inc. The property is located at 7825 W. 95th Street. Mayor Howley noted Mr. Syed Imam, Chairman of the ZBA, is present this evening. Mayor Howley reviewed the Finding. The owners, Saed Ihmoud and Mohammed Ihmoud, are also present. Mayor Howley stated the owners have been very long term residents of Hickory Hills and the area. They have been very successful businessmen and own three other dealerships in Chicago. Mayor Howley is also in possession of the complete financial statements of their businesses. Mr. Charles Smith was the architect from Arete Design Studio who worked on this project. Also noted, during the public portion of the Public Hearing two property owners spoke in favor of the Petitioner’s request. They did have suggestions that were considered at the hearing. The special use was granted by the Zoning Board as a high end used car dealership. No repair work on cars other than the ones in the lot at this facility will be allowed. No towing pound. No spray booth. Owner will remove and rework south drive entrances with sidewalks, grass and fifteen (15) 3 ½ inches caliber trees. Repairs will be only 7:00 am to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Sales close at 9:00 p.m. Back lot lighting will not impede with residential properties. The vote was 7 ayes and 0 nays. The Council is in receipt of the reviewers’ comments and the Finding of Fact.

At this time, Mr. Steve Pickett from Arete Design Studio made a presentation to the Council. He distributed a site plan and reviewed the project. Mayor Howley also introduced the current owners of the property present tonight, Peter Gianakas and Nancy Gianakas. Mr. Pickett stated the existing patio will be removed and reestablish the paving. The building will have an 8,000 square foot showroom. The off-loading trucks will come in off of 78th Avenue at the south end of the building. Concerns mentioned by the Council were traffic patterns and the cars unloading on 78th Avenue. A lengthy discussion ensued on what cars will be serviced at this location. The owner stated he would be servicing cars at this location. There are 4 service bays proposed. It was mentioned the service bays go hand and hand with auto sales as stated by Mr. Pickett.

The cars will be parked along the south lot line and they are aware of the apartments. The owner stated this would be a storage area for cars. Mr. Pickett stated this would be a sleek and modern building. The showroom will hold 8 to 10 cars. This concluded the presentation by the architect. Some members of the Council had concerns which included lighting, parking lot traffic, grass areas and general appearance of the property. Mayor Howley stated additional engineering plans would come after this approval. Mayor Howley explained the history of this property and the failed attempts to open a business at this location. This property has been vacant more than 10 years and no other prospects are in sight. Recently, the City took a chance on DriveTime and worked with this business during the building development stage to assure the plans went accordingly. He also noted that in the past, there has been a negative connotation with used car lots. There are ways the City can control how this location looks by holding occupancy and making sure the site development plans are followed. Mayor Howley stated after reviewing the financials, the predicted sales tax coming to the City cannot be ignored. Attorney Perlman added the City can also revoke the special use permit if the conditions of the ordinance were not followed.

Alderman McAvoy wanted the traffic minimized and not interfering within residential areas. He encouraged the owners to be successful but also responsible. Alderman McAvoy mentioned that he did speak to the gentleman who attended the ZBA hearing last evening and sent him a copy of the Finding.

Alderman Szeszycki questioned what the special use is being granted this evening. Attorney Perlman stated the special use classification is approving car sales and car repairs.

Public Works Director Larry Boettcher added his comments regarding detention requirements.

Alderman McHugh questioned how many handicapped parking spaces there will be. Mr. Pickett stated there would be 3 handicapped parking spaces.

Alderman Ferrero questioned the entrance and exit on 95th Street. Mr. Pickett stated they can enter and exit on 78th Avenue and 78th Court in addition to 95th Street.

The parking lot will be reviewed and reevaluated for improvements. Also, hours of the service bays were discussed. The City Engineer stated the owners will need to follow MWRD requirements.

At this time, there were no other comments. Alderman McAvoy moved to approve the Finding of Fact for a proposed Special Use at 7825 W. 95th Street for a proposed car dealership by S & M Auto Brokers Inc. Alderman McHugh second. Alderman Szeszycki added he had attended the zoning hearing, visited the Petitioner’s other car lots and will make his decision accordingly. McHugh added the service bay areas may be a problem and would like that added to the record. Lastly, Alderman Waight would like to add that the property has been vacant for 10 years and nothing on the tax rolls, but we are here for tax dollars. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, McAvoy, Stachnik, Waight, Zimmerman aye. Alderman McHugh and Alderman Szeszycki nay. So approved.

Mayor Howley stated the City Attorney is now authorized to draft an ordinance approving the Finding of Fact which will then be presented at the next City Council meeting.


Clerk Catizone reported she is in receipt of a request from Once Upon A Child located at 9636 S. Roberts Road for their annual tent sale. This event will take place on Saturday, September 16th if there are no objections. No objections were noted.


No report.


No report.


Mr. Spolar presented for approval Invoice #21436
from AC Pavement Striping Company in the amount of $75,877.51 for work done on the MFT Microsurfacing Project (pay estimate #1, partial).

Alderman Ferrero moved to approve Invoice #21436 to AC Pavement Striping Company in the amount of $75,877.51. Alderman Waight second.
Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, McAvoy, McHugh, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.

Mr. Spolar reported a bid opening will be held on Monday, July 24, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. for the 85th Avenue Storm Sewer Improvements. Awarding the contract will take place at the next Council meeting on July 27, 2017.



Alderman Szeszycki moved to approve the bills payable for the first half of June 2017 in the amount of $576,534.68. Alderman Stachnik second. Roll call: Aldermen Fonte, Ferrero, McAvoy, McHugh, Stachnik, Szeszycki, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.



Alderman Szeszycki reported he and Treasurer Schramm are working on the Street Fair Financial Report and should have it completed by the next Council meeting.

Alderman Szeszycki noted he will be meeting with a representative from a new risk management company on Friday, July 14th and will conduct a tour of the City’s facilities. They will be quoting on Workman’s Compensation Insurance.

Stachnik/Public Safety

Chief Vodicka reported there has been a rash of car burglaries primarily in the 3rd Ward and he noted all the cars were unlocked at the time. Please remind the residents to keep the vehicle doors locked.

Zimmerman/Public Works

Mr. Boettcher reported the City met with five (5) members of the Tollway’s Outreach Program (TEAM) to upgrade twenty-two (22) miles of the Central Tri-State.

The TEAM distributed a four (4) page flyer listing the proposed project benefits including congestion relief with integrated Flex/shoulder travel lanes and potential transit with some interchange modifications to I-290 & I-55, plus new ramps. To relieve congestion at 95th Street, Public Works has recommended on/off ramps southbound at 103rd Street near Harlem IL Route 43 for access to CC Circuit Court District 5 and Moraine Valley Community College. Also, on/off ramps northbound at 88th Avenue just south of 79th Street for northbound on ramp. 95th Street IL Route 12/20 eastbound should have a new turning lane dedicated onto southbound 76th Avenue plus 76th Avenue southbound should have a new lane for dedicated turning lanes to enter southbound on ramp of 2 lanes. Roberts Road is also in need of new turning lanes for northbound and southbound. These locations only have single lane through traffic because of an overabundance of turning traffic into already congested 95th lanes.

Joint ventures were encouraged for local road development and drainage matters. TEAM’s 2017 Concept Plan will be summarized this fall. After Public Hearing and PLAN approval, the design phase would be in 2017 to 2020. Some advanced construction (already approved) around primary expressways will occur starting in 2018, but mainline construction for removal and replacement will occur in 2024-2025. TEAM is in need of storm water detention per the MWRD and queried the status of Prairie Pond detention.

The last topic to be addressed was signage. TEAM has received overwhelming number of sign requests from each town. Public Works clarified that signs on mainline could be substantially different than exit ramp signs (like northbound onto 95th Street). TEAM agreed, but recommended that sign applications should be submitted as soon as possible. The applications in the Clerk’s office are being completed. The TEAM will meet with each town with summary outreach meetings before the Public Hearing.

Mr. Boettcher reported Public Works has in the past relied on Illinois State Purchase (CMS) for best truck pricing.
Unfortunately, International is the only brand that can be purchased. Recently, product quality has diminished. An alternative Government Joint Purchase is NJPA-National Joint Power Alliance which is available.

Public Works budgeted funds for a new 4-wheel dump truck with snow plow and V box salt spreader. Public Works will issue a purchase order for a JXPeterbilt for $160,000.00 unless there is a concern. No concerns were noted.


Alderman McHugh reported Parkview Apartments are running smoothly and the fifth building to have the piping redone will begin soon. This will make five out of the six buildings completed.

Waight/Laws & Ordinances

Alderman Waight presented two (2) business certificate applications. 1) Prime Credit Advisors located at 9525 S. 79th Avenue, #216. 2) American Postal Workers Union located at 9525 S. 79th Avenue. No objections were noted.

Fonte/Health & Environmental Control

Alderman Fonte reported for the month of June, “At Your Door Recycling Program” had a total of 6,220 pounds from 54 households at which services were completed.

Ferrero/Community Affairs/Youth Advisory

Alderman Ferrero thanked the Community Affairs Committee for their efforts during the Street Fair. She also thanked Alderman McHugh and Alderman McAvoy for the beer and bingo tent. Mayor Howley noted everything went well during the Street Fair.

Alderman Ferrero noted $410.00 was raised at the Street Fair for the Discretionary Fund with a raffle.

McAvoy/Chamber Business Development

Alderman McAvoy noted the Bingo Tent Report will be available in a week and will be sent to the Council.

Alderman McAvoy stated he had received over $7,000.00 in prizes from local businesses.
Discussion on the beer tent and attendance ensued.






Alderman Ferrero moved to adjourn 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 8:58 p.m.