Palos Hills officials discuss combatting snow on hot summer night

  • Written by Michael Gilbert

The temperature may have soared near 90 degrees last Thursday, but Palos Hills officials had snow, sleet and all things winter on their minds.

The city council voted 9-0 last week to enter into a contract for road salt with the Michigan-based Compass Minerals in an amount not to exceed $51.44 per ton for up to 800 tons of salt. Ald. Joan Knox (1st Ward) was absent.

The Minnesota-based Cargill Inc. submitted the only other bid at 54.74 per ton, Ald. Mark Brachman (2nd Ward) said. The city estimated the price of salt would come in at $65 per ton.

"It was a great price," Dave Weakley, the city's public works commissioner, said of the salt coming in nearly $14 per ton less than expected. "Last year's mild winter created a surplus of salt and we were able to benefit from it."

"It's well below our estimation," Brachman added. "The bid (for all 800 tons) comes in at $41,100 and our engineer's estimate was $52,000."

Palos Hills only used 400 tons of salt last year, Weakley said. The city typically dispenses around 800 tons of salt on streets each year, he said. Palos Hills still has around 300 tons of salt in a storage facility located east of Moraine Valley Community College, Weakley added.

The contract calls for the salt to be delivered as-needed and Weakley noted the city does not need to accept the supply all at once.

"The salt is delivered on demand," Weakley said. "We don't need to take the whole 800 at the same time."

He added should the winter once again be mild Palos Hills is not obligated to purchase all 800 tons and instead the city would simply pay for what it uses.

In other news, Ald. Joe Marrotta (4th Ward) reminded the council and a handful of residents in attendance that the inaugural City of Palos Hills National Night Out will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 2 at Town Square Park, 8455 W. 103rd St.

National Night Out is a nationwide event first held in 1984 to promote crime and drug prevention and strengthen the relationship a community has with its police department. Around 16,000 communities have held a National Night Out but never has one occurred in Palos Hills.

“This event allows our police the opportunity to interact with local agencies and residents to help build community camaraderie,” Marrotta said.

The event, which is sponsored by the City of Palos Hills, Green Hills Public Library, North Palos Fire Protection District and the Palos Hills Police Department, is to feature live music, face painting, free popcorn and the opportunity to meet and interact with first responders, Ald. Dawn Nowak (5th Ward) said.

Representatives of Cook County Clerk David Orr will be on hand to help register residents to vote, and Nowak and Alde.Ricky Moore (4th Ward) will be present to explain various benefits available to veterans of the United States military. Attendees can also make a monetary donation or donate toiletries at the National Night Out that that will be sent to soldiers stationed overseas.

“It’s going to be a nice night to meet your police officers and firefighters and see your neighbors,” Nowak said.

“It’s a good thing,” Ald. Pauline Stratton (2nd Ward) said of the National Night Out. “We’re encouraging our residents to come out and meet our police and see what they do.”

Also at the meeting Palos Hills officials approved issuing a liquor license for Palos Diner, 8052 W. 111th St.

The license will allow the 10-year-old restaurant to sell beer and wine onsite. Palos Diner is open until 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and has a lunch and dinner menu in addition to its breakfast options.