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Ordinance eliminates need for Lucas Berg Nature Preserve Commission

  • Written by Sharon L. Filkins

An ordinance approved at the Aug. 16 Worth Village Board meeting calling for the elimination of the Lucas Berg Nature Preserve Commission and the position of life safety officer marked the end of an era dedicated to the preservation and maintenance of the Lucas Berg Nature Preserve.

At the Aug. 3 board meeting, Mayor Mary Werner had announced the planned dissolution of the group and the volunteer position of life safety officer.

“Basically, the work of the commission, which was vital during the period of time the property was owned by the Army Corps of Engineers, has been completed,” she said.

The primary focus of the group was to prevent the dumping of sludge from the Cal-Sag Channel into the 78-acre property and to preserve the site that borders on 111th Street to the north, Oketo Avenue to the east, Southwest Highway to the west and the Cal-Sag Channel on the south.

Werner said the threat was eliminated in 2014 when Cong. Dan Lipinski (D-3rd) was successful in getting legislation passed prohibiting the dumping of dredged materials on the site, which ultimately resulted in the property being transferred from the Army Corps to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.

“The MWRD now has control of the property and have subsequently provided their own security force. This also eliminated our need for the position of life safety officer,” said Werner.

Also approved was an ordinance amending the village’s municipal code regarding police department membership.

Additionally, a special use permit was approved for Ana Novak and Joseph E. Ritter to operate Carl’s Barbershop at 6946 W. 111th St.

A bid was awarded to D Construction in the amount of $293,370 for 2016 street resurfacing. According to Village Engineer Mike Spolar, the original bid amount was $306,834, but the village’s Public Works Department will handle a portion of the pay items, reducing the contract by $13,464. D Construction was the lowest of four bidders on the project.

In other matters, Werner announced, with much regret, the resignations of Ken Koester, the village’s building inspector, and Lyn Koester, a member of the Beautification Committee.

“Our loss is someone else’s gain,” said Werner, as she thanked them for their years of service to the village. The Koesters are relocating out of state.

On a brighter note, Werner announced the appointment of Police Sgt., Timothy Denton to the position of Deputy Chief for Worth.

“His appointment is a blessing to our community as he also serves on the South Suburban Major Task Force. Our citizens will be in very capable hands,” she said.

Village Clerk Bonnie Price administered the oath of office to Denton.

Also present at the board meeting were members of the local Fraternal Order of Police who were there to present a check in the amount of $7,500 to the commander and members of the Marrs -Meyer American Legion Post 991. The funds were raised at the recent FOP/American Legion golf fundraiser event

Police Chief Mark Micetich presented the check to Post Commander Dan Finnegan.

“We greatly appreciate this contribution,” said Finnegan. “The funds will be used to help our veterans, needy families in our community and for our annual Christmas Day with recruits from Great Lakes Naval Base. “

Trustees Tedd Muersch Jr. and Colleen McElroy did not attend the meeting.