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Hickory Hills Council delays development plans for the Sabre Woods Plaza

  • Written by Sharon L. Filkins

Plans to develop the Sabre Woods Plaza has been delayed indefinitely, it was announced at the Hickory Hills City Council meeting last Thursday night.

The plaza was scheduled to be located at 8900 W. 95th St. and was going to replace the once iconic Sabre Room, which closed last year. The Sabre Room was once a popular night spot in Hickory Hills and the surrounding suburbs dating back to the 1970s. Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin performed there on separate occasions.

Hickory Hills Mayor Mike Howley made the announcement during the board meeting. He said that plans presented at the Nov. 10 council meeting by Jim Louthen, development project manager, and Charles Cornelius Jr., of Chicagoland Realty Service, did not fit the expectations of the city’s zoning board. Future ideas for the Sabre Woods project will be discussed at a later date.

“There are still a lot of unanswered questions,” said Howley.

During the first Hickory Hills Council meeting in 2017, a swearing-in ceremony for a new police officer and the awarding of first- and second-place winners in the city’s annual “Lights of Hickory Hills” contest took place.

Joseph Murphy, the new police officer for Hickory Hills, was introduced and sworn in. Al Vodicka, the Hickory Hills police chief, said that Murphy grew up on Chicago’s Southwest Side near Midway Airport. He attended St. Simon Elementary School in Chicago’s Gage Park neighborhood and graduated from De La Salle Institute.

Vodicka added that Murphy had also served in the U.S. Army for five years, had previously worked with the Cook County Corrections Division, and had also served with the Cook County Forest Preserves Police.

“We are very happy to have this experienced officer join our department. We know that he was recruited by several departments, but he chose to join Hickory Hills and we are very pleased to have him.”

The chief said that when Murphy was asked why he chose Hickory Hills, he responded that it was because of the good reputation of the department and because he saw how well Hickory Hills treated its employees.

Also recognized at the meeting were members of the Stewart family, who live on the 9000 block of Forest Lane. They placed first in the 3rd Ward for their “outstanding Christmas lights decorations.” Congratulating them were the ward aldermen, Tom McAvoy and Brian Fonte.

The Kelly family, of the 9100 block of 92nd Place, placed second in the 3rd Ward.

Each city ward had first- and second-place prize winners in the Christmas decorating contest, but only the Stewart family was present at the council meeting.

Other winners in the 1st Ward were Moskala family, of the 9300 block of South 77th Court, who placed first; and the Las family, of the 7800 block of West 90th Place, who came in second.

In the 2nd Ward, the Schendl residence, of the 9100 block of South 83rd Court, came in first. The Gacek family, of the 9300 block of South 87th Avenue, came in second.

The Kubis family, of the 8800 block of 83rd Avenue, placed first in the 4th Ward. The resident of a home on the 8700 block of South 82nd Avenue placed second.

Ald. John Szeszycki (2nd Ward), chairman of Finance, announced that the city had collected a total of $230,000 from video gambling in 2016.

Fonte, who is also the chair of Health and Environmental Control/Recycling, reported that 49 households had called “At Your Door Recycling” to schedule pick-ups of electronic equipment since the program began with Waste Management on Jan. 1.

A business license was approved for USRC Hickory Hills, also known as HEMO Kidney Dialysis Clinic at 9640-42 S. Roberts Road. The owner is US Renal Care, of Plano, Texas. The proposed opening date is this November.