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Worth approves to dissolve economic development commission

  • Written by By Sharon L. Filkins

During the June 6 village board meeting, Worth trustees voted unanimously to eliminate its economic development commission (EDC) and to modify the village’s business license review procedures.

Mayor Mary Werner stated that the EDC members had met with her last month to recommend the elimination of the commission.

 “They felt that their duties, which included reviewing business applications after they had been processed by the Real Estate Development Board, was a redundancy and only served to delay the application process by weeks,” she said.

When the elimination of the EDC was discussed at the last board meeting, Trustee Kevin Ryan expressed concern about economic development efforts in the village.

 “We can’t just walk away from economic development. We have just recently approved a long range plan and we need someone to oversee it. We need to consider hiring an economic development coordinator,” he stated.

In a later discussion after the June 6 meeting, Werner acknowledged that the role of economic development is different than approving business applications and licenses.

 “We are beginning our budget discussions in the coming weeks and we will definitely be considering the possibility of hiring an economic development coordinator,” Werner said.

Also officially approved at the meeting was the ordinance approving the village’s “opting out” of the Cook County requirements regarding minimum wage and sick leave payments for local business owners. With this vote, Worth joins the many other south suburban communities opting out of the Cook County ordinance and agreeing to follow Illinois State mandates. 

In other matters, the board approved business licenses for AR Oil Inc., 11458 S. Harlem Ave., and for Odeh Law Group, 11350 S. Harlem. Ave.

In the public comment portion of the meeting a resident complained about vehicles speeding on Hyland Avenue, a residential street.

 “There is a stop sign at 105th and Hyland and drivers don’t even stop for it. It is getting worse all the time,” the person said.

Werner acknowledged that speeding on the residential streets is a problem throughout the village.

 “It is our residents that are speeding and it is a real problem,” she said.

Police Chief Mike Micetich asked the resident what time the traffic was the heaviest.

 “It starts getting heavy around 2 p.m., said the resident.

Micetich promised him there would be extra patrols in the area.

 “We are battling this problem all across the village,” he added.