Photo by Joe Boyle
Construction began last month on the new Southwest Central Dispatch Building, which is moving from Palos Heights to Palos Hills. The new center will be located at 8911 W. 95th St., adjacent to the North Palos Fire Protection District Station 2.
By Joe Boyle
Palos Hills Mayor Gerald Bennett is just counting the days until the official unveiling of the city's new public works building.
Public works crews have been working on the site along the grounds of Gerald R. Bennett Park near 108th and Roberts Road. All concrete work is finished and workers are in the process of asphalt paving. Final touches for the building are taking place.
"It's an incredible facility," Bennett said during the Palos Hills City Council meeting last Thursday. "We are excited about the completion of the public works building. I think everyone will be impressed by the state-of-the-art building."
Bennett discussed the appropriate time for city officials to take a tour of the new building with Nick Oeffling, commissioner of the public works department. The tour and unveiling will take place in less than a month.
Oeffling mentioned at a previous meeting that the new facility should be completed by Aug. 15 for public use. A long with other improvements, the renovated Bennett Park will be a great addition to the city, the mayor said.
The mayor would also like residents to have an opportunity to view the new building soon as well.
Bennett mentioned at the July 2 meeting that workers had broken ground on the Southwest Central Dispatch Building at 8911 W. 95th St., which is adjacent to the North Palos Fire Protection District Station 2, in Palos Hills. It will stand just across the street from the Old Sabre Room site in Hickory Hills.
The mayor is proud of the fact that the construction plans for the new public works building and now the new Southwest Central Dispatch Building is taking place despite being in the midst of a pandemic.
The new dispatch building will be moving from Palos Heights to the Palos Hills location. Construction on the $8 million project began last month, Bennett said. A $2 million grant provided by the state with the assistance of state Rep. Kelly Burke (D-36th) and state Sen. Bill Cunningham (D-18th) will "help significantly with the cost of the building," Bennett added.
The communities that the current and new dispatch center serves besides Palos Hills include Chicago Ridge, Crestwood, Lemont, the North Palos Fire Protection District, Palos Heights Fire Protection District, and Worth.
Ald. Martin Kleefisch (1st), who is the head of the Public Safety Committee, said the Palos Hills police handled 28 cases in June. But he also talked about a letter that was sent to the city about a man whose vehicle broke down near 103rd and Kean Avenue.
The driver said a Palos Hills police officer arrived and stayed with him until he received assistance. Kleefisch said the driver reported that the officer treated with the utmost courtesy and he just wanted to pass along his thanks.
Paul Hardison, the city's building commissioner, had provided an update at the July 2 meeting of the Thornton's service station that will be built at the corner of 111th and Roberts Road. He said that a permit to complete construction should be available by Monday, July 27. Hardison estimates that complete construction of the gas station may be completed by Dec. 1.
The proposed nearly $800,000 project to repave roads throughout the city with the Motor Fuel Tax (MFT) Resolution through the Illinois Highway code was presented by Ald. Mark Brachman (2nd). The proposed project through the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) would include patching up surfaces with scheduled work on curbs and gutters from roughly 111th to 103rd streets in Palos Hills. A vote will be taken on the resolution at an upcoming meeting.
Ald. Phil Abed (4th) was officially sworn in as the city's newest alderman at last week's meeting. Abed, 57, has actually been serving as alderman since April, replacing Ald. Ricky Moore, who retired this spring after 20 years of service.
Abed was sworn in by city attorney George Pappas. Also on hand to witness the official swearing in was his wife of 30 years, Laura, and daughter, Alexandria, 23.