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                                                                                                                              Photo by Joe Boyle
Neighbors have asked the Worth Village Board to consider installing a four-way stop sign at the corner of 108th and Neenah Avenue to deter drivers from speeding through the intersection from the east and west. Stop signs are currently located at the north and south sides of the corner. The board is considering taking down the tree in the foreground that may be obstructing passing motorists from the east and west.
By Joe Boyle
The Worth Police Department has been exceptionally busy this past summer due in part to the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Calls and arrests have been more frequent in the village the past few months. Trustee Brad Urban mentioned that domestic battery cases have increased in Worth and may be a result of some couples who have had previous issues now seeing those problems escalate because of the pandemic.
"The guys (police) have been very, very busy," Urban said during the Worth Village Board meeting held on Aug. 18. "We have had a couple of tough situations. The domestic cases have been high due to COVID."
Urban provided the police reports for the month of July. While aggravated assaults, unlawful use of a weapon and battery cases were low, domestic incidents were once again on the rise. Forty-two criminal arrests were made in July and many of them involved domestic issues.
Urban provided some of the statistics in place of Trustee Pete Kats, the head of the public safety committee who was absent from the meeting. Trustee Tedd Muersch Jr. was also not present.
Urban, who is the head of the public works committee, said that an issue at the corner of 108th and Neenah Avenue is being looked into at the request of neighbors. Residents have been concerned about vehicles driving through the intersection at high rates of speed from the east and west. The neighbors would like to see a four-way stop sign installed at the corner. Residents believe that either pedestrians could be struck or that an eventual surge in crashes will occur. The intersection currently has stop signs at the north and south sides of Neenah Avenue.
Urban visited the site and after examining the corner said they he may have a solution.
"If a tree would be removed from the southwest corner, I think that could take care of the problem," Urban said. "If that could be done then maybe a four-way stop sign may not be necessary. The tree is not that large yet but it will grow and could obstruct the vision of drivers."
The trustee recommended that Robinson Engineering look into the removal of that tree.
"If this doesn't work, then we can look into a four-way stop sign," Urban added.
The village board approved a resolution for Mayor Mary Werner to submit an application for FEMA public assistance funds to recoup certain COVID-19 related expenses.
Werner said the funds would be provided up through Dec. 31. She added that the expenses would be strictly used for COVID-19 safety and health issues. The funds would not be included for public works and other village expenses.
Also approved under the consent agenda was a resolution for maintenance under the Illinois Highway Code. The amount of $30,000 of motor fuel tax funds will be provided for maintaining streets and highways under the applicable provisions of the Illinois Highway Code.
An ordinance amending permit fees for fences and swimming pools was approved under the consent agenda. The application for a fence construction permit will have to be accompanied by a sketch showing the proposed location of the fence in relation to lot lines. Existing permanent improvements, the type of construction, the material used, and the proposed height of the fence would be included in the ordinance.
In regards to swimming pools, no person or organization will be allowed to construct a private pool or make major alterations of an existing pool without first having obtained a permit issued by the building commissioner.
The fee for a permit for the erection or construction of a swimming pool will be 1.5 percent of the total cost of purchasing and installing the swimming pool, according to the ordinance.
Rich Dziedzic, who is the head of buildings and ordinances committee, said that despite the pandemic he was encouraged by the increase in building permits applied for in Worth during the month of July. The total amount for July permits was $10,269, up from a year ago.
An ordinance was also adopted to modify parking regulations on the 7000 block of 115th Street for persons with disabilities.
The board gave tentative agreement for a business license for Up In Smoke Worth Inc., 11015 S. Harlem Ave., Suite C. The business had gone before the board at the previous meeting but several trustees had questions about the operation. A major concern was that a representative was sent and the owners were not present.
At the Aug. 18 meeting, owner Khalid Alrufati was present and said a new sign would be erected for the business. The business was still waiting for a fire department inspection as of last week.
The license for Up In Smoke is contingent upon having passed all inspections and being in compliance with all codes and ordinances.