Getting it Straight from the Mayor…
Village Stands Up to Noise, Pollution Plans of UPS
The Village continues to fight against any expansion of the Hodgkins UPS plant, which continues to cause increased train traffic and noise throughout our peaceful Village. I have enlisted our federal, state and local elected officials to help residents take a stand against noise and truck pollution in our region.
The Village previously rejected attempts by UPS to add semi-tractor parking and shipping container storage within our Village limits. Last fall for a time, UPS parked a variety of vehicles on the grass area along Willow Springs Road north of 79th Street. The Village had to act to get them to remove the vehicles. At the least, this type of parking raises environmental concerns due to fuel and solvent leakage. UPS claimed the parking was simply on account of the Christmas season rush. This type of “any port in a storm” approach to business has no place in our region. UPS expansion has increased train traffic and noise all down the railway lines. Exploitation of area residents’ peace of mind simply to boost corporate profits is irresponsible.
Presently, UPS is seeking safe haven for unfettered expansion by attempting to move 50 acres out of the Village to neighboring Hodgkins. This is no more than an “end run” around responsible planning and land use.
With the Christmas shopping season just around the corner, please let UPS know how you feel about more truck noise and pollution. We may be a town of 5,500, but we can be a strong voice together. Spread the word to your extended family, to co-workers wherever you are employed, and through social media. Willow Springs supports responsible business and family values. Period. I will keep you posted.
IDOT Construction Project Nears Completion
It seems like it will never get here, but IDOT is nearing completion of the intersection improvements at Archer and Willow Springs Road. Extensive utility relocation has forced the roadwork to continue into a targeted late fall completion. The entrances of Old Willow and the Village Center will finally line up, and there will be much welcomed turn lanes to move traffic during even the busiest hours. Sidewalks will be located on both sides of Archer to make it safer for pedestrians.
Village Addresses Flood Concern Areas
Our own local road and flood relief projects, too, are nearing completion. Each year the Village assesses infrastructure needs, which in addition to providing smoother travel, address flooding concerns. This year the Village worked in partnership with the Water Reclamation District to address areas affected by storm water. The Village finished Phase One drainage improvements from Blackstone to the Cal-Sag, while Phase Two by MWRD will install oversized piping from 87th to north of Archer Avenue to move water.
Earlier this summer the MWRD finished work along the Cal-Sag Tributary along Poston which going forward the Village will maintain. With work completed on the South side of town, the Village plans to continue working with MWRD to address flooding issues on our North boundaries near Flagg Creek.
Metra Gets More Convenient, “Quiet Zone” Progresses
Metra riders soon will have a much more enjoyable experience waiting for the train in the Village Center. The Village has broken ground on a new parking lot, which will allow riders to park along the platform of the train. With the cold weather nearing, waiting in a warm car until the train pulls up to the platform will be a welcome improvement. In addition, Metra parking is about to get more convenient. The Village is in the process of providing a smart phone option to pay for Metra parking.
Speaking of trains, The Village’s train “Quiet Zone” initiative continues to move forward. Part of the plan to move our Metra parking South of the railroad tracks improves our safety score which factors heavily into the calculations for a successful Quiet Zone application.
More Walking, Biking Paths, to Reopen
The Village is also working on incorporating a “Complete Streets” policy into planning code for our town, configuring a walking and biking network of paths to make our town more accessible. In addition to providing more enjoyable passage, a more “walkable” town increases the value of your land. Also worth noting, the MWRD says it is still on target for an October 17 reopening of the Centennial Trail bike and pedestrian path. The trail was closed in October 2013 and has been completely revamped to include an elevated design. Some of the landscaping will be completed next spring.
New Water Mains Installed to Improve Water Pressure
This year, the Village and the West Suburban Water Commission are working together to bring improved water pressure and new streets to Cedar and Hill streets. Over the past several years, working with new leadership of the Water Commission, The Village has adopted a policy of working in conjunction with the Commission to repair streets and water services at the same time, rather than having new pavement torn up by constantly repairing leaky water mains. It just makes sense and saves a bundle of taxpayer dollars.
Halloween Party Approaches, Volunteers Shine Again
Fall kicks off with the Village’s Halloween “Wicked Willow” on Saturday, October 3. Dress up the kids and join the fun at Lions Park. Details are inside this newsletter. I extend a heart-felt thank you to all who volunteered and supported our August 6 Benefit Car Show. The best part about another successful evening is that more Military Veterans and needy families can be reached through the generosity of those who attend the Show or donate their valuable time. The tremendous spirit of volunteerism and community that fuels all of our local events always humbles me.
Zarzycki Manor Chapels, LTD Celebrates its 100th Year
Congratulations to Zarzycki Manor Chapels on its 100th Year in business. The business, with locations in Chicago and Willow Springs, turns 100 on Oct. 24, 2015. Willow Springs is proud to have the newest chapel of this family-owned and operated business for the past decade at 8999 Archer Avenue. What dedication and devotion to continue to operate successfully over so many years, through so many challenging times. Don’t forget to mark your calendars to take part in the Chapel’s Annual Holiday Remembrance Service on Saturday, December 5. Thank you to the entire Zarzycki family for all your hard work and for all you do for the Willow Springs community.
To view the Fall 2015 Newsletter, click here.