The Village Board Rundown: Storm Stories, FEMA and Not-So-Fast-Casual Parking
Highlights of the June 14 Oak Lawn Village Board meeting.
The Oak Lawn Village Board plowed through a robust agenda during a three-hour meeting on June 14. Several reporters went out to the hallway vending machine during the middle of the meeting for a five-minute Cheetos break, except for the SouthtownStar reporter, who had Fritos.
Here are the highlights:
Several residents shared their storm stories of the June 4 microburst and June 9 flooding during the public comments portion of the meeting. A woman thanked Trustee Bob Streit (Dist. 3) for tarping her roof the night of the microburst after a tree fell on it.
Another resident of the Oakdale Subdivision that bore the brunt of the flooding, said there was “people’s stuff” floating in her basement after it flooded with sewage backup.
Trustee Carol Quinlan (Dist. 5), whose district includes the Oakdale Subdivision, said she was on the phone all day with Oak Lawn Public Works personnel, giving them retention pond updates.
“It was really frustrating,” Quinlan said. “Streets I’ve never seen flood were flooded.”
Quinlan described the tsunami effect of cars driving down Oakdale’s flooded streets and sending waves crashing into the living rooms and kitchens of slab homes.
Oak Lawn Public Works Director Steve Barrett said that since the village built the Oakdale Subdivision Retention Pond at 52nd Avenue and 103rd Street in 2000, the neighborhood has overflowed only twice.
“The retention pond is doing what it’s supposed to do,” Barrett said. “It was just too much rain.”
Flood Data Collection
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is collecting information from area residents regarding damages resulting from the June 9 flooding.
The village is working on collecting information for application for possible assistance funds for flooding from FEMA. Patch has uploaded the form, and it’s also available as a PDF on the village website.
Filling out the form does not guarantee FEMA assistance.
Completed forms should be mailed or dropped off at:
Village of Oak Lawn
c/o Storm Damage Data
9446 Raymond Ave.
Oak Lawn, IL 60453
Oak Lawn Town Center Parking
Trustee Quinlan informed the village board that she and village business director Chad Weiler met with Harris Bank and Inland Realty, which manage the Oak Lawn Town Center.
Residents and businesses are complaining about the scarcity of parking, especially with three “fast casual” restaurants now occupying the storefronts. Quinlan said they had a great meeting about resolving the parking issues at the mini-mall.
The upshot: The businesses’ approximately 110 employees who work shifts throughout the day will park on the roof of the Oak Lawn Metra parking garage.
Quinlan proposed that the village go ahead and start tagging employees’ cars. She also said she received an email from Potbelly Sandwich Shop about watching cars circling the lot looking for parking spots.
“That’s pretty significant,” she said.
Village Manager Larry Deetjen said that if the board decides to go with the plan, it should try it out as an experiment through the holiday season, “so there’s no indication of permanency not knowing what the future is of use of the parking garage.”