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Council votes to solicit bids for decorative wall

Two sets of plans for a decorative wall to be placed in a northside park will be sent out for bids, putting in motion a process that could mean the wall is up this summer.

For the unnamed park on the northwest corner of Circle and Randolph, village commissioners voted to get estimates on what it would cost to build a small wall at one corner of the park. Commissioner Marty Tellalian asked council members to support the project during a Feb. 9 meeting.

The wall would stand at an estimated height of 2 feet to 4 feet. One set of plans presented by Tellalian estimated the project at $24,700, the other at $34,650.

Efforts to improve this particular municipal park have slowly picked up steam over the last several years. A chain link fence was removed from the park in 2007 and it took almost a year before a decorative barrier was installed to immediately surround the playground equipment there. Public officials expressed a commitment to beautifying several green spaces in Forest Park, but progress has been slow.

Working on youth issues

Community leaders will continue a roundtable discussion that began in early December on how to better serve youths and teens in Forest Park. At the center of that discussion is the possible development of a teen center. The meeting will be held Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the District 91 administrative offices, 424 Desplaines Ave.

School officials, village council members, park district leaders and others are expected to attend.

During the December meeting, participants expressed an interest in working collaboratively to provide an outlet for kids who may otherwise be getting into trouble. At that meeting, Mayor Anthony Calderone said Forest Park is seeing unruly behavior that is causing “serious problems.”

Tips for cutting phone costs

A nonprofit group that helps utility customers avoid unnecessary costs will provide a free seminar this month on how to save money on phone bills. The Citizen’s Utility Board will be at the Forest Park Public Library, 7555 Jackson, on Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. to provide tips and strategies to cut costs. According to a statement released by the group, workshop attendees across the state save an average of $200 per year on their long-distance bills.

“Plus, we have a new online tool that has been teaching consumers how to slash cell-phone bills by a monthly average of $25,” Executive Director David Kolata said in the statement. “You just can’t get a free service like this anywhere else.”

To register for the clinic, visit the library’s Web site at www.fppl.org, or contact the reference desk, 366-7171. Additional information on the utility board is available at www.CitizensUtilityBoard.org, or by calling 1-800-669-5556.

WaMu branch is closing

A branch of Washington Mutual bank located on Roosevelt Road in Forest Park will be closed, according to the company’s Web site. It is one of dozens in the Chicago area to be shuttered. In all, 57 WaMu branches will go dark by March 24 as JPMorgan, which recently purchased the bank, begins acting on plans announced in January. Until recently, it was not clear which branches would be closed.

The Forest Park branch at 7501 Roosevelt is one of two in the near west suburbs to be closed. The branch at 7513 Lake in River Forest is also going to be closed, according to the Web site.