After unveiling its shop-local campaign to the business community a few weeks ago, the village got the wheels in motion at Monday night’s village council meeting by passing a resolution to purchase cards for the program.

According to Mayor Anthony Calderone, who recently gave a presentation to the Forest Park Chamber of Commerce, the business community fully embraced the idea.

He explained that businesses were happy that the village is willing to invest in a program that will, hopefully, prompt more folks to shop in Forest Park.

This is great news, because, as Calderone said, promotional cards, made available at no cost to businesses or residents, could very well catalyze some consumer spending, locally – even if, for some reason, a card “fell into the hands” of a non-resident, as the mayor said.

Worst case scenario, that out-of-towner spends money in town. It’s a win-win, he explained.

We agree. This program could very well be the shot in the arm that Forest Park’s local economy needs. Consumer spending, locally, regionally, and nationally, is crucial to any and all of those economies.

We applaud Commissioner Tom Mannix for thinking up the plan, and we’re glad the village board OK’d this program. 

Rain barrels beneficial, but no fix-all 

Recently, Commissioner Tom Mannix, who’s on somewhat of a roll with all the ideas he’s coming up with lately, told us that rain barrels would greatly benefit folks who live in Forest Park – for a number of reasons.

There are economic and environmental benefits, of course, but for many, the rain barrels will keep some storm water out of the sewer, and, possibly, out of folks’ basements.

We like rain barrels, don’t get us wrong; we recognize many of the benefits that Mannix and the folks at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District talked up when we spoke to them. But, we hope that Mannix, and other village officials, realize that encouraging folks to go out and buy rain barrels is in no way a silver bullet for the town’s sewer problem.

Mannix is likely aware of this – he’s a sensible guy – so this is, more or less a reminder that 55-gallon barrels alone aren’t going to cut it. 

Rain barrels are a good way to conserve water and lessen the amount that enters the sewer, but, much more will need to be done to fix the overall problem – if and when that ever happens.