The Forest Park Village Council moved through their agenda quickly at their regular meeting Monday night, which featured a light agenda: No one came forward for public comment, there were no communications to the board to address, and there were no department reports for the council to consider.
The council did approve a collective bargaining agreement between the village and Automobile Mechanics Local 701 with only a single vote against. Commissioner Daniel Novak said he did not hear back from staff with answers to several questions he had pertaining to the agreement and for that reason he had to vote against it. Mayor Anthony Calderone assured Novak that staff would get back to him with answers to his questions and the resolution was approved by the other commissioners.
Commissioners unanimously approved publishing on the village’s annual zoning map and gave their blessing to Michael Thompson to host a Vet Fest in Forest Park on July 23 at The Grove.
“I want to publicly thank [Thompson],” Calderone said. “I think it’s going to be a tremendous event and we’re all looking forward to it.”
Following the meeting, Thompson said he was helping to organize the event to raise money for various nonprofits that do work on behalf of veterans in the community. The nonprofit the event will raise funds for has yet to be decided, but Thompson said he had several in mind and was open to suggestions for others to consider.
Thompson said Vet Fest will include live music, food and local vendors for a tribute to veterans. Musical entertainment at the event will include a 25-member Navy band. Also attending will be representatives from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Veterans of Foreign Wars USA, and the American Legion. Thompson said the representatives of the organizations will be on hand to provide veterans information about the services they offer.
He also expects military re-enactors from Cantigny to attend and said organizers are planning a car and motorcycle show as well.
“I thought it was overdue,” Thompson said of why he decided to hold Vet Fest in Forest Park this July. “We’re hoping it will become an annual event and raise a lot money for a good cause.”
Commissioners also gave the green light to the hanging of a banner from the Forest Park Chamber of Commerce to promote the upcoming Wine Walk & Shop event on April 9. The banner will go up March 24.
The Wine Walk & Shop event will feature more than 15 locations for attendees to sample wines and enjoy locally prepared small bites while they explore the various shops on Madison Street. Reservations can be made through the Chamber, by phone or by visiting Famous Liquors, 7714 Madison St. The event will be held from 1 to 5 p.m.
Village Administrator Tim Gillian gave commissioners a brief update on the village’s plan to replace fluorescent bulbs in Forest Park with LED bulbs in the village’s alleyways.
“We know from the street light side that it’s a money saver for the village,” Gillian said.
ComEd crews were in the village starting the process last week and will continue their installation over the next two weeks.