Quick News: Board Approves Purchase of New Ambulance; District 89 Releases Reorganization PowerPoint; Convenience Store Moratorium Results In Tighter Ordinance

Monday, April 7, 2014

Village board approves purchase of new ambulance

The Maywood Board of Trustees unanimously approved the purchase of a new ambulance vehicle at a special board meeting convened on Wednesday, April 2, a day after Maywood Fire Chief Craig Bronaugh’s appeal at a regular board meeting.

“The ambulance fleet is old and falling apart,” Chief Bronaugh said, noting that the fleet crisis could potentially “be life threatening to residents” and could possibly cut into the Village’s revenue. He also said that relying too heavily on the resources of other municipalities could potentially strain relations between Maywood and her neighbors. More information on the capital purchase and what precisely was approved can be read below (pulled from the meeting agenda):

“AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ARTICLE XII (WORKING CAPITAL RESERVE FUND) OF THE VILLAGE OF MAYWOOD’S FISCAL AND INVESTMENT POLICY with updated Fiscal and Investment Policy attached as Exhibit “A”.

2) A RESOLUTION APPROVING A TRANSFER FROM THE WORKING CAPITAL RESERVE FUND TO THE GENERAL FUND IN THE AMOUNT OF $120,400.00 (Capital Equipment Purchase (Ambulance) For Fire Department)

3) Motion to Waive the Bidding Process in lieu of solicitation of competitive proposals and award a contract to Wheeled Coach Ambulance and Fire Service, Inc. of St. John, Indiana for the purchase of one (1) ambulance in the amount of ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY THOUSAND, FOUR HUNDRED and 00/100 DOLLARS ($120,400.00).”

At last Tuesday’s board meeting,the Chief assured board members that once the purchase of a new ambulance was approved, his department would be able to retrieve it from the Indiana company within 24 to 48 hours, if the vehicle could not be delivered within the same time frame. The motion to waive the purchase from the competitive bidding process was influenced by the fire department’s preference to contract with Wheeled Coach Ambulance and Fire based on satisfactory past experiences.

District 89 releases PowerPoint presented at April 2nd meetings

District 89 has released the PowerPoint that it presented at the three meetings held on April 2, to inform the public on its plans to reorganize the district next year with the introduction of PreK-5, K-5 and 6-8 schools, in addition to a Dual Language Magnet School. The meetings were held at Irving School, Stevenson School and the District Office. You can access the presentation here.

180-day moratorium on convenient store licenses results in tighter ordinance

Last August, the Village board passed a a 180-day moratorium on the licensing of convenience stores and general merchandise retailers in Maywood. Residents had consistently complained about the loitering and nuisance crowds gathered outside of various retailers in the Village and the drug paraphernalia sold inside of them. They had also complained about the fact that some of the stores in question are open twenty-four hours.

At the August 28, 2013, meeting convened specifically to discuss the problem and to vote on the moratorium, Sgt. Dennis Diaz walked to the public podium with a black plastic bag in tow. In the bag were purchases he was able to make while in full uniform at three stores that were picked at random (the convenience store on the 1000 block of 17th Avenue; the Citgo gas station on the corner of 8th and Roosevelt; and the Mobile gas station at 17thand Harrison).

Among the contents he presented to the Board were a pocket digital scale, which is often used to weigh narcotics; a glass pipe often used to smoke marijuana; a blunt cutter (which cuts blunts, or “cigar[s] that [are] hollowed out and filled with cannabis”); and Dorman sleeping pills, a popular barbiturate with drug dealers that’s often used to cut heroin. All of the items Diaz purchased are legal. The attendant who sold him the pocket digital scale even gave him a discount.

At a March 26, 2014, meeting, attorney Michael Jurusik updated the board on the steps he and Village staff members took during the moratorium to mitigate the problem.

“We looked nationwide at regulations and certain towns handle convenient stores differently,” he said, noting that there aren’t many municipalities that regulate the hours in which businesses can operate. Those that do, he said, require zoning permits.

“We put a definition [into the code of ordinances] as to what a convenience store is,” Mr. Jurusik said, in addition to noting that all convenient store owners seeking to do business in Maywood would be required to obtain a zoning permit and pay a fee of $300 per convenience store in order to acquire a business license.

With respect to regulating the apparently illicit, but not illegal, stuff sold on the shelves, Mr. Jurusik said that “there’s only so much you can do if you have legal retail product on the shelves.”

He said that in order to make it hard for stores to sell the kind of wares openly sold to Sgt. Diaz, the Village should increase the business license for owners selling the pocket scales and enforce stiffer penalties for stores that don’t comply with the updated ordinance.

“All of your convenient stores are setup as special uses,” he said, noting that perhaps “the most defensible and efficient way of regulating the stores” would be to regulate them on a case-by-case basis so as to avoid punishing all retailers who stay open late.

There’s also a new provision in the updated ordinances that makes it unlawful for the owner of any business to allow people to loiter. Mr. Jurusik said that the provision is very similar to what’s already in place, except that the updated version applies to public property (i.e., sidewalks, private parking lots, etc.). In addition, the new ordinance would allow the Village to suspend or revoke the license of a business deemed non-compliant with the regulations, but not before said business has the opportunity to be heard at a public hearing.

The board unanimously approved the new ordinance amendments as part of an omnibus agenda at an April 1, 2014, regular board meeting.

Notable quotable

“The area has gone to a point where we have slumlords and gangbangers…it wasn’t like this a year ago….I got a on a plane to Florida and came back, that’s what I came back to…Whatever resources the police need, you need to hand it to them,” (Maywood citizen who resides near 8th and Van Buren, which she believes has experienced a resurgence of gang and drug activity within the last year). VFP

 

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