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Flossmoor Village Board Keeps Good Zen

The Flossmoor Village Board amends the zoning ordinance to permit artesian bakeries, and discusses its summer construction plans.

Flossmoor's Mayor said Monday officials and residents may have shopped Trader Joe's and other chain groceries and picked up Zen Bakery muffins without ever realizing the treats were baked in their own hometown.

But that is a problem, clarified Mayor Paul Braun in Monday's meeting, because the wholesaler was operating out of the Fresh Starts restaurant building at 1040 Sterling Avenue without proper zoning.

That's because the 'B-5' zoning allows for local retail bakeries, not wholesalers like Zen. However, rather than send the business packing, the board voted to amend the code to allow for 'artesian bakeries' to be included, provided business owners apply for a special use permit.

After the meeting, the mayor slyly admitted that he was motivated to work it out with the bakery: to do otherwise would have been "bad Zen."

During the meeting, Fresh Starts restaurateur  Joann Lindholm pointed out that the Zen Bakery owner lives in Seattle, and travel to Flossmoor might present a hardship. However, board members indicated that he could appoint a local representative.

In other business, the board approved a $143,523.15 bid from Alpha Construction Company of East Hazel Crest to complete the village's street resurfacing plan. Asst. Public Works Director John S. Brunke said after the meeting Flossmoor residents should look for the work in midsummer, and the following streets will be affected: Hutchison Road, from Travers Lane to Hagen Lane; Alexander Crescent, from Heather Hill Crescent to Lawrence Crescent; and Braemar Road, from Flossmoor Road to School Street.

They also awarded a $33,592.98 bid to Matthew Paving, Inc., the lowest bidder, noting that the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District has given the firm a good reference.

Flossmoor Fire Chief Chris Sewall asked the board to waive competitive bidding so that the department could do a volume buy of cardiac monitors with the village of Downers Grove and get a discount on the medical equipment. Board members liked Sewall's plan to do a 'power buy.' Currently, some $52,000 is budgeted for the monitors.

Finance Director Scott R.. Bordui prepared documentation of the village's budget overrun on three funds: the TIF, Police and Fire Pension Funds. The board approved a budget amendment resolution. Pension benefits went $4,780.15 more than expected, accounting was $4,260 more, legal services were $9,084.11 higher, and investment manager services were $969.20 more.  Also, engineering and unplanned construction overages on the 198th St. TIF  improvements were $133,153.78 for the main, and $183,953.77 on the sanitary sewers.

Dr. Pat June 07, 2011 at 04:35 PM
It would nice if the Village dealt with the flooding/sewer system problems--immediately!
Lilly Melin June 07, 2011 at 07:13 PM
I have a dead Ash tree in front of my house on the parkway, I'm so worried it's going to come down in a storm!
Vicki Bensley Burke June 07, 2011 at 07:21 PM
When I called the village about my half-dead trees and was told that they are basically only tagging the very dead trees. Way to be proactive! That tree or one of its many, many dead branches falls on someone that will be a big lawsuit!
Flossmoor Family June 07, 2011 at 08:30 PM
Per the Patch article, The Board approved a budget amendment resolution... "Also, engineering and unplanned construction overages on the 198th St. TIF improvements were $133,153.78 for the main, and $183,953.77 on the sanitary sewers." Seems a little heavy, who was responsible for the civil engineering? Who is overseeing the project from the Village’s perspective? With these overages, the Village is now pushing $2,000,000 invested in the engineering and construction of 198th Street. These funds were made available via Tax Increment Financing funds (TIF) that have accumulated thru collected property taxes since 1991 (Southwest Flossmoor Tax Increment Financing District). About a year ago most of these funds were still soundly in the Village's "bank." Twenty years later, the198th Street area remains primarily vacant with a few residences. This TIF area currently serves no commercial property tax paying end-user, has no real comprehensive planning for future use and in today's commercial real estate market would seem to have little hope for success. Upon termination of the TIF district, the full tax base, including the increment which had been used to pay for improvements, becomes available to all taxing bodies (HF Park District, our schools etc.) for their use throughout the future (source: Ill. Tax Increment Assoc.). The Flossmoor TIF is due to expire in a couple of years leaving no tax incentive to developers. To bad that $ isn't still in the “bank.”
Ryan Fitzpatrick June 08, 2011 at 01:30 PM
Hi Sue! We've actually already began some of the preliminary work in putting together an article on the issue of Ash tree removal. I'll be sure to let you know once it goes up!

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