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  • Megann Horstead

Village OKs communication center pact


To enhance the Shorewood Police Department’s ability to effectively respond to emergency calls, village officials came to an agreement with Western Will County Communication Center for the acquisition of radio equipment and the accompanying financing.

The measure approved last week allows the Shorewood Police Department to upgrade their communications system.

Chief of Police Aaron Kilma said approving the agreement is a plus for the village.

“When WESCOM started in the 90s, it was a original composition of seven departments, we’re now 21 departments,” he said. “Imagine, if you will, kind of the radio service has been patch-worked-quilted together and it’s worked quite well, but that technology is now antiquated. It’s prohibitively expensive to maintain the little we find parts to maintain it from EBAY.”

Kilma said if the new technology were retrieved now and officers given training, the police department would see a 30 percent increase in radio capacity.

Kilma emphasized that the new technology is the best-fit solution for the village’s portion of WESCOM project.

“This was all equipment purchased at 46 percent off the retail pricing,” he said. “The pricing you also see includes very favorable airtime cost. Again, we were able to go out and obtain Motorola and STARCOM 21 service. It’ll be $38 per radio per month. We’re paying airtime in the neighborhood of $8, I believe, it is.”

Kilma said in reviewing the village’s footprint, impact fees paid over seven years will disappear and that’s only about $7 per month per radio.

Kilma explained that impact fees and airtime costs are less than half of what’s available on today’s market thanks to Shorewood’s agreement with Motorola.

“This is the culmination of 18 months worth of due diligence by the technology and chief’s committees as well as the staff at WESCOM and at Grundy County,” he said.

The village will make a single payment in the amount of $138,811.95 to WESCOM by November 2017.

No smoking in public places

To ensure that public places in Shorewood are smoke-free, officials amended village rules.

The measure, addressed last week by the Shorewood Village Board of Trustees, will copy the state ordinance with regard to smoking in public places and expand the definition of smoking to include vapor.

“It would in effect prohibit the what we call vape lounges that people go to and gather in and smoke,” village attorney Dave Silverman said. “It would also prohibit people from smoking on the bus, restaurants, etcetera.”

In July, Shorewood officials approved a moratorium, a measure that delays village board action on regulations for vapor lounges.

Trustee Anthony Luciano questioned what the new policy means for prospective vapor lounge businesses.

“This doesn’t prevent vape shops from coming in, it prevents them from smoking in the shop?” he asked.

Silverman said that’s correct.

Luciano said in reading the policy, it sounds like there might be exceptions for businesses that build separate rooms for patrons to smoke.

Luciano said such an exception would appear to defeat the policy’s purpose.

Silverman said there was a set of requirements for hookah lounges to meet in order to seek space to allow for smoking. The state provided a period of time for businesses to establish these spaces, but that window has closed, he said.

“I don’t see where that’s allowed,” Silverman said.

The policy, unanimously approved by the village board, goes into effect immediately.

Route 52, Wynstone Drive work OK’d

Shorewood officials approved a proposal last week to advance the village’s plans to get professional engineering services for turn lane improvements on Route 52 at Wynstone Drive.

Board action allows Christopher B. Burke Engineering to work with the village on engineering services related to the design, Illinois Department of Transportation permitting, preparation of construction documents, bidding assistance and construction engineering for the project.

The construction will include the introduction of a new westbound right turn lane and eastbound left turn lane on Route 52 at Wynstone Drive, in addition to American with Disabilities Act/Public Right-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines improvements.

Representing Christopher B. Burke Engineering at the meeting was project manager Bryan Welch. He said the main gist of the project is getting those turn lanes in, so that they can improve traffic and get rid of safety concerns.

Mayor Rick Chapman said seeking these improvements would be a positive for the village.

“It’s just been a thorn in our side for years that got set up that way,” he said.

Chapman noted an issue with aligning the roads across Route 52.

“If we’re going to do right turn lanes, is that going to give us a problem without that intersection being lined up properly?” he asked.

Welch tried to explain.

“We’ll need to look at that when we get into it a little bit,” he said. “Ideally, what we would do is we have the left for the northbound traffic. The left and through be in the same line so you can separate the right turners and keep them moving. The way that the intersection has been built, I’m not sure you can do that right now. But, we can take a look at it (and) make sure there’s a way to modify the medium on the north side.”

Shorewood will pay for the work to be performed in the amount of $84,900 using local funds.

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