River Forest, like the remainder of the world, was hit exhausting by COVID-19 in 2020. Faculties closed (after which reopened), companies shut down (and likewise reopened), and residents have been urged to remain residence — besides when supporting the faculties and companies.
Early on, the village, River Forest Township, and Township Senior Companies stepped up to make sure the well being and security of older grownup residents, partnering to ensure seniors on the town had the companies they wanted. The COVID-19 Senior Citizen Response Program (out there at 708-613-1642) organizes meals and transportation and has a care administration workforce.
COVID-19 was on the forefront of everybody’s minds, however race relations have been a detailed second in River Forest this yr, with the demise of George Floyd opening folks’s eyes to systemic racism throughout america. Nearer to residence, although, resident and outstanding developer Rob Palley allegedly assaulted, verbally and bodily, a Black girl within the parking zone of River Forest’s Jewel on Lake Avenue. The story swept by the village, folks angered and unhappy to be taught that right here, amongst their very own, such issues can occur.
In response, and in a singular settlement, the cities of River Forest and Maywood united, certain by the Twin Cities Covenant, which is able to “information the overarching spirit of our distinct cities to assume as one and to work together in additional collaborative methods.” The “methods” embody taking a “regional perspective on business and residential funding/growth.”
That covenant is the exterior element of a two-part plan River Forest has put into movement to handle fairness within the village, which additionally features a partnership with Dominican College utilizing a “Fact, Racial Therapeutic and Transformation” framework.
The interior element of taking over the problem of fairness, nevertheless, hasn’t been as easy. An inner group of 10 to 12 group and village employees members is being fashioned, however selecting them has been a matter of debate amongst trustees.
As soon as established, that inner advisory group will present steerage, suggestions and recommendation to the village board. The village administrator will create an motion plan, that focuses efforts on all village departments, and develop correct information factors to measure equality and inclusion. The village could use a advisor with expertise within the space of fairness to help within the formation and actions of the group.
After many conferences courting again to 2016, the River Forest Village Board unanimously voted down the Improvement Overview Board’s advice to approve the Bonnie Brae Place townhome undertaking. Trustees cited considerations about density, parking and site visitors of their feedback. Adduci mentioned, “None of us is afraid of growth, however we would like the appropriate one,” she mentioned. “I see every thing incorrect with this. The answer is to construct inside our zoning code.”
The mixed-use condominium growth at Lake and Lathrop, in the meantime, is slowly progressing, with environmental remediation being carried out and ComEd wires moved earlier than precise building begins.
In June, the village accredited an reasonably priced housing plan, although some residents and trustees, together with Patty Henek, have been annoyed with the result. Some really feel that the plan is not sturdy sufficient and would not precisely mirror the present setting of the village. Henek, together with trustees Katie Brennan and Erika Bachner voted in opposition to the plan.
The Advert Hoc Deer Administration Committee, fashioned to handle the issue of the rising deer inhabitants within the village, met recurrently by the yr, discussing, in typically heated debates, how you can phrase the survey that was despatched out to residents. With survey ends in hand, the committee is now analyzing the information and researching choices.
One other surprisingly sizzling matter on the town this yr was platform tennis, with park district board members, platform tennis membership members, and residents expressing their emotions a couple of feasibility examine so as to add extra platform tennis courts and whether or not a hut must be carried out. These in favor say the cash would come from an account funded by memberships. These opposed don’t need public land getting used for a personal sport. The feasibility examine goes ahead.
Village President Cathy Adduci introduced her intention to run for a 3rd time period within the April 2021 election. Trustee Patty Henek will oppose her in subsequent April’s election to grow to be village president.
Village Administrator Eric Palm introduced his departure. He will likely be taking a job in Hoffman Estates in early February.
After some forwards and backwards between in-person and distant studying, responding to COVID-19 ranges and primarily based on data from native well being authorities, elementary faculty District 90 in River Forest opened once more on Monday, Dec. 14, with in-person instruction for college students by grade 4 returning to the classroom, and center faculty college students starting a phased-in method. The colleges are presently on winter break, and after break, full distant instruction will likely be held till Jan. 15 “to reduce the danger of post-holiday COVID transmission.” The plan is to renew the blended in-person instruction on Jan. 19.