4 | February 16, 2017 | The Homer Horizon news homerhorizon.com Homer Glen Village Board Police, mayor, trustees warn residents about IRS phone scams Implementation of social media also discussed, approved Jessie Molloy Freelance Reporter The Homer Glen Village Board met Feb. 8 for its regular meeting. Before getting into the business of the agenda, Trustee Mike Costa and Will County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Jim Holuj warned residents about increasing phone scams during tax season. “It picks up every year around this time,” Holuj said. “People get calls that claim to be from the IRS because it’s tax season, but it’s not the IRS.” Costa recommended that residents hang up on the calls. “Don’t give them any information,” Costa said. “Don’t give them your name, your address, anything they could use against you. Their strategy is to make you scared or frustrated so you slip up and either give them money or personal information. Either Round it Up A brief recap of board action from the Feb. 8 meeting of the Homer Glen Village Board • The board voted unanimously to install a new stop sign at the northwest corner of the intersection of 167th Street and Pine Hill Drive. Trustees described the corner as a blindspot but were uncertain if the sign is new or a replacement. No official record exists of a sign being placed at the corner previously or being taken out, though several Village staff members recall it being there in the past. • Residents who have lost a parkway tree and wish to get it replaced are encouraged to contact Village Hall as soon as possible. The Village is currently compiling a list of locations for the spring and fall tree replacement program plantings, and there are a limited number of trees available. hang up on them immediately, or a lot of times they’ll say they have a warrant out for your arrest; ask who they’re looking for or whose name is on the warrant. A lot of times, that will cause them to panic and hang up on you.” Holuj assured residents that if they did owe the IRS money, they would not be notified by phone. “If the IRS wants you to pay, they’ll first contact you by mail,” he said. “They aren’t going to call you, and [the police] certainly aren’t going to show up and arrest you for the IRS. That’s not our jobs. So if they say the police have been involved, it’s definitely a scam.” Mayor George Yukich also added never to say the word “yes” when answering suspicious phone calls. “If the voice asks ‘can you hear me?’ say ‘I’m having trouble with my headset’ — never say yes,” Yukich explained. “It may sound like a person, but [it is] actually a robot that can record you for credit card scammers.” Holuj elaborated that giving an affirmative answer, which is often instinctual when prompted, can be edited into another audio track to make it appear as if the individual authorized a payment on something. “Be careful, watch your credit card statements and if you get a call and feel uncomfortable about it, feel free to call us and file a report,” Holuj said. “The feds handle these investigations, but if someone in the area does get scammed, they’ll look at our reports to help track them down, so don’t think it’s bothering us to call.” Holuj reported that it has been several years since anyone in the Homer Glen area has fallen for one of these calls, but he nonetheless emphasized the need for caution. Deputies meet several times a month with senior citizen groups to keep them alert to current scams and share new information regularly with the community. Social media rollout During the action portion of the meeting, the board voted unanimously to approve a new media communication policy which will allow for the Village to establish and operate official social media pages. “We’ve thought about doing this for a long time, and several residents have brought it up to us, but the issue was archiving,” explained Village Community Relations Coordinator Sue Steilen. Posts on governmental social media pages are still considered a matter of public record. Therefore, they must be archived in order to comply with the Freedom of Information Act. In order to make this possible, the Village is contracting with ArchiveSocial, a monthly service that monitors the Village’s social media pages and automatically updates and saves every time a post or comment is made. The service is expected to cost the Village $2,388 annually, a cost which is accounted for in the budget in a line item for a Village newsletter. “We haven’t had a newsletter since 2013, but there is $7,000 set aside for it in the budget each year, so this is actually less expensive,” Steilen said. “Our goal is to get information out to people as fast as possible and be accessible to the residents, and this is the best way to do that.” The Village plans to start the new policy by launching a Facebook page on March 1. From there, other platforms will be considered for utilization based on its success. Steilen will be the primary manager of the social media accounts, but other staff members will also be trained in social media use and given access to the account. Other anticipated costs for the new plan include training for staff members and a possible contract with Hootsuite, a software system that saves time by allowing a page’s administrator to schedule automatic postings. Both these costs would still put the total annual budget for the program under $3,000, significantly less than the current newsletter allotment. Are you reaching 90,000 subscribers? NO Contact Sherry Ranieri! Sherry Ranieri YES You’re one of our valued clients! Sales Director for The Homer Horizon & The Lockport Legend firstname.lastname@example.org • 708.326.9170 ext.21 Visit us online at www.homerhorizon.com afjrotc From Page 3 ence invites instead of four. The championship meet had included points earned during the conference season, but this year’s champion will be decided by who is the best at the one-day event. The SWSC championship meet is Feb. 25 at Bolingbrook. “It’s a totally different ballgame,” Brown said. “You used to come to each school, accumulate points to make a difference. Now, it’s getting your teams experience and comfortable with routines to be razor sharp for that one day.” “We treat these meets as competitive practices for the conference championship,” said retired Col. George Ramey, Central’s AFJROTC instructor. “Through all of these events, the [AF]JROTC drills develop unity, teamwork and discipline.” The varsity teams compete in nine events: unarmed infantry drill regulation, armed infantry drill regulation, unarmed exhibition, armed exhibition, color guard, inspection, unarmed duet, armed solo and armed duet. In armed events, competitors use approved performance weapons — mainly rifles. In infantry drill regulation events, competitors all perform the same specific routine, while teams in exhibitions create their own routines. The SWSC decided not to host armed inspection and unarmed color guard this year. It did add unarmed duet after Joliet Central and Joliet West left the conference, because the four remaining teams are all AFJROTC programs. Having all AFJROTC teams streamlines the scoring because each service branch drills, marches and executes commands differently. “It’s all about teamwork, precision and concentration,” said Sgt. Dale Steen, East’s AFJROTC instructor.
homerhorizon.com news the Homer Horizon | February 16, 2017 | 5 Homer Township Board of Trustees Various repairs to be made at senior housing facility Additional water fountain for Trantina Farm to continue to be investigated Jessie Molloy Freelance Reporter The Homer Township Board of Trustees held its monthly meeting Feb. 6 and discussed several ongoing maintenance issues. The board unanimously approved two bids for repairs at the senior housing facility from contractor F.H. Paschen. The maintenance projects include replacing a built-in bathtub in one of the units that is cracking around the base. “The tub cannot be replaced exactly because it was installed during construction, and we can’t get another one the same size through a door,” Supervisor Pam Meyers said. “This is not something that is supposed to happen, but it has happened before in another unit. It seems odd to me since these are not getting the usual amount of use they would be getting if they were in a family household, so we’re looking into what caused it.” The replacement tub will cost $3,748.88 with installation. F.H. Paschen is also removing and replacing four casement windows in different units of the senior housing facility which have been leaking. In addition to replacing the widows, the company will also be replacing the surrounding siding and insulation that has been damaged by the leaks. The total cost of the repairs will be $5,027.71. These repairs are being done along with general maintenance on two units that are now vacant. The board is currently in the process of going through its waiting list to fill the vacancies. Water fountain decision not reached Open Space Planning and Operations Committee Chairman and Homer Township Board Trustee Tom Fijan also reported to the board on the committee’s investigation into the possibility of installing a new drinking fountain at the Trantina Farm dog park. Residents have made multiple requests that a water source be added to the park on the south side of 151st Street so it would be easier to get drinks for dogs and children playing in the park. Currently, a water fountain is located in the section of the park on the north side of 151st by the playground parking lot, approximately 700 feet away from the dog park. Fijan reported that the only options for running water to the south side of the park are drilling a new well on the south side of the street or boring horizontally under the street to connect the new fountain to the pipes and well present on the north side. Fijan said connecting the two water sources would be the preferable option, as it is more cost effective. However, it would still cost a minimum of $25,000, he said. “That’s the starting point,” Fijan said. “There is probably going to be added expense after that if we want better drainage or concrete around it. We just have to decide if this is a reasonable price to pay.” The price, however, was not the biggest concern for some of the board members, including Meyers, who were more concerned with the functionality of the proposal. The company that entered the bid reported that it could not guarantee the addition of the extra piping and fountain would not create problems for the existing fixtures using the well. Without the addition of a pump, the new fountain and the old fountain would be at risk of lacking significant water pressure to function. However, as Fijan and Meyers reported, options for installing a pump were investigated but not deemed practical or possible by the committee. Building a pump with the fountain would require an electricity source, which is not available on the south side of the park. The committee looked into a solarpowered pump, which was not deemed feasible for the location, and the possibility of an old-fashioned hand pump, which was considered logistically questionable. “If we’re concerned about people who can’t cross the street to get water from the fountain on the north side, odds are they aren’t going to be able to work one of those pumps easily, even if it would work in the location,” Meyers said. Another concern with the fountain, provided the water pressure would not create a problem, was the possibility of contaminated water. “The issue is, there would be about 27 gallons of water sitting in those pipes at any time,” Fijan said. “You couldn’t let all of it pump out in order to drink from it, and if the fountain isn’t used all the time that water could become stale or unsanitary.” After considerable discussion among the board members and a few advocates of the fountain in attendance, the board voted to not move forward with the proposal to connect a new fountain to the well but to continue exploring other options, including the possibility of some sort of water tank, in the coming months. The board voted 3-2 to continue the investigation, with Fijan and Trustee John Kruczek voting to drop the issue entirely. Kruczek said his opposition was based on the likely cost of the project, which he deemed illogical with the second fountain nearby and people being able to bring bottled water from home. Voting reminder Before adjourning, the board also reminded residents that early voting for the Feb. 28 Consolidated Republican Primary would begin Tuesday, Feb. 14. Since the Township is one of the only governing bodies holding a February election, voting will be limited to Clerk Linsey Sowa’s office and the Will County Clerk’s Office. ComEd plans on vegetation management for several months Submitted by Village of Homer Glen Trees and branches that interfere with power lines can create safety hazards and cause power outages. Preventative tree maintenance helps avoid power outages. Within the next three months, ComEd will trim trees, branches and vines that interfere or have the potential to interfere with power lines. In some cases, tree removal may be required. The remaining tree stumps are treated with an approved herbicide to prevent future regrowth. Herbicide will be applied by state-license applicators. 1 ST JOB • MARRIAGE • DIVORCE • FAMILY WHO SAID BUSINESS ISN’T PERSONAL? TRUST All work is performed by trained, qualified arborists. Maps of the affected areas are on file at the Village Hall. For more infroamtion on the tree-trimming process, call (800) 334-7661 and ask to speak with a vegetation management representative or visit www.comed.com/ SafetyCommunity/Safety/ Pages/TreesPowerLines. aspx. Property owners may appeal planned vegetation management activities through ComEd or the Illinois Commerce Commission. To contact a consumer affairs officer or the Illinois Commerce Commission, call (800) 524-0795. BOB SPYCHALSKI to help you with your most personal business: YOUR HOME! Bob Spychalski, A Name You Can Trust 630-728-8490 • www.spysold.com Visit us online at homerhorizon.com RETIREMENT • ESTATE • JOB TRANSFER