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Flossmoor approves design engineering contract to get moving on street resurfacing

The village of Flossmoor is one step closer to its street rehabilitation program getting underway.

The Flossmoor village board voted unanimously Monday, June 21, to approve a contract not to exceed $170,000 with Milhouse Engineering and Construction for Phase 1 Street Rehabilitation Program Design Engineering.

“I’m very excited about this,” Mayor Michelle Nelson said. “I was very excited to see us work toward diversifying our professional services, which is a strategic goal of ours.”

Trustee George Lofton noted that, professionally, he has worked with Milhouse in the past. He was happy to see them hired by the village.

“They’ve done just an exemplary job,” he said. “They’ve been very creative in their engineering. They’re just a reputable company.”

Milhouse was hired through a request-for-qualifications process. The village sent documents to 15 firms and got nine statements in response. Flossmoor officials interviewed all nine and rated them based on key considerations for the project, according to Public Works Director John Brunke. They ultimately selected Milhouse, a multi-disciplinary firm that is a certified Minority Business Enterprise with the City of Chicago.

The scope of their work is to include project management, data collection and development, a PASER pavement condition rating update, geotechnical investigations, preparation of engineering plans, engineer’s cost estimate, contract bid documents, public involvement meetings, project administration and meetings, and a review of deliverables.

Village Attorney Kathleen Field Orr noted that she, too, was pleased with Milhouse thus far. She said she got the contract for review and had several comments and requests for changes.

“And they made them,” she said. “We are in total agreement now.”

Brunke noted the total costs for Phase 1 of the street resurfacing are expected to be $1.7 million, but he is not yet sure how much mileage that gets the village. Much of that depends on which streets are resurfaced in this first wave, he said. Phases 2 and 3 will be pending funding.

Fire department raises part-time rates

The Flossmoor Fire Department is raising its part-time pay structures in hopes of attracting more candidates and increasing staffing.

The village board voted unanimously as part of its consent agenda to approve the changes. The fire department’s firefighter/paramedic and engineer rates for part-timers increased from $22.45 per hour to $23. Firefighter/EMT and single-role paramedics will now fetch $18 per hour, up from $12.32-17.21. Firefighters and EMTs increase from $11.22-$12.32 to $14.75 per hour. Summer help and training candidates are to remain at $11.

Fire Chief Robert Kopec wrote in a report to the board he recommended the increases to “maintain adequate staffing.” He said the prior pay structure made it difficult to fill part-time shifts, and the new rates are designed to be slightly higher than pay in other local municipalities.

The hope is to increase staff from the current daily minimum of three people — one full-time captain and two contract firefighters/paramedics — to four or five people per shift to respond to emergencies. 

The department also already budgets for one part-time firefighter/paramedic and one paid-on-call employee who may have no qualifications or be only semi-qualified, according to Kopec. The prior structure made it “difficult” to respond effectively and safely, especially in multiple-call situations, he wrote. 

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