Flossmoor’s village hall staff will soon get an added layer of protection through a measure originally pitched at least two decades ago.
The village board voted unanimously the evening of Monday, March 20, to pay Premier Glass Services $36,200 to install bullet-resistant security glass at the front desk of village hall. The work is a longtime request from the Finance Department, which Trustee Brian Driscoll noted he has previously opposed.
“I was not a fan of this going back several years,” Driscoll said, noting he did not like the idea of a partition between residents and staff. “I objected to it. … It creates a barrier when we shouldn’t have barriers between us.”
He added that in terms of beautification, security barriers can often look “horrible.” But the plan has been scaled down from earlier pitches, and if security concerns still exist he said he would back the plan.
“It’s a fair compromise on all sides,” Driscoll said, noting he was also deferring to the recommendation of Acting Police Chief Keith Taylor. “If you can say that the security concerns are still there, then I’m in favor of it.”
According to a report by Finance Director Scott Bordui, the finance department has been highlighting a need for security glass for “at least 20 years.” Taylor wrote a recommendation to install the glass, which is UL-rated level 3 ballistic protection security glass.
Taylor wrote that “complacency” and being only reactive are “enemies to having the best possible security for buildings and community events.” He recommended a proactive approach to reduce vulnerability, noting an additional layer of security would work to deter certain criminal acts while also reducing the transmission of illness.
Trustee Joni Bradley-Scott asked about any plans for security glass in the building department. Public Works Director John Brunke said costs are “very high” for any improvements to the village complex, though building department work is still on the list for improvements.
But work in the building department would be “much more intense,” Brunke said, including building walls and moving desk spaces. For now, the village is looking to tackle smaller projects, such as the front desk, he explained.
“This is very expensive because the glass itself is very expensive,” Brunke said. “But the work in the building department is probably going to be well above the six-figure range. We don’t have it budgeted this upcoming year. It would have to be an amendment of some sort. We have other improvements in the complex, as well, that are much-needed. … We have competing priorities.”
One other company submitted a quote for the glass work, but it was pricier at $55,556. Premier has done other work for the village and the results have been “very good,” Brunke wrote in a memo.
Trustee James Mitros after the vote and public comment — which included one resident’s criticism of the glass — also noted he does not love the idea of bullet-resistant glass, despite voting for it.
“I think it’s not very welcoming,” Mitros said. “It’s like you’re going to a Currency Exchange. I don’t like that vibe. I don’t know why we feel we need it.”
Village to purchase new thermal imaging cameras with grant
The village board also voted unanimously to approve its consent agenda. Among the items approved was a fire department request to use an Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal grant valued at $25,785 to purchase three MSA E6000 thermal imaging cameras from Air One Equipment.
The National Fire Protection Association-compliant cameras will replace the existing thermal imaging cameras on front-line apparatus, according to a report by Fire Chief Robert Kopec. Each of the cameras includes a truck kit with charger, two rechargeable batteries, retractable lanyard and three-year warranty, he wrote.
No matching contribution is required from the village for the grant, according to Kopec. He added that the bid process had to be waived because the grant specifies the make and model of the cameras.