Burr Ridge's FRIDAY WRAP August 31st, 2018

Hello…and welcome to Burr Ridge’s Friday Wrap for August 31st, 2018!  It has been a busy week in and around the village as you will read below. 

Village Board Meeting: 
After considerable discussion and input from residents, most of whom supported the idea,  Pleasantdale School District’s Request to Permit Use of Arrowhead Farm’s Gate by School Buses passed unanimously.  The Drew Avenue PUD (Planned Unit Development), which has already had hours of discussion and recommended by the Plan Commission (by a 6-1 vote), passed in similar fashion at the Board, but Capri Ristorante’s Request for a Parking variance was denied.  Though Capri’s request to expand the restaurant was approved, they need to go back to the County Line Square owner to find more parking spots first. 
Memorial Services held for Village Arborist Gary Gatlin: 
There was a Moment of Silence at the Village Board Meeting on Monday probably unlike any other following comments made by me, Village Administrator Doug Pollock and Candice Gatlin as she thanked the residents and staff for their compassion and allowing her dad to follow his passion. 
People streamed in and out of Steurele Funeral Home in Villa Park for hours to pay their last respects to the man who brought so much joy to everyone as.  Chief among them were his Mom who I spoke with at length about how much he did for her in her later years.  I also heard from his brothers, Jim and Ken, about Gary’s role in their life.  What struck me were the sheer amount of pictures reflecting incredibly happy moments and the active life that Gary lived and the shock that he ended his own life at the age of 59.  Sounds of Gary’s favorite music played in the background as we all came together to celebrate and thank God for allowing us to know him.
EPA Report Prompts Health Concerns in Willowbrook:
Burr Ridge and area residents are concerned about a health scare prompted by a division of the EPA.  This is a complicated topic, but let me start with a statement from Willowbrook’s Mayor Frank Trilla in a letter that we read at Monday’s Board Meeting:

  • “This afternoon (Monday), the (EPA) agency that wrote this report released a statement. It says quote ‘The emissions of ethylene oxide from the Sterigenics International, Inc. facility in Willowbrook, IL are not an immediate threat to public health and are not considered to be an emergency situation.’ The statement goes on to say that ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) based this conclusion on estimated cancer risks that are calculated using conservative assumptions about a lifetime exposure to the highest levels of ethylene oxide that were measured in Willowbrook commercial and residential areas near the facility.”

According to Willowbrook officials, the company has already installed the filters and scrubbers to mitigate any issue and has voluntarily taken the necessary precautionary steps to protect the local public from further exposure.  I do not want to downplay the importance of this report and the fact that there were emissions of a hazardous substance, especially for the folks who work or live very near the facility. However, I have seen what appear to be some misrepresentations of the facts and grandstanding around the problem in order to score political points. (I have already seen one partisan news source trying to link it all to one of the gubernatorial candidates.) 
I am, as always, committed first to the health and safety of our residents.  As a precautionary measure and to ensure we have all the facts, Burr Ridge is in the process of hiring our own independent environmental consultant to evaluate the information from state and federal agencies and assist us in interpreting the reports and communicating with residents.  We will also be independently evaluating the data on other emission sources in Burr Ridge to make sure we better understand what’s happening in our town and ensure Village Officials and Residents are informed.   Additional information will be made available on the village websites as this process moves forward. 
A lot of information has been presented, but I believe it is important that we get all the facts, before we draw conclusions; we must follow the Rule of Law and assume innocence until proven guilty. We must be cognizant that it appears the company was in compliance with the law and has acted quickly and voluntarily to stop the problem once they became aware they were out of compliance with the latest EPA regulations.  We will keep you informed. 
Mayor Attends Farewell Reception for Consul General: 
It was an honor to attend a Farewell Reception for former Consul General Faisal Tirmizi of Pakistan before he leaves for his new post as an Ambassador! Hosted by the Chicago Ismaili Community in Glenview with many of his colleagues and friends, I was humbled to also join a friend and client, Aamir Chalisa, at Faisal’s table as we watched him receive many going away presents including his own Illinois License Plate from the Secretary of State: TIRMIZI !!! We will all miss his friendship, love and infectious smile!!
On a Personal Note . . . After thirty plus years, I switched dentists and, of course, hygienists, to 1stFamily Dental.  That was a tough decision, but I would highly recommend 1st Family! 

Have a great Labor Day,

 Mayor Mickey

Mayor Mickey Straub

This weekly wrap-up of Burr Ridge news, events and progress is provided
and funded exclusively by Mickey Straub to keep residents informed.