The River Forest Village Board invested in improvements to the public works garage parking lot and the police shooting range at the May 8 meeting, voting unanimously to spend a combined $144,469.50 for the upgrades.

The majority of the expense, $115,022, will pay for resurfacing the parking lot of the public works garage, 45 Forest Ave., by Chicagoland Paving Contractors Inc. of Lake Zurich, which submitted the only bid. 

Jeff Loster, director of public works and development services, told board members the parking lot is in “deteriorated condition” and “takes a beating.” He added that the exact date when the parking lot was last resurfaced is not known but it has been at least 20 years. 

He said Chicagoland Paving, which has done work for the village previously, will reconstruct the parking lot with a stone base and an asphalt wearing course replacing the existing asphalt driving surface. Chicagoland submitted an alternate bid to resurface the lot with concrete but the $195,571 was above the budgeted cost of $150,000. 

Loster estimated the new surface would last 25 years and said the lifespan of the existing surface has been extended through annual patching and crack-sealing projects.

He said he hopes work will start before the end of May and take 2-3 weeks, weather permitting.

Trustee Katie Brennan, recalling complaints from residents living near the public works garage when the gasoline pumps were moved several years ago, asked if neighbors will be informed of the parking lot project.

“Absolutely,” Loster said, noting that mailings are “ready to go” once the board approved the project.

The board also approved a contract for improvements to the police shooting range with D5 Ranges of Union for $29,447.50, the lowest of three bids and below the budgeted amount of $33,477.

Police Chief Jim O’Shea said D5 Ranges is the only bidder based in Illinois, which will allow for quicker response to service needs and a more rapid turnaround of the initial installation of the new equipment. The equipment is of high quality and pricing was competitive with other vendor quotes, he added.

O’Shea explained that D5 Ranges will replace the 25-year-old target turners, which is just one feature of the shooting range. He said the improvement will eliminate the need for officers to manually turn the targets.

He said the project was scheduled to be completed in the last fiscal year but was delayed due in part to supply chain issues and extended lead times. 

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