Frankfort officials are taking a closer look at four firms out of 17 that bid to oversee construction of a new village hall.
"We're not ready to recommend anyone right now," Village Administrator Jerry Ducay told trustees Monday.
The plan is to continue vetting the front-runners and have a recommendation for the village board by the end of the month. The bids ranged as high as $5.6 million, but staff are evaluating the four low bids of between $4.2 million and $4.5 million.
"They are in the range that will work for us," Mayor Jim Holland said.
A vote to hire a general contractor could come at trustees' April 7 meeting, Holland said, unless a special meeting is called to act sooner.
The project will add 9,900 square feet to the Village Administration Building and include a 3,200-square-foot auditorium for village and community meetings. Excavation work could start soon, which will mean a couple of messy weeks.
"We're talking a lot of semi trucks," hauling dirt, Ducay said. "There will be a lot of mud in front of the Creamery (ice cream stand across the street)."
Trustees tied up a number of loose ends Monday. They passed a measure to comport ordinances with Illinois' new conceal-carry firearm law, approved the $136,929 purchase of a new dump truck for snow removal next winter and published a new zoning map that reflects a recent pair of minor annexations. The board also provided $7,800 to match a $388,000 federal grant to engineer a biking and walking path along Pfeiffer Road from Old Plank Road Trail to Sauk Trail.
Meanwhile, Holland delivered the welcome, if not surprising, news that Chicago Magazine had named Frankfort one of the best places to live in the suburbs.
"We're in the top 12 outside of Chicago and the best in Will County," Holland said. "Congratulations to all of our residents for making Frankfort one of the best places to live or the best place in Will County. I think we all know that."
Frankfort was the only suburb without commuter rail service to make the list. The article cited a "frontier-town vibe," excellent schools and strong home values.
"It is a wonderful place to live," Trustee Cindy Heath said. "A big part of it is because our people are involved in the community, they volunteer."
Along those lines, the mayor called for volunteers for the April 12 Earth Day celebration.
"We have hundreds of people who volunteer on this day to go out and plant flower, plants trees – but mostly to go out and pick up garbage," Holland said. "It is a great way to once again help your community to look its best."
Volunteers meet at 8:30 a.m. at the village's public works facility, 524 Center Road, and a luncheon for participants is there at 11:30 a.m.
Holland also noted that Yoga 360, at 91 Bankview Drive, recently was named runner-up for the best spa in the Chicago area by USA Today and it made Day Spa Magazine's list of the 25 best spas nationwide.