Bedford Park - Clearing Industrial Association



Bedford Park Snorkel Finds A New Home

The original snorkel fire truck, produced in 1959, is pictured during its "glory days" in Bedford Park. 

There's a story that former Chicago Fire Commissioner Robert Quinn invented the snorkel fire truck in 1958 by running a hose up a cherry picker truck and pumping water down onto a fire. While the first snorkels were converted vehicles, GMC produced the first original snorkel fire truck in 1959 for the Chicago Fire Department. "For some reason, they did not purchase it and it wound up in Bedford Park" said Bedford Park Fire Chief Sean Maloy.  "I'm told Bedford Park got a good deal on it."

For the next 20 years, Bedford Park firefighters used the GMC snorkel to battle fires and drive in parades. "In 1980, we gave it to Public Works for use as a work truck," Maloy said.  "About 15 years ago, they stopped using it."  The truck sat for years in a Public Works parking lot. Eventually, firefighters decided they wanted to restore the vintage piece of firefighting equipment.

"We had it towed to the fire yard.  We wanted to restore it," Maloy said.  "We set aside $30,000. We wanted to make it pretty for parades."  Then the other shoe dropped.

"We had it evaluated," Maloy said.  "We found out it needed a lot of body work and a new engine just to make it able to run."  He said the needed repairs would have doubled the cost of restoring the snorkel.  "We decided it wouldn't be a prudent use of another $30,000 that would have to come from the village," he said. Reluctantly, the village sought bids for the truck.  There were no takers. "We were asking $5,000, he said.  I wish I could have had a collector come in and grab it."

"Unless someone comes in to take it, a piece of history will be going to the scrap yard.  I'll hate to see it go." Maloy said he's in no hurry to junk the vintage apparatus and is willing to hold onto the truck for a little while longer. I'll leave it here until about October," he said.  "After that it's going to the junk heap." I'd probably take a dollar if someone offered to take it off my hands, he said with a joke. story by Bob Bong - SouthtownStar

After that story ran, Chief Maloy received a call from Smeal Fire Apparatus Co. who now owns the Snorkel patents and trademark. They are beginning to manufacture new snorkel units after obtaining the rights in bankruptcy court from a now-defunct manufacturer. They offered to purchase the unit and completely restore it to look just like it did when it was delivered on March 31, 1960. It will be in a museum at the factory and appear at some trade shows and forever be lettered as originally owned by Bedford Park.


Front Row (left to right): Don Stanczyk, State Representative Daniel Burke, Cheryl Laska, Donna Smith, Jeff Hobson & Jerry Mytych, AT&T External Affairs Director. Back Row (left to right): Mike Hugdahl, Tim Coffey, Mike Wirtz & Jeff Smith

BEDFORD PARK, FEBRUARY 17, 2012 - AT&T Illinois today announced that the Bedford Park-Clearing Industrial Association is the recipient winner of an "AT&T Investing in Illinois Award."

The AT&T Investing in Illinois Awards provide resources and recognition to organizations and programs that are improving lives in their communities and the state by advancing education, economic growth, new technologies and other essential community services.

"The Bedford Park-Clearing Industrial Association (BPCIA) Board of Directors is delighted to be recognized by AT&T for their civic and business efforts. The mission of the BPCIA is to build a partnership of business professionals and government officials working together to protect and foster a healthy business climate through member education, networking events, business retention and planned expansion. This award encourages us to continue to offer the opportunity for businesses to be proactive in the community and improve our services for relevancy to our members," said Donna Smith, Executive Director of the BPCIA. "We also wish to thank State Representative Daniel Burke for supporting this award."

"The Bedford Park-Clearing Industrial Association has long provided valuable assistance to local manufacturers in order to improve and expand their business operations. In today's economic climate, their work is a tremendous asset to our businesses," said State Representative Dan Burke.

"AT&T Illinois has a proud history of making corporate contributions to Illinois non-profit groups and programs that are making a difference in local communities. Today, our company recognizes the Bedford Park-Clearing Association for providing assistance to area business and strengthening the fabric of our state," said AT&T External Affairs Director Jerry Mytych.

Economic Development Tour of Bedford Park

Economic Development Tour of Bedford Park

The Village of Bedford Park hosted an economic development tour for local realtors, developers, property seekers and sellers. Mayor Brady and Village Attorney Larry Gryczewski talked about what tax incentives Bedford Park has to offer. The group met at the Holiday Inn Midway and boarded a bus to tour the available properties in Bedford Park. Anyone attending with an available property was able to say a few words about the property.

Highlighting the properties was well received by everyone and gave the property seekers specific information they may have been looking for. After the tour the group returned to the Holiday Inn for a light lunch. The Village felt this was a great way to promote all available properties for sale or lease within the village.

Mayor David Brady Receives the 2010 Excellence in Government Award

Mayor David Brady with award

A leader and active Mayor with the Southwest Conference of Mayors who has demonstrated the foresight to create a healthy community through planning, economic development, leadership and evidence of the contributions made to his community, Mayor David Brady, Mayor of Bedford Park. Under his leadership the Village has added 2 new firehouses, water main and street upgrades, beautification projects to residential and industrial areas, in efforts to attract businesses. These efforts have resulted in two new hotels, created a TIF district on 65th St., a medical facility, and filled two major warehouses and continues to work on economic development efforts.

Mayor David Brady received the 2010 Excellence in Government Award at the Business Champion Awards Banquet hosted by Moraine Valley Community College. As he accepted his award he thanked others for their efforts to help him achieve his goals. The Bedford Park-Clearing Industrial Association would like to congratulate Mayor Brady for this achievement and thank him for his commitment to Bedford Park.

Public Works Department

Bedford Park District The Public Works Dept. has had a very busy summer, starting with the annual spring plantings around our Village Hall, fence area along Archer Avenue, hanging baskets and the extension of the walking path from the Park District along what we call "Railroad Alley". Additional plantings were also done along the wall area in conjunction with the Bedford Park District, and we thank them for all the work they did to help accomplish this task. As you may have heard, the Village has entered into a National Beautification contest, sponsored by America in Bloom. The judging for this contest was done in the third week of July, with two judges spending two days here looking at everything we have done, from the Village area on the west end of town to the Hotel area on the east end. Landscaping was not the only thing that the judges were looking for. Other categories we are being judged on include: Turf and Ground Cover Area, Environmental Effort, Floral Displays, Landscaped areas including homes and businesses, Urban Forestry, Tidiness, Community Involvement, and Heritage. Many people helped out with presentations for the judges that were here, and for such a small residential area with a large industrial base, they were quite impressed. I would like to thank Donna Smith of the Clearing Industrial Association, Kathy Taloff and her staff at the Park District, Judy Holloway and the staff of the Heritage Corridor Association, Bedford Park Library, the Beautification Committee run by Gail Rubel and made up of volunteers Marcia Janchenko, Kim Ponio and Adrienne Lucas. A special thanks goes out to John Mateja of Touch of Class Landscaping for his tremendous vision of what could be done here in Bedford Park. He has been a tremendous help in helping me put this all together. Last but not least, I would like to thank my Public Works staff, including summer employees, in keeping things looking great all over town!

The awards ceremonies were held in St. Louis September 30 thru October 2nd. Out of twenty eight communities from around the nation and Canada, Bedford Park was in the final three for the award for landscaping. The award went to Westfield, New Jersey. We were very pleased that we placed that high in this category with twenty seven other entrants. We did receive a plaque for our landscape efforts, and it is on display in our case in the lobby of the Village Hall. In the population category, there were three entrants for our population, the other two being Shipshewana, Indiana, and Echo Oregon. Echo Oregon took home the trophy. We thought we did an exceptional job for our town with this being the first time out in any sort of national contest. Again I'd like to offer my appreciation to everyone involved in this endeavor.

Business sign Our efforts to make our town look as great as we can has started to make its way over into our Industrial Area as well. The fabrication and installation of ten information signs along the 65th St. corridor has been completed. The Public Works Dept. has applied for and ITEP (Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program) Grant specifically designed in part to help towns with the beautification of their main thoroughfares. Grant and Power Landscaping have designed planter boxes that will be placed along fifteen locations along 65th Street in the median between the east and west bound lanes. Along with the planter boxes, we also included in the grant request money for an additional thirteen signs to place on the rest of 65th Street and also on every corner along the 73rd Street corridor. We should probably know by the end of the year if we are in the running for these funds. Please wish us luck! In addition to these improvements, we are also putting in some streets and water mains in the industrial area. The streets being done are 71st from Harlem to Sayre, Sayre from 71st to 73rd, Major Avenue and 66th Place, 66th Street west of Narragansett, and 66th Place east of Laramie. We will continue with our water main and street improvement program for a few more years, until we have all of our streets in top condition. The Village Streets will also be resurfaced in the not too distant future.

In other Public Work news, street sweeping will continue up until all the leaves have fallen, usually sometime around Thanksgiving. Remember, large sticks will not go up the tubes on the machines, so they have to be either broken up or placed in the alley with the regular yard waste. Snow removal will remain as always, with snow ordinances to be enforced to the fullest extent.

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