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Oak Park Meeting Roundup: Votes Tabled, Votes Delayed

Village Board could recoup funds for snow removal and considers a new flat fee structure for some building permits.

If you missed Tuesday's Oak Park Village Board meeting, Patch has some of the highlights:

CDBG resolution tabled:  A resolution to keep funding at current levels through 2012 was tabled after two trustees asked the measure be tweaked to reflect the current economic reality in Washington. 

With two trustees and Village President David Pope absent – and concern looming that a deadlocked board could mean the defeat of the resolution – trustees sent it back to be updated with language that reflected the call for shared pain in resolving the federal fiscal crisis.

Supporting the resolution in its original form were Trustees Ray Johnson and Colette Lueck; seeking changes were Trustees Jon Hale and John Hedges, said Johnson, who served as president pro-tem.

A tie vote on any piece of legislation means that measure is defeated.

CDBG funding in Oak Park has allowed a variety of non-profit agencies to aid the community’s most vulnerable and pay for infrastructure repairs and improvements in various sections of town.  The village has received CDBG funding since 1975; this year the village anticipates receiving more than $2 million.

At least two resolutions haven't been unanimously supported by trustees in recent memory: one called for a different participatory planning process in wake of the issues surrounding the Whiteco project and the second opposed the war in Iraq, village officials said. Both took place in the last decade.

Trustees could take up the revised resolution during Monday’s special meeting or at the next regular meeting on March 7, Johnson said.

Village tries to recoup snow removal costs:  The monumental effort to remove this month’s 20-plus inch snow could result in an up to 75 percent reimbursement of the total amount spent by nine entities in town, village manager Tom Barwin told trustees. 

Approximately $287,329.65 was spent on removal by: the village, , , Elementary District 97, Oak Park Residence Corporation, the , , and the Oak Park Library system.  

Oak Park and Cook County both were declared disaster areas, potentially making dozens of entities throughout the county eligible for federal disaster relief.  To get the funding, Oak Park had to present paperwork to Cook County showing the total amount of extraordinary expenses laid out for snow removal by all entities in town.

Reimbursement is pending a disaster declaration from President Barack Obama and subject to approval by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The potential reimbursement could come this spring, village officials said.

Snow removal cost the village alone an estimated $115,000 in straight time and overtime for crews and for contractors to plow streets and village parking lots.

New building fee structure to be tweaked: Trustees tabled the adoption of a new building permit fee schedule. They'll wait to see how a new system would stack up against those in neighboring and comparably-sized communities.

Under consideration is flat fee structure for permits for some renovations or repairs to one and two-family residences as part of its expansion of the online building permit program.

Added to the system will be repairs and replacements to air conditioning and heating units, roofs, downspouts and windows and doors, among other repair work. Trustees could vote on the changes on March 7, Johnson said.  

New overnight parking passes inch closer: will be available this spring once the Transportation Commission reviewed signage for the program next month.

The changes could go into effect in April or May, officials said.

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