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Fox River Grove delays vehicle sticker decision

FOX RIVER GROVE – Discussion of eliminating the village’s vehicle sticker program is on hold until after the April election.

Village officials have proposed eliminating vehicle stickers and replacing the revenue they generate with a once-a-year street maintenance fee of $36, or $18 for seniors, that would appear on May or June utility bills.

Currently, stickers in Fox River Grove cost $20 each. For seniors, their first sticker is $2 and a second sticker is $20. Most households have two cars and spend $40 a year on stickers.

The proposal was delayed Thursday until after the election, when new trustees join the board.

The utility-bill plan would bring in about $61,000 a year to the village. The vehicle sticker program brings in $60,000 to $65,000 a year for street maintenance.

The village looked to eliminate vehicle stickers to save staff the time of administering the program.

Trustee Gerald Menzel asked for some sort of study on how much time is actually spent to administer the vehicle sticker program, and how much actually could be saved.

He also questioned whether it is fair to make the change.

“Is it fair to charge seniors $18, when they’re presently paying $2?” Menzel said. “Is it fair to charge $36 to someone who has one car that is now only paying $20? Is it fair for someone who has five cars, who now pays $100, to now pay $36? The inequities are quite obvious.”

Trustee Mike Ireland asked what would happen if someone paid only part of their bill and how much money would go toward water service and how much would go toward street maintenance.

“Those type of scenarios could actually make it more cumbersome and take more time administratively for us to do it, which could take away of any chance ... of cost savings,” Ireland said.

Resident Jim Tuman spoke against changing the vehicle sticker program, and said it was more fair to keep it the way it is.

“I totally disagree with putting more things on the water bills,” Tuman said. “If I’ve got two cars, I’ll pay for my two cars.”

Trustee Steve Knar pushed for the change because the vehicle stickers need to be ordered in February. Thursday’s move guaranteed there would be a vehicle sticker program for this year.

Knar estimated that 20 to 30 percent of residents don’t purchase the sticker anyway, and there is no primary way for village police to enforce the program.

“There’s no perfect solution to any of these problems,” Knar said. “This seemed like the path of least resistance to collect money and not have to deal with ... stickers, with mailing them, collecting a check, mailing the stickers ... envelopes, [and] everything else. There’s a whole green factor to this that everyone dismisses.”

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