Banners, tours, capsule search for 125th

• 125th anniversary plans arebeginning to gel; police get formal authority to grant parking passes.

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By BILL DWYER

Working through a light agenda Monday night, the River Forest village board unanimously passed an amendment to formally authorize the police department to grant waivers to legal parking restrictions, and heard a positive progress report on the work of the village's 125th anniversary planning committee.

Fire Chief James Eggert, the village's liaison to the ad hoc 125th Anniversary Committee, updated the board on the 29-member committee, which has met twice monthly.

Eggert said the committee identified three goals they wanted to achieve. First, they wanted to sponsor an event that would bring members of the community together with the business community. As part of that, they decided to make banners available for purchase by businesses, groups and individuals that will be installed on light poles along the village's main corridors, including Lake Street, Harlem Avenue, North Avenue and Madison Street.

The committee has already received several checks along with requests for banners, which cost $250 for double-sided models, and $150 for single-sided ones.

While Lake Street is the only village street that currently has lightpoles equipped with standards that allow the mounting of banners, Eggert said that the same company producing the banners will arrange for the installation of temporary standards for all light poles at least 30 feet tall.

The second committee goal was to bring people to different aspects of the village they may seldom see, such as churches, historic homes and other landmarks.

Tours are being planned for numerous elegant River Forest homes, a "Walk of Faith" featuring numerous churches, a Des Plaines River cleanup, as well as performances by local musicians and presentations by local authors.

Eggert drew a laugh from the board when he added that local Boy Scouts will be asked to take part in a search for the village's Centennial time capsule, which has been, well, misplaced. Once located, the capsule site will be properly marked and decorated.

The third committee goal is to establish a legacy project in the village. That project will involve the repair and enhancement of the Cummings Memorial on Cook County Forest Preserve property at Lake Street and Harlem Avenue.

Eggert said plans for a proposed June fundraiser cocktail party are proceeding. That fundraiser will be a key source of revenue for the committee's activities, along with banner sales and private donations.

Parking waivers

The police department has been informally granting waivers for such things as overnight parking and allowing parking in no parking zones on residential streets for years. However that has grown increasingly problematic in recent years.

"I want to formalize an informal practice that I felt uncomfortable with," River Forest Police Chief Nicholas Weiss told the board Monday night.

In a Feb. 9 memo, Weiss said that what had once been an irregular occurrence was now something his department dealt with as many as 10 or more times a day.

Police, Weiss argued, were now in the "uncomfortable position of granting passes to some, while denying passes to others."

The amended ordinance allows police to temporarily waive parking restrictions in all areas except loading zones, bus stops, handicapped parking, village parking lots, permit parking zones, resident parking zones, and business permit zones, as well as no parking during snow removal zones.

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