Scofflaws can now pay parking tickets online

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By KATHARINE GRAYSON

Though Oak Parkers often gripe about complex parking regulations, the village last week made it a little easier to pay fines once you break the rules.

The village's website, www.oak-park.us, now gives scofflaws the ability to pay parking ticket fines online with a credit card after setting up an account, which requires a valid e-mail address. One can also search for unpaid parking tickets by using a vehicle plate number and appeal a citation.

After visiting the village's home page, the new service can be accessed by clicking the "interactive parking citations" button.

The service cannot be used to pay for parking tickets that were issued before Jan. 1, 2004.

For more information, call 358-5750 or e-mail publicworks@oak-park.us.

Utilities will put as much as $700K toward Barrie grant program

The village settled on a grant/loan program for Barrie Park residents over a year ago. But after months of negotiations, the utility companies conducting the Barrie Park cleanup have just agreed to put as much as $700,000 toward funding the program.

The village has already granted 42 grants and loans to residents living near the fringes of the park for the purpose of rehabbing their properties.

Last week, the utilities pledged to reimburse the village for up to 50 percent of each grant up to $7,500.

The utilities will not, however, pay the village for any cost it incurred in purchasing a handful of homes as part of the program.

The village board welcomed the news at a study session Monday, but did not decide where the funds, once received, would go. Village Finance Greg Peters recommended in a memo that the dollars be put in an escrow account, and that trustees determine final use of the funds during its next budget process.

OP Ave. stretch closed for construction

Due to ongoing construction, the southbound lane of Oak Park Avenue, between Madison Street and Washington Boulevard, and between Randolph Street and Washington, will be closed for approximately six weeks.

While work is underway, traffic will be re-routed west on Home Avenue.

In addition to resurfacing, the work on Oak Park Avenue includes sewer and curb replacement and new traffic signals.

For more information, call 358-5700 or e-mail publicworks@oak-park.us.

First-time homebuyer seminar March 23

The village will sponsor a free seminar to educate prospective homebuyers on loan programs in Oak Park next Wednesday from 7-8:30 p.m. at Village Hall, 123 Madison Street.

The program also includes "tips on how to work with lenders and real estate brokers," according to a village press release.

Specific programs outlined in the seminar include four offered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority, some of which offer assistance in making down payments, tax credits, and lower lending rates.

To register or for more information call 358-5408 or e-mail comsvcs@oak-park.us.

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