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River Forest residents with children at Oak Park and River Forest High School are riled up and flooding e-mail inboxes of officials at Oak Park Village Hall after being notified over the weekend that their kids will pay higher fees to park around the high school than Oak Park kids will.

Fees for parking permits, which are available only to OPRF juniors and seniors, went up Monday from $80 for all students to $116 for Oak Park students and $168 for River Forest students. The increase comes a week before students go back to school on Tuesday, Aug. 25.

The Village of Oak Park establishes parking fees, which the high school collects on behalf of the village.

In a flurry of e-mails about the change that Wednesday Journal learned of this afternoon, River Forest parents are outraged. Most are upset that there was no notice well before permits were to be sold. They’re calling the “residential rate” discriminatory. One parent e-mailed, wondering if River Forest families were next going to pay different fees for books and for admission to school events.

Lynn Zurowski, a River Forest parent, e-mailed a letter to the village and to the Journal accusing Oak Park officials of trying to raise revenue by penalizing River Forest kids.

“It really does seem unfair to the River Forest students, who rely on driving to the high school. The rate increase is over double the $80 fee that was paid last year for a permit,” Zurowski wrote. “River Forest pays taxes that support the school. The village of Oak Park has an agreement with the school to provide parking for the school – but is discriminating against part of its student body. How you can justify this policy?”

CONTACT: tdean@wjinc.com

Tell us your thoughts

  • Justified or a penalty? Can you see reasoning in this decision by the Village of Oak Park?

  • Is this change in the spirit of a shared high school? Or a slap in the face at River Forest?

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