Shuttered police firing range gets funds for first repairs

Business advocates recommendations reach village board

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By Stacey Sheridan

Staff Reporter

Despite the financial straits caused by COVID-19, Oak Park's village board Monday approved an agreement to begin improvements to the police department's currently unused firing range in an amount not to exceed $35,000. This contract will focus on repairing inadequate ventilation and air flow issues in the firing range.

The firing range is located within the police department in the lower level of village hall. All certified police officers must successfully complete a minimum of one firing qualification course per year. 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Oak Park police no longer have access to the Cook County Sherriff's Office firing range, putting them at risk of being non-compliant with state law. 

Per the recommendation of the Oak Park Economic Development Corporation, the village board also approved a county property tax incentive application for the commercial condo property at 100 Marion St. This site was previously the home of Two Brothers Social Tap. The application is on behalf of a proposed developer for the location.

The board also directed staff to work on carrying out a number of recommendations from the ad hoc Oak Park Business Recovery Task Force, including the creation of loading zones to support curbside pick-up and a parking permit system for businesses that provide a point of service.

Staff will create a program for businesses to delay permit payments. Prior to July first, staff will put out an update with more information.

Staff will work with businesses to figure out special street closures to allow for more outdoor activities intended to draw people to businesses. 

To help businesses secure personal protection equipment (PPE) needed to safely reopen, the village will share their supplier information but due to high demand for such equipment and current supply chain, the village cannot act as a centralized PPE procurement system.

Staff will also help coordinate development of informational and promotional videos for businesses. 

Village Manager Cara Pavlicek said it is important to note that the timing of each of these actions must align with the phases of reopening as they occur.

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