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Update on COVID-19: Message from Village President, Catherine Adduci Regarding Stay at Home Order, Senior Citizen Response Program, and Certain Financial Relief for Residents and Businesses

March, 30, 2020


A Special E-News Message from the Village President, Catherine Adduci

COVID-19 UPDATE

March 30, 2020

Dear River Forest Residents,

We want you to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time, and we need the cooperation of each and every one of you to make this happen. 

Executive orders that Governor JB Pritzker has signed, which are in effect throughout the state of Illinois, and I have signed, which are in effect only in River Forest, spell out a number of actions that are necessary as we fight the COVID-19 pandemic. 

These common-sense measures are based on the recommendation of the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and other medical and public health professionals. They are meant to protect you, your loved ones, and your neighbors, as well as the medical professionals and essential workers who are on the front lines.

Governor Pritzker's orders includes the following:

  • As a general rule, all residents are required to stay at home, except for permitted activities.
  • If you feel sick or your children feel sick, please stay at home and contact your medical provider.
  • If you are a senior with an underlying health condition, stay home and avoid others.
  • If you, or if anyone in your family, has traveled to any COVID-19 “hot-spots” for instance, New York, New Orleans, or Florida, please self-quarantine for two weeks.
  • Maintain social distancing, staying 6 feet apart from one another and avoid any social gatherings.

For more information on the state's response, click here

For River Forest, I signed Executive Order 20-02 on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, which will help us fight the pandemic. To read it in its entirety, please click here.

 Stay Healthy, Stay at Home 

Please HELP keep River Forest healthy by staying home. If you have to leave your home, remember to:

  • Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible or use hand sanitizer.
  • Cover coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands), regularly clean high-touch surfaces, and do not shake hands.
  • All parks in the Village are CLOSED except for walking paths.  ALL PHYSICAL FACILITIES SUCH AS playgrounds, baseball fields, batting cages, tennis, paddle and pickleball courts are CLOSED until further notice.  ALL school fields and lots (D90, D200, Fenwick, Concordia Track, Dominican soccer field) are CLOSED.

We discourage:

  • Children and young adults clustered together playing sports or hanging out in the neighborhood.
  • Play dates on blocks where children are in close contact with one another.
  • Any social gathering at homes except for family members.

We encourage:

  • Families can go outside, take a bike ride, walk a dog or just take a walk but please continue to practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet away from other people.
  • Do essential activities such as grocery shopping, get gas, go to medical appointments, pharmacies, etc. For more information on the businesses that are remaining open, click here

In addition, the Village has taken a number of steps to ease the social and economic stress of the economic pandemic on residents and businesses:

 River Forest COVID-19 Senior Citizen Response Program 

  • The Village, River Forest Township, and Township Senior Services are working together to do daily errands for seniors 60 years of age and older during these extraordinary times. The COVID-19 Senior Citizen Task Force is offering this service to limit seniors' exposure to the general public. If you are an older adult needing services, please contact Township Senior Services at (708) 383-8060. For more information on this program, please click here.
  • Gratitude Cards and Letters - Are you looking to serve from home during this global pandemic, keep your children busy or show gratitude to medical personnel who are on the front lines? Join us to create letters and cards for personnel at local hospitals.  Efforts such as these will help boost morale and remind our community’s health care professionals that we appreciate and support them during this incredibly stressful time. Please place them in the green drop box in front of Village Hall. 
  • To help volunteers with supplies. You can: make masks, provide any gloves and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); supply empty 2oz-6oz plastic pump bottles to fill with hand sanitizer. The hand sanitizer will be for seniors, first responders and others in need. They also would like Filtrete Smart Air Filters and HepaVac cleaner vacuum bags. Please email rfseniorhelp@gmail.com with your donation and a helping hand. Or, call Helen Kwan at 708-613-1642.

THROUGH MAY 31, 2020, the following fees and permits are suspended. 

 Parking 

  • The $5 daily parking fee at the Village’s commuter parking lots.
  • Monthly parking permit fees, whether for commuter, overnight or 24 hour passes.
  • Overnight parking waivers may be granted for up to 30 days, instead of the usual 3 days.

 Water and Refuse Service 

  • Fees for late payments and non-payments for Village water service and refuse service and service disconnections for Village water service and refuse service, including because of noncompliance with the reduced pressure zone, also known as “RPZ,” backflow program.
  • For residents with refuse collected by Roy Strom Collection Company and billed by the Village, any items that exceed the allowable capacity that are placed in a garbage bag will be picked up and not require a “yellow tag” for pickup. All items must be placed in a bag and no loose items will be picked up. 
  • Security deposits required to be deposited with the Village to establish new residential water service accounts may be deferred, PROVIDED the new customer demonstrates financial hardship. 

 Utility Operations and Bill Collections 

  • Water meter replacements, unless an emergency replacement is needed.
  • Water main repairs and any other repairs to the Village's water system will be performed when directed by the Village Administrator. 
  • Ambulance bills issued through May 31 will be due 60 days, instead of 30 days, after being issued.
  • Collection of ambulance bills and judgments on Village ordinance violations including red light camera fines.

 Businesses 

  • Business license and business registration issuance and renewal payments will not be due until June 30, 2020.
  • Payment of the Village’s places for eating tax for the period of March 23, 2020 through May 31, 2020, will not be due until June 20, 2020.
  • Permit requirements for temporary signs so that businesses can advertise services available, fees for temporary sign permits.
  • Peddlers’ and solicitors’ licenses issued by the Village are temporarily revoked, to slow down person-to-person contact in the Village. Peddlers and solicitors are encouraged to use alternative means to communicate with Village residents and businesses, such as by telephone, postal mail, e-mail and digital social media.

 Permits 

  • Emergency repairs to residential water systems and residential sewers systems can be completed without Village-issued permits and Village issued contractor’s licenses, so long as a permit and license are obtained and paid for, after-the-fact within five business days of an emergency repair. Inspections for such repairs are still required.
  • Building permit expiration dates can be extended for 90 days, upon request of the permit holder; fees for extensions are suspended.
  • Zoning variation expiration dates can be extended for 90 days, upon request of the variation holder.
  • Planned development permit expiration dates can be extended, upon request for the planned development permit holder, as determined by the Village Administrator on a case-by-case basis.
  • Check the Village's website vrf.us/Virus for additional information regarding permit submittals, inspection requests and changes to Building Department operations. 

 Police Department Tickets and Administrative Adjudication 

  • Administrative adjudication of red light camera tickets, on March 25, 2020 and April 22, 2020 WILL BE continued to May 27, 2020. No additional fees or penalties will be assessed.
  • Administrative adjudication of Village ordinance violations set to be heard on April 6, 2020 and May 4, 2020 WILL BE continued to June 1, 2020. No additional fees or penalties will be assessed.

The Village has - and will continue to - keep you updated of our response. Please continue to visit vrf.us/Virus for the latest information. 

 Other Resources 

Residents with additional questions should visit vrf.us, call Village Hall at 708-366-8500 during business hours or call the Police Department Non-Emergency number at 708-366-7125 during non-business hours. In addition to the resources from each of your taxing bodies below, please visit these websites. 

Sincerely,

Catherine Adduci, Village President

Village of River Forest

Village of River Forest

https://www.vrf.us/coronavirus

River Forest School District 90

https://www.district90.org/

River Forest Park District

https://rfparks.com/news/covid-19

River Forest Public Library

https://www.riverforestlibrary.org/

River Forest Township

http://www.riverforesttownship.org/

River Forest Community Center

http://www.rfcc.info/

River Forest School District 200

https://www.oprfhs.org/


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Village of River Forest

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