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A Special E-News Message from Village President Catherine Adduci Regarding Graduations, River Forest Operations, Expiration of EO 20-2, Reminders and Village Updates

May, 29, 2020


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

COVID-19 UPDATE

May 29, 2020

Dear River Forest Residents,

Graduations

Congratulations to all of our River Forest graduates! Your accomplishments are worthy of celebrating and you have made your community proud. Please remember as you celebrate, that any gatherings or house/yard parties must be 10 people or less, and that social distancing must be practiced as much as possible. In situations where 6 feet social distancing is not possible, please remember to wear a face covering. 

While Phase 3 has begun and the State is loosening up some of the restrictions, the virus is not over. River Forest continues to see more cases, now at 48 total, and unfortunately our first death. As the Governor has said and we have encouraged, continuing to maintain social distancing and wearing face coverings is imperative to save lives. 

The River Forest Police Department would like to remind our community that the overall public’s safety is the first priority. Please remember the State Laws and our Local Ordinances are still in place as we move into Phase 3.

  • Underage Consumption of Alcohol (Under the age of 21) is prohibited statewide and re-enforced by Village Local Ordinance (Village Code 8-5-34).
  • Parents or Guardians facilitating underage consumption will be held accountable under the Social Hosting Ordinance (Village Code 8-11-3).  
  • River Forest ordinances and State laws prohibit any person from using, selling, delivering, exploding or possessing fireworks in the village all year round. The term "fireworks" includes firecrackers, cherry bombs, M-80's, bottle rockets and Roman candles (425 ILCS 35 / IL Pyrotechnic Use Act).
  • Curfew for Minors (under the age of 18) is most frequently violated during Summer months.
    • Curfew begins at 11:00 PM Sunday thru Thursday
    • Curfew begins at 12:00 AM Friday night into Saturday Morning
    • Curfew begins at 12:00 AM Saturday night into Sunday Morning
    • It is unlawful for a parent, legal guardian or other person to knowingly permit a person in his or her custody or control to violate this section. (Village Code 8-7-1)

Please remember, “If you see or hear something – please say something!”

Emergency Alert Sign-Up

Please CLICK HERE and help us reach all of River Forest by signing up for our emergency alerts and e-newsletters. These alerts include important communications such as messaging regarding police, fire, flooding and COVID-19.  Please pass this on to your neighbors.

River Forest Operations

In an effort to summarize information for residents on safely opening up our government operations, please see the below list of updated operations for the Village of River Forest as of today, Friday, May 29, 2020, which marks the beginning of Phase 3 for the State of Illinois under Governor Pritzker’s reopening plan, Restore Illinois. Please note that River Forest is not subject to the June 3 reopening date that has been publicized for the City of Chicago. 

  • For general information about what is and isn’t allowed under Phase 3 of Restore Illinois for the residents, please click here. We encourage you to read it thoroughly. 

Village of River Forest 

  • Village Hall customer service windows remain closed to the public
  • Virtual Village Hall open Monday through Friday 8am-4:30 PM
  • Exterior drop-box available and Village Hall lobby open for drop off & pickup
  • All meetings held with in-person attendance limited to 10 people or less, virtual participation is recommended. All Village Board and Commission meetings held virtually until Phase 4. 
  • Village Staff will continue to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when working with the public in public areas. 

River Forest Public Library 

  • Book drops are now open for returns. There is a drive-through book drop in the Roosevelt Middle School south parking lot, and a walk-up book drop in the library garden. (Any oversize items that won’t fit in the book drop should be kept at home for now.) All materials will be placed in quarantine for 7 days before they will be checked in.
  • Curbside services will begin on June 2. Staff will bring your holds right out to patrons for contactless delivery. (Items from other libraries are not available at this time.) 
  • Holds can be placed online, by email, through the SWAN App, or by calling the library at 708-366-5205. Hours for curbside services and hold calls are Monday-Thursday, 1-7 PM, Friday and Saturday, 11 AM-5 PM.
  • Older adults needing assistance with returning or picking up library materials, can contact the River Forest COVID-19 Senior Citizen Response Program at 708-613-1642 or email rfseniorhelp@gmail.com.  
  • A limited number of staff will be in the building, in accordance with Phase 3 social distancing guidelines. The building is closed to the public. 
  • Summer Reading for all ages will be an online program this year that includes reading challenges, virtual story times and programs, take-away kits, and prizes. It begins on June 15.        

River Forest Park District

  • All playgrounds, bathrooms, and drinking fountains, and sand volleyball courts remain closed.
  • All tennis/pickleball courts, platform tennis courts, bocce courts, and batting cages are open following Phase 3 guidelines. Facility use guidelines are posted at www.rfparks.com and at the facility site. All court lights will remain off.
  • Athletic fields are available to Tier 1-4 groups for only drills/practices for up to 10 participants following Phase 3 guidelines.  No competitive play is permitted.  A permit will be required for field use.
  • A modified Summer Camp and summer programs will begin on June 15. Registration for the camp and programs are available online only at www.rfparks.com.
  • The Park District registration counter will remain closed through June; however, staff will be in office and available to contact through phone or email.

River Forest School District 90

  • The District 90 Administrative Office will be reopening for internal on-site operations on June 1, in compliance with the Governor’s directions on social distancing, use of personal protective equipment, and the percentage of employees that are allowed on site at the same time.  
  • Services to the public will take place electronically during the initial re-opening, with no walk in services yet available.
  • District 90 is pleased to announce their participation in a community effort intended to support the many healthcare personnel, first responders, and essential employees who live and work in our local communities. In collaboration with the West Cook YMCA, District 90 will provide a site for the YMCA’s Emergency Childcare Center (ECC), which will be housed at the Lincoln Elementary School. The program will begin on June 15 and will conclude on August 7, which is several weeks before the scheduled start of school on August 26. The ECC program will be housed in a designated wing of the building and will adhere to the strict health and safety guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). These guidelines address numerous issues, including social distancing, limited student-teacher ratios, daily health screenings, and rigorous facility cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
  • With the exception of the above emergency child care program for essential employees that is being held at Lincoln Elementary School, no in-person summer programming has been scheduled at any of the school sites.  
  • School offices will reopen later this summer in compliance with State guidance.  In the interim, all school-level business will be conducted remotely.

River Forest Township

  • Programs directly sponsored or co-sponsored by the Township remain virtual or suspended on an in-person basis.
  • Township Youth Services - Staff will remain off-site until after June 15.  Case management services will continue via telehealth. Youth Interventionists will begin meeting in-person with youth and families if necessary, in outdoor spaces with safety measures. Youth Interventionists will be very present in the parks. The status of the numerous summer programs funded by Township Youth Services is still TBD.
  • Township Senior Services - Staff will remain off-site until after June 15. Case management services will continue via telehealth. Meal delivery and pickup will continue as is.  Senior Services is proceeding very slowly and cautiously with directives from OSHA, CDC, IDOA, IDPH, and AgeOptions.
  • Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities services - Extensive telehealth operations continue, while a wide range of re-opening options are being reviewed by funded agencies. Updates are forthcoming.
  • The Assessor and Deputy Assessor will return to work in-office and will continue to serve residents by phone and email. There will be no walk-in hours. If essential, they will be available by appointment.

River Forest Community Center

  • Early Childhood Programs/Summer Camps: Community Center staff are currently planning early childhood programs and summer camp activities.  Both programs will start on Monday, June 8 and will be subject to the Phase 3 guidelines established by the State, including 1) limiting the number of participants to 10 per classroom, 2) daily health checks will be performed on all RFCC staff members and program participants  prior to entering the building, 3) social distancing guidelines will be followed for participants and staff and 4) RFCC staff and program participants will also be required to wear masks.
  • Community Center staff have been working remotely to stay in contact with participants who registered for programs prior to the shutdown and to respond to messages/phone calls.  RFCC program and procedures are currently being revised to reflect the new standards and will be available on our website at www.rfcc.info next week.
  • Registration: The Community Center encourages participants to register for programs on-line or over the phone.  Although walk-in traffic is being discouraged, additional safety features (Plexiglas, spacing markers, etc.) are being added in the front office area.
  • General Programs: Although the Community Center will continue to explore virtual program opportunities, birthday parties, building rentals and group activities have been suspended until further notice.  

Religious Organizations 

Executive Order 20-02 Expiring

Please note that Executive Order 20-02 will expire this Sunday, May 31, 2020. This action was quickly taken at the beginning of the pandemic to address the common sense actions the Village needed to take to help our residents, our businesses, and the community at large as we began to deal with COVID-19 issues.

Please click here to review the expiring Executive Order and note that this includes:

  • All parking fees and enforcement will be reinstated as of June 1, 2020. If a permit is needed for June, customers will need to log into their Passport Account and click on Renew to purchase a June Permit. All current parking permit customers should have received an individual email with information and instructions.
    • Commuter Parking Permit Holders: No action is required if a permit is not needed for June and those permit holders will not forfeit their permit status. Please email nsabia@vrf.us with any questions. 
    • Night and 24 Hour Permit Holders: You will forfeit your permit and will be removed from the active list if no permit is purchased.  If you choose to renew at a later date you will risk going back on a wait list. Please email nsabia@vrf.us with any questions. 
  • Overnight parking waivers can still be requested here, and will be granted for up to 3 days at a time. 
  • Utility, water, refuse, and collections services will resume normal operations. Please note that fees for late and non-payments and disconnections for water and refuse service will be reinstated. Hardship exceptions will be made with notification.
  • Refuse stickers (yellow tags) will be needed for refuse items that exceed the allowable capacity for residents with refuse collected by Roy Strom Collection Company and billed by the Village.

Census - Avoiding Fraud & Scams

Some River Forest residents have reported receiving calls from the U.S. Census Bureau and have expressed concerns about fraud. Please note that the Census may follow up on your response to clarify information submitted. Please review these tips about how to avoid fraud and scams and remember, during the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau will never ask for:

  • Your Social Security number.
  • Your bank account or credit card numbers.
  • Anything on behalf of a political party.
  • Money or donations.

If you are ever concerned if a Census communication is legitimate, please contact the U.S. Census directly for verification.

No Wipes Down the Pipes

The Coronavirus pandemic has increased the demand for household cleaning items, including disinfecting wipes, paper towels and toilet paper. As a result, people have turned to alternatives such as so-called "flushable" wipes and other paper products. This can lead to clogged pipes at homes and in smaller sewer systems. In this educational video titled "No Wipes Down the Pipes!" Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago President Kari K. Steele demonstrates how various products do not break down or dissolve sufficiently in water, and as a result, those materials can clog pipes in homes and cause sewer backups.

Electrical Aggregation

The Village made the commitment to sustainable initiatives, at our last board meeting, the Village Board of Trustees and I approved a plan to proceed with an EcoGreen Energy Aggregation. In the coming months, you will receive more information on the agreement with MC Squared to supply renewable energy to our community. I am proud of the direction our Village is taking to enhance our home values while helping our environment.

Backyard Chickens

A Backyard Chicken Program is not being explored at this time. At the Tuesday, May 26, 2020 Village Board of Trustees meeting, the Sustainability Commission provided an initial report on exploring a backyard chicken program in River Forest. The Commission reported that they discussed this issue at their meeting and decided to not explore backyard chickens due to competing priorities and a wish to focus on other issues. 

ComEd Outage Alerts

ComEd provides communication channels to residents for both planned and unplanned outages. Residents are encouraged to visit ComEd and register for Outage Alerts. Planned outages are important parts of making sure that infrastructure is in good repair and reliable.  If you will be impacted by a planned outage, ComEd will send you a letter in advance or notify you via a phone call or text message, so you are able to prepare.

Construction Hours of Work

Residents are reminded that the Village Code prohibits any work on Sundays that is being performed under a building permit, regardless of who is performing this work. This is only work that would be performed under a permit and not for any maintenance related projects such as repairing a toilet, trimming a tree, or fixing a shingle on a roof. Please keep in mind that any contractors working in the Village must be licensed. You can find a list of projects requiring permits on the Village website. If you are unsure whether your project requires a building permit, please check with the Building Department before starting the work.

Work requiring a permit is allowed during the following hours:

  • Monday - Friday: 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Saturday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • No work on Sundays, New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day.

Please be courteous to your neighbors. Code Enforcement encourages residents to call the Police Department to report work outside of these hours.

Novick Orthodontics

Thanks to Novick Orthodontics for helping to spread positivity in our community and saying “Don't Forget To Smile!!” Visit them online or give them a call at 708-366-2300. Novick Orthodontics is safely open for business and offers free consultations and virtual appointments via SmileSnap.

Other Resources

For more information on COVID-19 related matters, please visit these resources. 

Have a great weekend and please stay healthy. 

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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River Forest Community Calendar – RFHappenings.com

Village of River Forest

River Forest School District 90

OPRF High School District 200

River Forest Park District

River Forest Public Library

River Forest Township