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updated: 1/17/2013 11:47 PM

Fox River Grove stuck with vehicle stickers

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Vehicle stickers will continue to be a way of life in Fox River Grove, unless the next village board decides to eliminate them.

Thursday night, the village board voted to postpone an ordinance that would have killed the program and pushed it off for the next village board to handle and to look at in depth.

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Stickers for passenger and recreational vehicles are $20, while the sticker is $10 for motorcycles.

Residents 65 years and older are allowed to buy one sticker for $2 for a passenger vehicle and $20 for each additional one.

The program generates between $61,000 and $65,000 a year. But it's also become a hassle because it ties up employees at village hall where the five-person staff issues the tickets and at the police department, officials said.

Last month, the board voted to eliminate the program, but the move wouldn't have been official until the board also approved the accompanying ordinance on Thursday night.

The village was looking at options to increase its efficiency and eliminating the sticker program was one of the ways to do that.

To compensate for the loss in revenue, the village was prepared to charge a $36 annual fee to residents on the water bill that they'd see once a year -- seniors would have to pay $18.

But Trustees Michael Ireland and Jerry Menzel said the new fee structure created more problems than it solved.

They questioned how the fee would be collected from renters and from people who don't use the village's water and sewer system.

They also said it didn't make sense for someone with two or three cars to pay $40 or $60 under the old system but $36 under the new system.

Ireland added that he hadn't heard any complaints about the stickers taking up too much staff time, that he wanted to see a cost-savings analysis that proved getting rid of the program was financially sound and that he was concerned about all the time that could be spent on going after people who didn't pay the $36.

Finally, the pair were also concerned about the hike on seniors who now pay $2 for a vehicle sticker.

"It's a 900 percent increase, that's a lot for those people to pay," Ireland said, adding that he'll soon have four vehicles and is happy to pay $80.

A motion had been on the floor to approve the ordinance but Menzel quickly proposed a motion to table the proposal until the next board takes office.

Village Attorney John Donahue said Menzel's motion superseded the original one.

In the end, Trustees Menzel, Ireland, Suzanne Blohm and Michael Schiestel voted for the new motion, while Trustees Steve Knar and Joanna Colletti voted against it.

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