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State of Illinois Announces New Mitigations


The State of Illinois announced new, statewide mitigations will take effect on Friday, November 20, in effort to help reduce the spread and rising positivity rate of COVID-19.

The new Tier 3 mitigation efforts include closing casinos, museums, and theaters, pausing indoor group sporting activities, and requiring personal care services, fitness centers and retail stores to operate at 25% capacity. Grocery stores and pharmacies may operate at up to 50% capacity. Utilize delivery or curbside pickup when possible. To view details regarding Tier 3 Resurgence mitigations, https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/restore-illinois-mitigation-plan.

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RESTORE ILLINOIS TIER 3 RESURGENCE MITIGATION FAQ

Suburban Cook County has issued an advisory asking residents to stay home as much as possible and only go out when needed, such as for work (if you cannot work from home), for school, for groceries, for pharmacy or take-out food pick-up, or other essential errands.

The State of Illinois' mitigations and the County's advisory request that people avoid gatherings with others outside of your household including for holidays and discourages non-essential travel.

Cook County Department of Public Health data tracks the number of new cases by town. Click https://ccdphcd.shinyapps.io/covid19/ and select “Case Data by Town” to see an update on the cases in Franklin Park.

Remember that COVID-19 is spread through contact with people who are near you. Close contact is considered being within six feet for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, even if wearing face coverings. Please adhere to the CDC guidelines by wearing a face mask, practicing social distancing, and washing your hands regularly. These practices remain the most effective ways of slowing the spread of COVID-19. If you are sick, please stay at home.

Please continue to check on the elderly and disabled and offer to assist them if possible. This virus can be spread before you even know you have it. Proceed as if you can be spreading the virus. For more information on how to prevent the spread of the virus, click here Steps to Prevent the Spread of Viruses.

If you were unable to attend the Village's drive through mask distribution, call (847) 671-8236 to request masks be mailed to your home.

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Information:

Frequently Asked Questions:  https://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/vaccine-faq

Centers for Disease Control Informationhttps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/8-things.html

Complete the Survey and Sign-up to receive updates from the Cook County Department of Public Health: https://redcap.dph.illinois.gov/surveys/?s=PP8PJNFHMW

 

https://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/vaccine-faq

 

Contact Tracing Is Important

The Cook County Health Department (CCDPH) is utilizing contact tracing to help stop the spread of the virus. To learn more, go to https://cookcountypublichealth.org/communicable-diseases/covid-19/contact-tracing/.

If you have tested positive, please contact anyone who has been exposed to you so that they can consult with their primary physician or local health department to determine if they need to be tested and/or quarantined. COVID-19 can be spread 48 hours before an infected individual develops symptoms or tests positive. Also, anyone who tests positive or is experiencing symptoms should contact people they have been in close contact with, during that window.

The CCDPH is contacting individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and people who have been exposed to, or in close contact with, individuals who test positive. If you receive a call from 312-777-1999, please answer the call.

If you need support or assistance to effectively self-isolate or quarantine, please call the CCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at 708-836-4755, Monday through Friday 9 AM to 4 PM.

For more information about the symptoms and transmission of the virus:

 

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COVID-19 Testing Sites Available in Illinois


Testing sites are open to all regardless of symptoms. Testing is FREE and no appointment, doctor referral or insurance is needed. The closest testing site is the Harwood Heights facility at 6959 W. Forest Preserve Road in Chicago and is open daily from 7AM to 3 PM. To learn more, go to dph.illinois.gov/covid19/covid-19-testing-sites.

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Fema Internship Program


Each year, the Department of Homeland Security-Federal Emergency Management Agency hires Pathways Summer Interns. The internship program provides students enrolled in a wide variety of educational institutions, from high school to graduate level, with opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers while still in school. FEMA will consider currently enrolled students or those accepted for enrollment and seeking a degree or certificate in a qualifying educational institution on a half-time or full-time (as determined by the educational institution) basis.

For more info....FEMA Region 5 Pathways Summer Internships

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The Chamber by O’Hare Scholarship Program - Apply Now


Residents from Franklin Park, Leyden Township, River Grove and Schiller Park are encouraged to apply now for the 2021-2022 academic year. Four scholarships will be offered :

  • A $1,500 scholarship will be awarded to a full-time student accepted at an accredited college, university, or community college. 
  • In partnership with Digital Realty, a $1,500 scholarship will be awarded to a full-time student pursuing a technology related program at an accredited college, university, or community college. 
  • In partnership with Sloan Valve, a $1,500 scholarship will be awarded to a full-time student accepted at an accredited college, university, or community college. 
  • In partnership with Lincoln Tech, a $1,500 scholarship will be awarded to a full-time student specifically planning to attend Lincoln Tech. 
  • Inquiries and applications for these scholarships may be obtained by contacting the Scholarship Chair, at info@chamberbyohare.org or patzinga@triton.edu. Please include a contact phone number with your email. Completed applications and all required information must be received by February 24.  

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Tax Relief Program Available for Seniors Struggling to Pay Property Taxes


Seniors whose annual household income is $55,000 or less can apply now for the Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Deferral Program, which issues loans to cover property tax payments.The loans do not have to be repaid until the property is sold or the homeowner dies. A simple interest rate of 6 percent per year is charged by the state. The maximum loan is $5,000 per year. To qualify, homeowners must be at least 65 years old by June 1 of the year in which the application is made.  The deadline to apply is March 1. Applications made after that date cannot be accepted. Applications for the Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Deferral Program are available on cookcountytreasurer.com

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Use the Drop Box to Facilitate Business with the Village


Village Hall is open with limited hours. Village staff is available to conduct business via email or over the phone on Monday through Friday until 4:30 PM. Also, you can utilize the drop box located in the parking lot of Village Hall anytime. 

Please do not put cash in the drop box. If a document does not fit, call the respective department and special arrangements can be made. For more information, call (847) 671- 4800. You can use the drop box for the following:

  • Water Bill Payments
  • Vehicle Sticker Payments
  • Permit Applications and Fees
  • Zoning Applications
  • Freedom of Information Act Requests (FOIAs)
  • Garage Sale Registrations
  • Yard Party Registrations
  • Handicapped Application Forms
  • Business License Payments
  • Grass Cutting/Snow Removal Payments

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Public Access to Village Hall with Limited Hours


Village Hall is open to the public with limited hours. Please use this website to access forms that can be filled out in advance to help speed processing. The Village encourages residents and businesses to use our convenient parking lot dropbox and online bill payment system to pay water bills here: http://www.villageoffranklinpark.com/departments/finance/. If you have questions regarding bill payments, call (847) 671-4800. Also, please contact us if you need to make special arrangements to facilitate assistance with payments.   

Everyone entering Village Hall will be required to wear a face mask or covering and to maintain a social distance of six feet or more while in the building. Only a limited number of visitors will be allowed in the building at one time and you may be required to wait outside until it is safe for you to enter.  

Residents 60 years or older and anyone with an underlying health condition or disability, are encouraged to visit Village Hall from 8 to 9 AM, Monday through Friday. The Village is asking the community to please refrain from visiting during this time that is being set aside for seniors and those with health issues so they can be accommodated quickly.

The Building Department is open for walk-ins and encourages anyone seeking a permit to visit Village Hall or to call (847) 671-8245. Permits can be obtained by using our online services. You can fill out forms and put them in the parking lot drop box and someone will contact you to pick up the permit. Go to  http://www.villageoffranklinpark.com/departments/building/ 

The Clerk’s Office is open for walk-ins but is encouraging you to utilize online services if possible. For forms or questions, you can email at clerk@vofp.com or call (847) 671-8242.  Garage sale registration, yard party and/or Freedom of Information Act request forms are available at the Clerk's page at or by calling the Clerk's Office. Return forms via email or by using the Village drop box. Garage sale registration can also be done by calling the Clerk’s Office, about a week in advance of a sale and a confirmed registration will be mailed to you.  Passport services are suspended until further notice due to back-ups in processing with the federal government but you can go to www.travel.state.gov or call the Passport Customer Service at 1-877-487-2778 for questions or information.

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Healthcare Coverage Available if You Lost Your Employer-based Coverage Due to Coronavirus


The Marketplace Health Insurance Exchange (in accordance with the Affordable Care Act) in Illinois is now holding a special open enrollment period for uninsured individuals amid the spread of the novel coronavirus also known as COVID-19.  

 

If you lost your job or experienced a reduction in hours due to COVID-19 that has resulted in losing your job-based health plan, you may qualify to enroll in a Marketplace plan now. To learn more, go to https://www.healthcare.gov/coronavirus/.

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Assistance with Utility Bill Payments


Utility bill payment assistance is available for residential customers who have been affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Customers who are challenged in paying their outstanding balances and electric bills should contact ComEd’s at (800) 334-7661, Monday through Friday from 7 AM - 7 PM to take advantage of new and existing assistance options. More information is available at ComEd.com/CARE.

Nicor Gas is offering extended payment plan options, for up to 24 months, for customers in need with no down payments. These measures are designed to help customers avoid service disconnections and to lower monthly payments by spreading out costs over time. Visit nicorgas.com to establish a payment arrangement online.

Leyden Family Services can assist income-eligible households to apply for utility bill assistance for gas and electric service through the LIHEAP and other utility programs that will make a payment directly to the utility company on your behalf. To be eligible, households must meet program requirements, including meeting income guidelines. Households must be able to provide all required supporting documentation. You can learn more about income eligibility at vofp.com. Call (847) 455-3929 to schedule an over-the-phone appointment

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Apply for Utility Assistance


Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, Inc. (CEDA) has programs to assist eligible residents with paying utility bills. Access programs to pay for your utility bills with our partners at CEDA. Call them at (800) 571-2332.

They offer support through the following programs and online applications. The programs currently open are:

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Dealing with Eviction or Unresolved Debt


Are you behind on your mortgage or property tax payments? Do you live in Cook County? You may be eligible for FREE legal help from the Cook County Legal Aid for Housing and Debt Program. Call 855-956-5763 or apply at https://www.cookcountylegalaid.org/

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Looking for a Job during the Pandemic?


The Cook County COVID-19 Recovery Job Training and Placement Program, in partnership with the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, can help you get back to work and find new careers. To apply https://chicookworks.org/initiatives/suburban-cook-county-covid-19-recovery/ or call them at 1-800-720-2515.

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Leyden Family Services Offering Assistance Over the Phone


Leyden Family Services' Seniors & Benefits Department is available to assist you by telephone! Over the phone appointments are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM. Staff can assist with to apply for Medicare, Medicaid and other governmental programs. Call (847) 455-3929 to make an appointment.

Click here for more info..... Leyden Family Service – Seniors & Benefits Department

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Quiet Zone Update


The Village has received a $1,416,343 Pedestrian Rail Safety Grant to fund a significant portion of the safety improvements needed at the pedestrian crossing at the Calwagner and 25th Street grade crossings and the Metra Station. The Village worked with Metra to design the required safety improvements. Metra expects to receive the last of the materials needed to complete the improvements by the end of this year. Metra expects to complete construction on the safety improvements in the Spring of 2021.

The Village will make street improvements including installing a median barrier at 25th and Ruby. Watch our Village newsletter for updates as we move closer to obtaining a Quiet Zone Designation in Franklin Park.

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Happy New Year!

Many of us are glad to say farewell to 2020. It has been a year of challenges, unexpected trials and times that have tested our patience and endurance. Yet, I could not be more grateful for how our community has come together and thrived throughout it all. Despite social distancing and on-going mask wearing, we have proven again and again that we are a caring, concerned Village that has adapted well.

Our last Community Blood Drive of the year had a record-breaking turnout; neighbors volunteering to give the gift of life to those in need. We have seen much generosity in donations to local food pantries and with other charitable giving. Throughout the pandemic we have seen neighbors assist our seniors and others with errands, grocery shopping and other good deeds. This is the true definition of ‘community’.

The Franklin Park Christmas spirit was in full display during the holiday season as more homes than ever were beautifully decorated this year bringing light and the joy of the Holiday Season. Santa helped us spread so much joy throughout our neighborhoods during our Holiday Parade. The festivities continued as we lit our beautiful Christmas tree in Hammill Square. Thank you to A & E Luxury Premier Apartments for donating this year’s tree.

Hope Lights Our Path

Looking forward to this year, we eagerly await the COVID-19 vaccine being readily available. We will continue to update you as new information becomes available.

It is still extremely important to wear a mask anytime you are indoors with someone and sharing air. You can still be a carrier of the virus even if you have the antibodies. Also, continue to practice social distancing, and wash your hands regularly. If you have tested positive, contact anyone who has been exposed to you so that they can consult with their primary physician to determine if they need to be tested or quarantined. 

COVID-19 can be spread to others 48 hours before an infected individual develops symptoms or tests positive and 40% of infected persons experience no symptoms. Also, anyone who tests positive or is experiencing symptoms should contact people they have been in close contact with, during that window.

As more are vaccinated, we will see the spread slow and life will begin to return to normal. But we are not yet near the end of the fight against this killer virus. We really want our businesses and restaurants to have a full and vigorous recovery and regular mask wearing will help us get there. As our economy rebounds, we will see more opportunity, new investments in our Village and new jobs.

So, we are moving “hopefully” into 2021. The Village will continue to offer our essential services, plan for a full reopening, and support our local businesses.

I know this New Year will bring many new opportunities and successes for all in our Village.

Please have a Happy, Healthy and Hopeful New Year!         

Mayor Barrett Pedersen

 

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Stay connected with the Village

Are you receiving updates and alerts from the Village via email? The Village has been sending emails to residents regarding important updates on the Corona Virus, also known as COVID-19. Are you not on the list yet? Simply send us the email address you want us to use at villagenews@vofp.com. Want to be called when we host our next Telephone Town Hall Meeting? Email us at villagenews@vofp.com and include you name, home address and phone number (home and cell).

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