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Suburban Cook County Returns to Phase 4


Beginning February 2, suburban Cook County will move to Phase 4 of the state’s coronavirus plan.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS

  • Indoor dining and drinking now permitted for parties of up to 10 people
  • Seated areas should be arranged so that tables allow for 6 feet between parties; impermeable barriers may be installed between booths which are less than 6 feet apart

RETAIL AND SERVICE COUNTER

  • Continue capacity limit of no more than 50% occupancy

PERSONAL CARE

  • Continue capacity limit of no more than 50% occupancy

INDOOR/OUTDOOR RECREATION

  • Reopening select indoor recreation facilities (e.g., bowling alleys, skating rinks); indoor playgrounds and trampoline parks should remain closed
  • Indoor recreation to operate at lesser of 50 customers or 50% of facility capacity

MUSEUMS

  • Capacity limit of no more than 25% occupancy

MEETINGS AND SOCIAL EVENTS

  • Limit to the lesser of 50 people or 50% of room capacity
  • Multiple groups may meet in the same facility if they are socially distanced and in separate rooms 

Additional information tier and phase regions can be found at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/.

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

Illinois is currently in Phase 1b which includes vaccinating people 65 and older and frontline essential workers including first responders, education workers like teachers and support staff and grocery store employees.

If you are eligible, you should register to receive the vaccines at retail pharmacies, your doctor’s office, and urgent care clinics. Many area hospitals and healthcare plans and facilities have invited patients to sign-up to be vaccinated through their online patient portal. They will contact you via email and phone calls when you may make an appointment.

The Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) is sponsoring community vaccination sites. Triton College is the closest community vaccination site. THIS IS NOT A DRIVE IN / WALK UP SITE. YOU MUST HAVE AN APPOINTMENT. Appointments can be made at https://vaccine.cookcountyil.gov/. If you do not have internet access or need assistance scheduling, call (833) 308-1988 from 7 AM to 7 PM Monday through Friday. Please be patient, it may take several attempts to get through. Triton College is located at 2000 5th Ave, River Grove, IL 60171.

If you do not have access to the internet and have not yet registered with the County, Leyden Family Services is available to assist you to register to receive a vaccine if you are eligible. Please contact them at (847) 455-3929 on Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM and someone will assist you.

Residents who are not yet eligible to receive the vaccine can sign up at vaccine.cookcountyil.gov. to receive updates about phases and eligibility. Please continue to adhere to the three W’s -- Wash your hands, Wear a mask, Watch your distance, and make every effort to get vaccinated when it is your turn.

Register for Vaccinations at the United Center

The United Center, under the guidance of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), will serve as a mass vaccination site. If you are eligible, you can make an appointment beginning at 8:30 AM on Thursday, March 4 at Zocdoc.com/vaccine or by calling (312) 746-4835. You will be required to enter your birth date to confirm you are at least 65 years old. The United Center will begin inoculations of the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine starting on March 10.

 

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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Blood Drive – Donate on March 5


The first Blood Drive of the year will be held on Friday, March 5 from 3-7:30 PM at the Franklin Park Police Station in the Community Room. Face masks are required. Thank you for providing the gift of life to someone in need!

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Clean-up After Your Pets


For the safety and enjoyment of everyone, the Village is asking dog owners to please keep your furry friend on a leash and to always clean-up after them, including on your own property. Dog waste is full of more disease-causing bacteria and parasites than most types of waste and can be harmful to humans and spread disease to other dogs. Remember to carry extra waste bags with you wherever you roam with your four-legged pal. Your neighbors thank you for your consideration and for practicing good pet owner etiquette!p>

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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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Franklin Avenue Improvement Project Future Construction Detours


The Village has completed the design and secured the required federal, state, and county permits for the Franklin Avenue Improvement Project and is anticipating construction to begin in the Spring. The project will improve approximately 2.1 miles of the Franklin Avenue corridor, including the reconstruction and widening of the roadway, new storm sewer, new roadway lighting, the modernization of traffic signals, and a shared-use path for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Improvements to the Franklin Avenue roadway network will be completed in two phases. The first phase will consist of the construction of a new box culvert at Silver Creek and a new retaining wall under I-294. The second phase will be the reconstruction of Franklin Avenue, anticipated to begin fall 2021 with expected completion by fall 2023.

The Village will be temporarily re-directing traffic onto an alternative detour route that will divert traffic away from the project construction area. The detour will last approximately four weeks long. Local traffic will be able to access the project area and all driveways will have access. The map below further details the proposed detour to provide safety for motorists and construction workers during the construction phase.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation during this improvement, and if you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Project Manager, Jimmy Samaniego of Smith LaSalle Consulting Engineers at jsamaniego@smithlasalle.com or 312-447-1134.

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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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When it Snows, Franklin Park Shines

In February, the snow fell and fell and fell again. For some, it was a Winter Wonderland. It all looks so pretty when the snow covers everything like a white blanket. Then as we experienced one large snowfall after another, the drudgery of moving all that snow, day after day started to seem endless. While many found the snow magical, many others found it an annoyance. Getting to your job, running your errands, or simply taking out your trash and recycling became a major challenge.

Once again, our Public Works Department did an excellent job in clearing our streets and keeping up throughout the back-to-back snow events. Our dedicated staff put the safety of our residents first. They worked around the clock so we could keep our appointments and get our groceries and prescriptions. Public Works crews responded quickly and efficiently because they were well prepared. The staff is well trained, they keep their equipment in good repair, and they make sure they have adequate supplies so that when we call on them, they answer.

Our residents, senior citizens, business owners, and members of our school board have all expressed their gratitude for our Public Works Department. People who travel through our town to get to work have shared their appreciation for how quickly and thoroughly our crews have cleared snow making our streets easy to navigate after snow events. Our Police and Fire departments work hard to coordinate with Public Works to ensure Village fire hydrants are cleared of snow and that vehicles are moved to allow snow removal. I am proud that our Board and our staff share a sense of commitment to our Village and for the good service they consistently provide to the community.

Please join me in thanking all who make Franklin Park a great place to live, work and raise a family

COVID UPDATE

One of the dangers of an on-going pandemic is that we grow weary of hearing about it.

But because most have followed the public health protocols, the positivity rate is dropping. Some of the restrictions are loosening and we are looking forward to a return to some level of normalcy down the road. The vaccine roll out has begun and more and more of our friends and neighbors are being immunized.

However, a new, more contagious mutation of COVID-19 is spreading rapidly through the nation. If we really want to see an end to this public health crisis, we must continue to adhere to the three W’s. Wash our hands, Wear a mask, Watch our distance, and make every effort to get vaccinated when it is your turn. We know getting an appointment to get vaccinated has been challenging, but it is worth the effort.

I am also weary. This pandemic has taken a toll on all of us. Franklin Park has navigated this crisis well. I promise a celebration of our great Village at a time when we can safely gather.

Until then, I strongly recommend you sign up to be vaccinated. There is now a vaccination site at Triton College, a convenient location for Franklin Park residents. It is not a drive-up facility and you must have an appointment. Go to vaccine.cookcountyil.gov to register. You can also register at local pharmacies and with your healthcare provider. We will continue to post updates on our website and the Village’s Facebook page

Stay safe and be well.

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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