Summit looking at handicapped parking signs
Property owner suggests posted fines good idea for residential streets
By Steve Metsch
Former Summit resident Bill Ally, who co-owns a house in the village, said during the public comments portion of Monday night’s board meeting that there should be a fine amount affixed to each parking sign, as is found in retail parking spaces.
Right now, no fines are posted for such signs in residential areas, he and village officials said.
“There’s supposed to be a fine if they are ticketed, and there are no fines posted on those signs,” Ally said. “My question would be, are you ticketing based on those signs the way they are?”
Police Chief John Kosmowski said cars are tickets if they don’t have handicapped placards or plates. The spaces in front of residences are there because the resident has applied for one from the state. “The only reason there’s a sign there is for the handicapped person in that residence,” the chief said.
If a resident found someone in that space, chances are they would complain “so we’d have to investigate,” Kosmowski said.
“I just want you to look into it, check it out,” Ally said.
Mayor Sergio Rodriguez after the meeting said the village would do just that.
Trustee Sam Dardovski said there were fines clearly posted for spaces near businesses. He noted that during the month of June, the village collected $21,504 in parking fines, but that was not broken down so he didn’t know how much was for handicapped violations.
“Forget about businesses. We’re talking about the residential area. It’s required. It has nothing to do with the village. It’s federal,” Ally said.
In other action, the board approved three business licenses.
One is for Summit Gas & Food Inc., at 7200 W. 63rd St., the Shell station that has a new owner. Another is for Mexiquito Imports, a new business at 6201 W. Archer Road. The third is for Welsch Ready Mix Inc., an existing ready-mix concrete supplier at 8000 W. 59th St. Ozinga was the previous owner.
The board also approved a Class 7c tax incentive for Popeye’s, which will open soon at 5700 S. Harlem Ave. Rodriguez said the tax incentive promotes new construction in the village. It reduces property taxes for the first five years.
“It gives them a tax break so they can come in. It’s for new construction,” the mayor said. “At the end, we get more tax revenue for the village.”
Dardovski reminded residents that the fire department is still installing fire alarms for residents. The fire department started with 200 fire alarms. He noted that that the alarms are free.
“I highly recommend that you take it because they actually come in and install it. It’s a great thing,” Dardovski said. “Get them while you can.”
The fire department has received a grant worth $106,000 from FEMA, which will be used to acquire new air packs used by firefighters on duty, Dardovski said.
Summit has to kick in 5 percent of the cost, said Fire Chief Wayne Hanson.
The state-of-art air pack is a self-contained breathing apparatus that offers information on temperature and air supply to firefighters, making them safer during fires, Hanson said.
The fire department is hoping to hear good news on a $500,000 grant request with FEMA that would be used to replace one of its fire engines.
Summit has two 30-year-old fire engines. That’s an eternity when it comes to fire vehicles.
“We’re spending more money on these to keep them in shape. It’s terrible. We were denied three years in a row, so we’re hoping,” Hanson said.
The board appointed Sean Tovar and Matthew Pienkowski as police officers. They will have three months each in the police academy, followed by three months of field training before they officially join the police department.
Kosmowski said the appointments were needed because three officers will be retiring by year’s end, and he wants staffing levels to remain steady.
Rodriguez said there will be free paper shredding from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday in the parking lot of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 7240 W. 57th St.
The board will next meet at 7 p.m. Aug. 21.