ELBURN – Commuters using the Elburn Metra line will soon have to pay to park on weekends and holidays, and will face heftier fines for failing to pay for parking, Elburn officials announced at its June 3 board meeting.
Elburn Chief of Police Nick Sikora said the village anticipates a July 1 implementation of the expansion of parking fees for weekends and holidays and increase in fines.
The current amount of $1.50 will remain the same, but the fine for non-payment of the fee will double, from $20 per violation to $40. Failure to pay the fine within 10 days will lead to a doubling of that amount, increasing the fine to $80. Failing to pay the fine within a 60-day window will cause the fine to increase to $150.
The change to the parking fees and fines for violations was based on the need for additional revenues to pay for future maintenance of the parking lot, including repaving and maintenance on the parking vending machines. Village officials decided on the changes based on research conducted on the practices of neighboring municipalities.
According to Sikora, the increases to the penalties associated with parking violations in the Metra lot make them consistent with the village’s other class 1 violations elsewhere in the village.
The average number of cars parked in the lot on weekdays is 200 cars, with between 100 and 200 cars on Saturdays and 75 on Sundays, Sikora said. Elburn police officers currently write between 20 and 30 parking tickets on a weekly basis.
The Metra fund is an enterprise fund, which means that expenses to maintain the parking lot must be paid for by its revenues. The current revenues fall short of what is needed for future needs, according to village officials. Although money collected for parking violations currently goes into the village’s general fund, Metra parking fines will in the future be put directly into the Metra fund.
In other news from the meeting, the village will install a 1,000-foot guardrail on the northeast quadrant of the Anderson Road bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad, which will likely take place this summer, according to Village Engineer Dave Burroughs, Engineering Enterprises, Inc. principal. The board approved a $28,825 contract for Northern Contracting, Inc. to install it.
A number of residents have asked the village to install a guardrail ever since the bridge was completed in December 2015. Although the Kane County Department of Transportation, which was initially in charge of the project, said that a guardrail on the bridge was “at the discretion of the engineer,” Burroughs said that it was a matter of “better safe than sorry.”
He said that it was a relatively inexpensive fix for the peace of mind it will give to the residents who said the incline, especially on that side, was “fairly steep” and made them “feel uncomfortable” driving on the bridge. The funding will come out of the village’s budget.