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Fox River Grove buys downtown land for parking lot construction

FOX RIVER GROVE – The village has bought the property for a downtown parking lot that will cost about $250,000, Village Administrator Karl Warwick said.

Construction will begin in the spring of 2014 and will take about six weeks to complete.

The parking lot will be at the corner of Opatrny Drive and Lincoln Avenue. Warwick said the village chose that location because it will be close to the downtown businesses along Route 14.

Warwick said the money used to buy the lot came from restricted funds for community improvement and money from red-light camera violations. He also said no public tax dollars were used.

“It was just waiting to be designated for a specific purpose,” Warwick said.

Business owners and customers have always had a concern with downtown Fox River Grove’s parking situation because of the limited number of parking spaces on Route 14.

Warwick said the village finally was able to act on the parking problem recently.

“This [problem] probably has been ongoing for some time now, and now is the time that the village could work on the lot property,” Warwick said. “This is actually the only one available for this kind of parking facility, and we were able to secure it this year.”

The lot is part of the village’s overall plan to beautify the downtown area. Other projects include the village’s Metra train station – which will be completed with a heating station, bathrooms and a full-service depot by October – and the facade grant program, where the village provides funding for downtown businesses to improve the outside look of the stores.

The village budgets $75,000 a year for the program and shares up to half of the cost for outside renovations, including signs, lighting, awnings, doors and windows.

“The overall goal is to bring a larger customer base to the downtown area and to improve the exterior appearance of downtown,” Warwick said.

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