In brief
On Monday morning the area behind the businesses on East Burlington Street along the railroad tracks in Riverside officially became an employee parking lot. The village board on Nov. 16 voted unanimously for the change, which was promised in September after trustees voted down creating a parking lot at the eastern edge of the business district at 61-63 E. Burlington St.

The 43 parking spots along the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad tracks are now designated only for employees of downtown businesses from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. Employee vehicles will need to display a decal, which will be given to them by their employers, who must apply for the tags from the village free of charge. However, the lot is for employee parking only. Vehicles not displaying a decal could be ticketed and given a $50 fine.

Previously, the area was available for commuter and business parking, provided users purchased a quarterly permit. According to Village Manager Peter Scalera, at the time the switchover was made, just 29 commuters and businesses had permits for the lot.

With the conversion of the lot to employee parking, commuters were moved to the parking lot west of the Riverside train station on Bloomingbank Road.

Tax appeal meeting in Riverside on Dec. 3

Residents of Riverside Township who believe that the 2009 assessed value of their home is higher than comparable homes in the neighborhood may file an appeal with the Cook County Board of Review through Dec. 18.

In addition, the Cook County Board of Review is hosting an outreach meeting in Room 30 (third floor) of the Riverside Township Hall, 27 Riverside Road in Riverside, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3.

Participants are encouraged to bring the address or property index number of any comparable properties they may want to use in an appeal.

According to Riverside Township Assessor Fran Sitkiewicz, appeal application forms and assistance in finding comparables are available at the township assessor’s office, which is also located on the third floor of the Riverside Township Hall.

The Riverside Township Assessor’s Office is available to assist residents with appeal applications through Dec.14. The office is open Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. until noon.

For more information or to schedule an appointment to meet with the assessor, contact the office at 447-7700.

Conway opens at North Riverside Mall

North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road in North Riverside, recently filled the vacant retail space created when Steve & Barry’s, the college-related discount clothing chain liquidated its stores in late 2008.

Conway, a New York City-based discount clothing retailer, opened in the mall on Nov. 11.

Conway, which bills itself as “New York’s No. 1 fashion discount chain” has stores at three other locations in the Chicago area – Ford City Mall, Hawthorne Works and Washington Square Mall.

“The store offers low price point merchandise, something our customers will greatly appreciate in this economy,” said Lidia Darkova, marketing director for North Riverside Park Mall, in a press release.

North Riverside Park Mall is owned and managed by the New York City-based Feil Organization. The company purchased the mall in 2004.

Wear your seat belt, get ice cream

Police often put out the dragnet – usually around major holidays – for those not wearing seatbelts. They typically result in a bonanza of tickets to drivers caught with their belts down.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend police in Riverside will again be conducting a “Click It or Ticket” campaign, but this time with a twist – a sweet one.

While officers will still be ticketing those not wearing seat belts, they’ll be handing out coupons good for a free single scoop of frozen custard at Culver’s for those drivers who are wearing their seat belts.

Culver’s on Ogden Avenue in Lyons donated 100 coupons to Riverside police to promote safe driving.