Any resident of Forest Park can now take a taxi from any spot in town to any other location in town for a flat rate fee of $3.50, thanks to a new ordinance unanimously passed by the village council Monday night. Acting upon the recommendation of Village Administrator Michael Sturino, the village council decided to establish uniform taxicab rates in Forest Park.

In addition to the flat fee for residents of Forest Park for a taxi ride within the town boundaries the ordinance imposes a flat fee schedule for Forest Park residents over age 62 to certain popular destinations in nearby communities.

Forest Park seniors will pay $3.50 to travel from any place in town to four locations: the 22nd and Harlem shopping area, the Lake Street and Harlem shopping area, Loyola Hospital in Maywood, and the Rush Oak Hospital in Oak Park. Seniors can take a cab to West Suburban Hospital in Oak Park for five bucks.

For those under 62 trips outside Forest Park will cost $2.25 upon hire by the first passenger, $1.00 more for each additional passenger over the age of 12 and then an addition 22 cents for each tenth of a mile traveled.

The village council also approved a taxicab license for a new one cab company, United Mex-Cab, to operate in Forest Park. This cab is the 147th taxicab licensed to operate in Forest Park according to Village Clerk Vanessa Moritz. According to the license application, the owner of United Mex-Cab is Jose Santos of Chicago. Santos will be driving a 1996 Dodge Caravan minivan with 227870 miles on its odometer.

In other action at Monday’s council meeting, the village council unanimously authorized a two cent increase in the tax levy in the 2006 tax year for the library to pay for maintenance and repairs at the library.

This increase will automatically go into effect unless at least 811 voters sign petitions to put this tax increase on the November 7 election ballot. This procedure is known as a “back door referendum” according to Sturino.

This tax increase is separate from another increase the library board has asked to be placed on the ballot in November, which staff has said would be used to raise salaries to more competitive levels and fill positions that were left vacant by recent layoffs, as well as to boost the library’s collection and computer programming.

The village council also unanimously approved the appointment of three new members to the Recreation Board. The new members are William Walsh, Gretchen Schwartz, and Edward Powell. The council also voted to increase the size of the Recreation Board from five to seven members. The appointment of the three new members now gives the Rec Board six members, leaving one vacancy still to be filled.

Patrick Doolin, the commissioner or Streets and Public Improvements, announced that the 896 residents who have signed up to take part in the village’s upgraded recycling program should be getting their 64 gallon containers in the next three weeks.

The large containers will be used in place of the standard 18 gallon handheld bins.

“I think this is going to be a fantastic program,” said Mayor Anthony Calderone. “This is going to make the town cleaner and a lot more efficient.”