Forest Park residents will have the opportunity to help fund maintenance of the village’s Police and Fire Memorial when they renew their vehicle stickers.

When village residents receive a letter asking them to renew their vehicle stickers, they will also get a request asking for a one-time donation. The donation is voluntary and comes in addition to the regular vehicle sticker fee. 

As the Forest Park Review previously reported, over the years, the village has used the donations for different purposes. Until 2013, they were used to finance 4th of July fireworks. In 2014, they went toward the Historical Society of Forest Park.

On Sept. 28, the village council voted unanimously to direct the 2016 donations to the Forest Park Police and Fire Memorial. The vote came in a response to a request from Forest Park Recreation Board Chairman Michael Thompson. In a letter to Mayor Anthony Calderone, he said it was the village’s generosity that made the memorial possible, so it was only natural to want to reach out to residents again.

“It took a year plus to make the dedication possible, but the citizens of Forest Park made it happen,” Thompson wrote. “I know that the memorial will need further tweaking and upkeep.”

The minimum donation is $2, but residents will be able to donate as much as they want. During the Sept. 28 meeting, Calderone told the council that the donations had raised between $7,000 and $8,000 for fireworks. 

The village council will decide next year where the 2017 donations will go. But during the Sept. 28 meeting, Calderone said that the Recreational Board would be looking for something more long term to cover the upkeep of the memorial.