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Fees hiked for vacant buildings, ambulance calls

The Evanston City Council voted Monday to double the registration fee required for vacant buildings from $200 to $400.

Planning Director Dennis Marino said the cost to the city of inspecting vacant buildings is outstripping the revenue received from the registration requirement.

The Evanston City Council voted Monday to double the registration fee required for vacant buildings from $200 to $400.

Planning Director Dennis Marino said the cost to the city of inspecting vacant buildings is outstripping the revenue received from the registration requirement.

Marino says the city has registered 115 vacant buildings so far this year and has identified 50 more that need to be registered because of the troubled real estate market.

The ordinance introduced Monday also raises the minimum fine for violating provisions of the vacant building ordinance from $100 to $250. It raises the maximum fine from $750 to $1,000.

The aldermen also voted to increase fees charged by the Fire Department for ambulance runs.

The new fee schedule is designed to keep the charges for city residents in line with the maximum fees that are reimbursible under the federal government’s Medicare program.

The minimum fee for basic life support service for residents would rise from $350 to $362. For advanced life support level 2 service the fee for residents would increase from $600 to $621.

Medicare reimburses 80 percent of the fee charged, with the rest either paid for by the patient out of pocket or covered by private insurance.

Fees for non-residents are somewhat higher and were also increased. Fire officials say they’re designed to be in line with rates charged by other communities in the metro area.

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