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Evanston’s proposed 2015 budget calls for eliminating only one city service — the vital records office that provides copies of birth and death certificates.

Health and Human Services Director Evonda Thomas-Smith says the office now costs the city nearly $170,000 a year to run, but it’s expected to yield only about $83,000 in revenue from the sale of birth and death certificates this year.

The city office duplicates birth and death record services offered by the Cook County Clerk.

Fees at the city office are lower — $10 for a birth certificate, versus $15 from the county, and $15 for a death certificate, versus $17 from the county.

The nearest county clerk’s office is at the Skokie courthouse. The county also offers to fulfill birth and death certificate requests by mail, phone and online, although the online service carries an added $12.45 service fee from a commercial vendor hired by the county to handle the online requests.

The county also contracts with two currency exchanges located in Evanston to process birth certificate requests.

Thomas-Smith told aldermen this week that the plan is to reassign the two employees who now work in the vital records office to other jobs within the city.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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