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South Holland Woman Fined Hundreds For Rusty Flag Pole She Couldn't Afford To Fix While Laid Off

SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill. (CBS) -- Yvette Walker was laid off due to COVID-19 and now she faces hundreds of dollars in fines from the village of South Holland.

It started with a rusty flagpole the village found as they inspected houses around town. Walker told CBS 2 Morning Insider Tim McNicholas they came after her again when she argued against the first fine.

Laid off since March, and mother to a college student, fixing a rusty flagpole was not at the top of Yvette Walker's list.

"Me helping him with college and trying to maintain my lifestyle here, I don't have the money for that," Walker said.

A letter from the village in June said they've been "conducting inspections throughout the village," and gave her 30 days to fix the pole.

"Of course I'm not gonna get a ladder and try to go all the way up this pole. So I would have to get someone to paint it; prime it and paint it," Walker said.

Walker said she explained that to the village, but they still fined her. She argued her case at a hearing earlier this month, but was struck down again.

A few days after her hearing, she got another fine in the mail; this time a $300 fine for a dead bush on her front lawn.

"It seemed like they are targeting me, because I refused to pay the $100 for the pole," Walker said.

She received a $300 fine for a bush without leaves in October.

But in that case, the Village of South Holland late Thursday said the bush ticket was sent to Walker in error and it was supposed to be sent to another South Holland resident, so Walker can now disregard it.

But the village also increased the fine for the flagpole to $300, and threatened to fine her more each day she doesn't pay.

CBS 2 called and visited village hall, and got a call back from an administrative assistant, who said village fines are not about revenue, but keeping homes from falling into disrepair.

"All of this is a burden right now and it's unnecessary," Walker said.

With regard to the flagpole, the village late Thursday said it had reached an agreement with Walker. As long as she can either have it painted or removed by April 2021, she will not face any fines for this.

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