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COVID-19 Grace Periods For Chicago Services Ending Soon

CHICAGO (CBS) -- As millions of Americans are slowly returning to normal, cities like Chicago are returning to the way business used to be done.

CBS 2's Chris Tye reports from a city payment center where the grace periods for paying everything from utility bills to parking tickets are just about over.

There was a lot of "you'll get away with a warning" because of COVID-19. But relief from certain fees and taxes is now being phased out.

Here's what to prepare for.

Whether its the gas meter out back or the electric lines out front, utilities during the peak of the pandemic were left on regardless of payment. That goodwill train is about to be shut off.

Between the time, James Oliver got his speeding ticket and Monday, payment day, he contracted COVID-19.

"That's unreasonable. How am I going to get out to pay it," Oliver asked.

Grace periods for utilities and speeding tickets are ending and city re-payment lines are growing.

But the city that's been sympathetic to ticketed drivers and utility users' needs to balance its books. Janelle Cousin has been preparing for the due dates that look like this.

"I've tried to make small payments," said Cousin, a Chicago resident.

On Monday, those owing gas, electric and water should expect alert notifications by email or standard mail about dates and payment plans. It's a lead up to July 1 when utility late-payment penalties begin. It's also when collection and enforcement activities restart.

From street sweeping to speeding, CPD ticket enforcement increases and vehicle booting resumes.

You'll have until July 16, when enforcement begins on expired parking permits, as well as city stickers and license plates that are out of date.

The city had given businesses some breaks. Those are ending too. Taxes were allowed to be delayed on grocery bags to hotel stays.

The first round of so-called remittances are due July 15.

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