Lisa Ricchio

Lisa Ricchio, president of the Frankfort Chamber of Commerce, addresses the Village Board on May 5. (Patrick Guinane, for the Tribune)

Frankfort trustees have agreed to allow massage services at two local spas, and extended a program that waives water bills for active-duty military.

The village has waived water and sewer fees for residents serving overseas since at least 2006. Those deploying for at least six months have their bills waived for that long and can extend for longer deployments. Village Administrator Jerry Ducay said at last week's village board meeting that the program doesn't cost much.

Aura Bella Salon and Day Spa, 20491 LaGrange Road, and Choppers Hair Salon, 13 Old Frankfort Way, both were granted waivers to an ordinance approved several years ago that limited massage services to designed business areas.

"Both establishments provide these services by appointment only," Trustee Mike Stevens said.

Mayor Jim Holland also invited a number of community groups to the meeting to extol the benefits of the village's annual Fall Fest, an artisan showcase that takes over downtown every Labor Day weekend.

"We attract several hundred thousand people to Frankfort. There are expenses for the village to do this and, of course, there are some inconveniences for some of our residents," Holland said. "(But) it provides benefits all year long for the people of Frankfort."

The Frankfort Firefighters Foundation has run the Fall Fest carnival for 40 years, said foundation chairman Jacob Smith. Proceeds underwrite food drives, CPR and baby-sitting classes, care packages for troops overseas and donations to cancer-related charities.

Boy Scout Troop 720 receives funding for camping trips and other annual activities by running the fest's parking lot and coordinating busing.

And the BETA – Beer and Tent Association – team bankrolls more than a half-dozen community groups.

"It literally takes hundreds and hundreds of volunteers to serve all of that beer and to clean up," Holland said.

Village Clerk Keith Ogle said the Frankfort Chamber of Commerce, which oversees the fest, is holding informational meetings for volunteers at 9 a.m. Saturday and 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at chamber headquarters, 123 Kansas St.

"When visitors, especially artisans, come to town, they're amazed that this is a volunteer-run festival," Trustee Cindy Heath said. "Pretty much this whole town volunteers that weekend."

In other news, Holland said the village's share of state sales tax collections continued upward, though the $368,999 received from January sales was only $8,000 more than last year.

"If you remember what January looked like, I don't think anybody was even going out," Trustee Todd Morgan said of the snowy month. "It was like 30 days of hibernation."

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