UPTOWN — A parking rental company that leases John T. McCutcheon Elementary School's parking lot is three months behind on its bills — and McCutcheon's principal and local school council want the firm to pay up.
"EZ Parking has not paid us," McCutcheon Principal Jenn Farrell said at an LSC meeting on Thursday, notifying council members that the company owes McCutcheon nearly $2,000 after missing payments in July, August and now September.
The school leases 23 parking spots to the company that locals can rent on a monthly basis for "at least," $100 a month, according to the principal. EZ is supposed to pay $650 monthly to the school, but is frequently late, and even had a check to the school bounce in April, Farrell said.
The school at 4865 N. Sheridan Rd. uses the funds from leasing the lot for everything from stamps and postage to extra field trips, and various homeless student needs, including transportation and assistance buying uniforms.
"Downtown is working on it, and they're going to get that money for us," Farrell said, assuring LSC members that Chicago Public Schools officials were on the case. "It's great to get the money but we really want to get it on time."
EZ's lease is up in October, Farrell said, and CPS officials are setting up a meeting with the firm to determine if the lease should be renewed. The parking company did not return calls for comment.
This isn't the first time EZ has been behind on its bills, according to LSC members. The principal said she didn't understand the company's spotty payment history.
"We know our neighbors are paying their bills," she said.
Another LSC member remarked that the company had to be raking in profits of at least $2,000 a month via residents renting spaces.
And P.C. Gooden-Smiley, an Uptown resident and member of the LSC, said about EZ: "If they weren't getting paid, they'd have tow trucks out there," hauling away cars belonging to any customers who were lagging on their parking bills.
Zip Car rents a few spaces in the lot from the school but always pays on time, Farrell added.
Hearing all the money talk in the meeting, a 1st grade student in attendance stopped the adults' conversation to ask: "Can I have a twenty-dollar bill?"
The little girl got a lot of laughs and lightened the mood.
But all cuteness aside, McCutcheon wants its money.
"We count on that money to provide all the extras," the principal said.