City council waives liquor license fees for 2021

Decision made to provide small business relief due to COVID-19

ROCHELLE — Rochelle City Council members voted to waive all liquor license renewal fees for the 2021 calendar year during their monthly meeting at Rochelle City Hall on Monday.

While all current liquor licenses must be renewed by Dec. 31, 2020, council members voted to waive fees to provide financial relief for businesses who have lost revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The City of Rochelle will lose about $40,000 in revenues for the 2021 fiscal year.

“This is something I think we should be very proud of as a community,” Rochelle Mayor John Bearrows said. “There have been other communities that have done this, but only waived one-third or one-half of liquor license fees. We’re waiving 100 percent of those fees.”

“I’d like to compliment city management and staff for finding more ways to keep small businesses alive,” Councilman Tom McDermott followed. “This COVID-19 pandemic has been a nightmare in my book, but the city has come up with many things I wouldn’t have thought of. As a council member, I truly appreciate the efforts city management and staff have put in.”


Council members voted to approve a Class S liquor license for Kwik Trip, which has been purchasing convenience stores from Rockford Stop N Go including the store located at 1000 S. 7th St. in Rochelle. Stop N Go will surrender its Class S license upon completion of the sales transaction, which has been scheduled to be finalized the week of Dec. 7, 2020.

Council members also voted to delete a Class U liquor license for The Artists’ Garden and create a Class R-3 liquor license for Acres Bistro (407 Lincoln Highway in Rochelle). The Class R-3 license allows for the retail sale of alcoholic beverages by restaurants, with a bar, for consumption on the premises. There are now eight Class R-3 liquor licenses in Rochelle.

Council members approved a resolution authorizing negotiations for a two-year project with Tyler Technologies, Data Transfer Solutions and Baecore Group for enterprise software and consulting. The project cost is not to exceed $881,567 with subsequent annual costs of $94,548.

Council members also approved a contract operator services agreement between the City of Rochelle and Burlington Junction Railway. The current contract will expire on Dec. 31, 2020.

Council members approved a bid from Dis-Tran amounting $578,749, with a 10 percent contingency, for the equipment purchase of breakers, switches, steel, CCVT and insulation as part of the Prologis Park Substation project.


Council members also approved the 2020 property tax levy, which will result in the city collecting $2,737,794 in property taxes, a 4.95 percent increase from last year. The levy will fund both police and fire pension funds.


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