Last year the city worked with the local restaurants and bars to help them reopen to their customers safely. This involved allowing them to serve customers on the sidewalks and in some areas, such as Cherry Avenue, even on the street.
It went so well, everyone cooperating together to keep things clean and safe, that they city council voted unanimously Monday night to extend the ordinance to allow the same this year.
“We didn’t have one complaint last year,” said city manager Jeff Fiegenschuh.
When it was implemented last year, restaurants were not allowed to be open inside, so allowing them an alternative and being able to serve their customers outdoors was a solution to a very new situation.
Fiegenschuh explained that the hours of operation are limited to 7 a.m. through 10 p.m. each day, and within specific, designated spots. He added that after hours public consumption will be enforced as well as public consumption outside the designated areas.
The city hall and police department will see a long overdue upgrade to its entrances. According to Rochelle City Clerk Sue Messer, neither entrance it ADA accessible. In addition, the entrance doors to the police department are not commercial grade exterior doors, the original floor is failing and the thermostat for the lobby hasn’t worked in years.
The council voted unanimously to award Larson & Larson Builders the project at a cost of $45,400. This is over the projected cost budgeted of $38,000; however, building materials prices have gone up over the past year, particularly lumber and metal. Other projects will be delayed to offset the cost.