Geneva proposal to add fines for bars, restaurants ignoring state coronavirus restrictions fails to pass

Chicago News

GENEVA, Ill. — Elected officials in west suburban Geneva did not pass a proposal Monday night which would give the city the power to fine bars and restaurants if they serve customers indoors in violation of state orders. 

During a committee meeting held online and in person due to the pandemic, city council members and the mayor discussed a draft ordinance allowing the city to declare any violations of state COVID-19 mitigation measures as a public nuisance. Residents were allowed to comment as well.

After over three hours of discussion, the vote failed 3 to 7 and will not advance to the city council.

Indoor service at bars and restaurants is not allowed across Illinois, but several Geneva establishments are reportedly operating in violation of the state’s latest “Tier 3” restrictions. 

Located just around the corner from City Hall, Foxfire Restaurant is still offering indoor dining. Owner K.C. Gulbro said he needs to serve people inside or his business could potentially close for good.

“To comply right now would be the death of our restaurant; it would not just affect me and my partner but the families that work here,” Gulbro said. “We feel like we should be allowed to be open.” 

The ordinance proposed a fine structure for those in violation, where a first offence could be settled with a $100 fine, a second could cost $250 and third and subsequent violations could mean a $500 penalty.

If passed, it was scheduled for a final vote on Dec. 7.

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