VILLAGE OF NORTH AURORA
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE MEETING MINUTES
NOVEMBER 2, 2020
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Village Board meeting was conducted live remotely
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Berman called the meeting to order.
In attendance: Mayor Dale Berman, Trustee Mark Gaffino, Trustee Mike Lowery, Trustee Laura Curtis, Trustee Mark Guethle, Trustee Mark Carroll
Staff in attendance: Village Administrator Steve Bosco, Finance Director Bill Hannah, Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth, Village Attorney Kevin Drendel, Streets Superintendent Brian Richter, Police Chief Dave Fisher.
AUDIENCE COMMENTS – None
TRUSTEE COMMENTS – None
1. Temporary Winter Outdoor Dining Reimbursement Program
Community & Economic Development Director Mike Toth said the Village was looking to expand upon its current outdoor dining program by potentially reimbursing restaurants that are winterizing their outdoor patios so as to comply with mitigation efforts that do not allow indoor dining. Director Toth said the Village had reached out to about thirty-five businesses – restaurants, bars and breweries – and heard back from several that expressed interest in the program. Overall, Director Toth said he anticipated 10-15 businesses looking further into it, based upon current outdoor dining and available space.
The program would be designed to award up to $10,000 per business for reimbursement for expenses related to outdoor dining like heating, temporary structures, etc. It would not include reimbursement for personnel. The program would go retroactive to August 1, 2020 and would expand to May 31, 2021, to also help reimburse businesses for earlier outdoor dining changes. The program would be built on both the Executive Orders the Village issued on outdoor dining and also with the Restore Illinois guidelines. Director Toth mentioned the CARES Act funding the Village will be receiving, but clarified that this program would come out of the Village’s General Fund done through a budget amendment. Mayor Berman further clarified that CARES Act funding is only to reimburse for expenses that qualified under the Act and that funding was not given to the Village to be redistributed.
All trustees were fully supportive of the concept of the program, however Trustee Carroll had concerns about tying the Village’s program to the Restore Illinois guidelines as he said if the Restore Illinois guidelines were turned over in court he did not want the Village’s program affected. Trustee Guethle also said he’d like to see the program tied to the Village’s own ordinances and codes rather than anything with the State.
Trustee Carroll and Trustee Curtis also thought the amount per business could be increased from the $10,000. Village Administrator Bosco explained the number came from looking at what other areas are doing. He said the Village is in a good financial position and that number could always be changed. Trustee Carroll also brought up reimbursing businesses in other ways and Administrator Bosco said Staff had already been looking into the waiving of business registration and liquor license fees for 2021, which would be a loss of about $17,500 and $60,000, respectively. Trustee Curtis said she was fine with that and businesses shouldn’t be paying registration fees when they were shut down for portions of the year. Trustee Carroll said he would like to see the waiver of those fees on an agenda.
The trustees encouraged urgency in getting this item to Village Board and it will appear on the November 16, 2020 Village Board agenda.
EXECUTIVE SESSION – None
Motion to adjourn made by Trustee Curtis and seconded by Trustee Carroll. All in favor. Motion approved.
Natalie F. Stevens
Deputy Village Clerk