Bloomington leaders lay out rules for outdoor seating; discuss paying residents who have been hit hard by COVID-19

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Business owners in Bloomington have just been the blue print on how to make outdoor seating work in the city.

On Tuesday night the city council voted to temporarily close some streets and allow businesses to use the closed street as a dining area. Others are allowed to set up tables on the sidewalk area immediately outside their venue. However, if your business can not use any of those recommendations the city is willing to work with you.

“If you have a parking lot, maybe we can let you take half of your parking lot,” said Mayor Tari Renner. “If for certain events you want us to close off street, we can do things like that. We want our business to survive and strive, we want people to come back to work but we want it to be safe.”  

City leaders say businesses are required to submit their outdoor seating plans to the city, and they must be approved before you can offer those services to customers.

Community Development Block Grant Spending:

Also at council, city leaders discussed how they were going to spend a little more than $420,000 federal dollars.

On the table are two program proposals, one being, more than $270,000 of it go toward direct aid to people who have been hit hard financially by the pandemic. The other, the remaining $150,000 go toward businesses that have had to  close since mid-March.

There was no vote Tuesday night, but city leaders say, they are hoping to dish out the money beginning on June 15th. However the amounts toward each program could change depending on need.

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