Carbondale Fact Check

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Rumor: 
The City wrote several restaurants tickets for $750 each for allowing indoor dining.

Fact: 
It is true that the City wrote several tickets to restaurants that were in violation of the Restore Illinois plan’s enhanced mitigations which currently prohibits indoor dining. However, and as with all City ordinance violations, no fine amount has been determined. The citation MAY be fined up to $750 in total, not $750 every day a restaurant is open for indoor dining. In addition, it’s important to note that the tickets were written after numerous attempts to gain voluntary compliance with these particular restaurants. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the City has worked with local businesses to help navigate the requirements of the Restore Illinois plan. It’s never been the intent of the City to be punitive, especially when so many people are struggling. Tickets that have been written have been issued as a last resort, a final effort to preserve public safety.


Rumor: 
The City has no grounds to issue a citation for indoor dining and it is unconstitutional. 

Fact: 
The Illinois Constitution grants municipalities with a population of at least 25,000 power to act autonomously. These cities are called home rule units. Article VII, Section 6(a) of the Illinois Constitution provides in part, that: “A home rule unit may exercise any power and perform any function pertaining to its government and affairs including, but not limited to, the power to regulate for the protection of the public health, safety, morals, and welfare; to license; to tax; and to incur debt.”

Thus the City of Carbondale is able to make its own laws for the health and safety of its citizens. City Council passed ordinance 2020-13 on April 6, 2020 by a unanimous vote, which created code 14-4-12 which states in part: “B.  It shall be unlawful for any person, partnership, joint adventure, association, society, club, trustee or corporation or any officer, agent, employee, factor or any kind of personal representative to violate any Executive Order of the Governor of the State of Illinois pursuant to the Governor’s powers under Article 5 of the Illinois Constitution and Sections 7(1), 7(2), 7(8), 7(10), and 7(12) of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act, 20 ILCS 3305.” Thus, the city has valid grounds to issue citations for indoor dining and they are in fact constitutional. 

 

Rumor: 
The City of Carbondale is turning a blind eye for restaurants allowing indoor dining. 

Fact: 
The City has responded to every complaint against an establishment reported to be allowing indoor dining. If they are, warning letters are sent, and employees visit the establishments to ask for compliance. We have and will continue to do everything within our authority to gain compliance. So far, most of our attempts at working with the business owners have been successful.    

 



Rumor: 
The City of Carbondale is delaying construction of the new Starbucks on East Main Street.

 

Fact: 
The City has approved all necessary building permits for the new location. Due to COVID, construction crews have been delayed. While we know construction on the interior has started, Starbucks corporate has not communicated their plans for an official opening. The City is just as excited as you are for the stand-alone Starbucks to open!

  



Rumor: 
The City is spending $1.5M to construct the Chautauqua McLafferty Roundabout. 

 

Fact: 
The IDOT Highway Safety Improvement Program has funded 90% of this project after the City applied for grant money. The total project cost is $736,000, the City of Carbondale will pay $73,600 (10% match) to complete the project. We are excited about this opportunity to make the intersection safer, as this section of road was prone to congestion, which caused numerous rear-end collisions and a fatality.