Businesses Upset About Street Closings

Macomb, IL – Some of Macomb's downtown streets are closed for special events such as Heritage Days and Gus Macker. The street closures have upset several business owners, who have complained to the city.

City Administrator Dean Torreson is now working on a policy to spell out the procedure for such street closings. He shared a draft with the city council this week.

The policy suggests events organizers pay a fee and be required to try notifying business owners along the street closing.

Fourth Ward Alderman Mike Inman raised a concern about the language regarding notification. The policy reads "...the Special Event sponsor shall make an effort to individually notify every business directly affected..." He thinks notification should be a requirement and suggests dropping the words "make an effort to."

Torreson said enforcement could be difficult.

"It's pretty difficult to individually notify everyone and to determine who's affected and who isn't," said Torreson.

But Sixth Ward Alderman Tim Lobdell said notification should not be a problem.

"It's kind of hard to do business if you're not open a certain set of hours," said Lobdell. "Being notified from 10:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday should take care of every business owner that would be affected. A good faith effort to do so can get people notified."

Seventh Ward Alderman Clay Hinderliter agreed. He also said the notifications should occur sooner than what's recommended. The draft policy suggests businesses be notified at least three days prior to the event. Hinderliter said it should be at least five business days.

Details of the policy are still being worked out. Mayor Mick Wisslead said the policy remains a work in progress.