Updated 8-3-2020 at 4:04 PM
To our residents and customers:
The City of Sycamore is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and is responding in accordance to the guidance provided by health officials at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the DeKalb County Health Department.
City Departments have implemented plans to limit possible exposure while continuing to provide essential services.
EXECUTIVE ORDER BY GOVERNOR PRITZKER
Gov. Pritzker has issued Executive Order 2020-32 (COVID-19 Executive Order No. 30) related to the COVID-19 situation. To view the entire executive order, please click here.
CITY BUILDINGS CLOSED
In order to continue to provide protection to our employees, residents, and customers, all City of Sycamore buildings are closed to the public. We encourage business to be conducted electronically where possible.
- The Sycamore Center is by appointment only, including the Mayor’s Office, the City Clerk’s Office, the City Administration and the Finance Office. Those needing to make an appointment should call 815-895-0786.
- Essential services will be provided by appointment only by calling the following:
- Police: 815-895-3435
- Police Department Lobby will remain open.
- Fire: 815-895-4514
- Public Works: 815-895-3545
- Water Billing: 815-895-4516
- Administration: 815-895-0786
- Community Development: 815-895-4434
- City Clerk’s Office: 815-895-0786
- Finance: 815-895-0786
- Police: 815-895-3435
- Sycamore Center Tenants
- Mr. G’s Music: 815-895-3980
- Greenfield Creative: 815-901-3403
- Zea Mays Holdings: 815-895-2818
- Shop-in-Style: 815-751-1918
Please refrain from entering if you are sick. Any type of City payments may be deposited in the drop box located on the outside of Sycamore Center (Somonauk Street side) at 308 West State Street or at the drive-up box at the Sycamore Public Works Department at 475 North Cross Street.
If you make an appointment to visit a City facility, please adhere to the following: 1) only one customer may enter the office at a time; 2) maintain a safe social distance; and 3) please have your materials ready in order to make your visit as efficient as possible.
By order of the State of Illinois Governor’s Office, restaurants may begin outdoor dining as early as May 29, 2020. The City of Sycamore has worked to accommodate outdoor dining options for all restaurants, broken into two categories:
- Restaurants and Bars with Private Parking Lots or Existing Outdoor Seating (not located on sidewalks):
- Restaurants and bars will be required to fill out, sign and return the Phase 3 Temporary Outdoor Dining and Liquor Permit Application available on the City website or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org for an application. There will be no fee associated with this application.
- Restaurants and bars must follow the Outdoor Dining Guidelines for Restaurants and Bars provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce.
- Restaurants without Private Outdoor Space Options
The City of Sycamore will create two outdoor dining areas for restaurant patrons which will open at 3:00 PM on Friday, May 29th. The first area is located on Somonauk Street between Route 64 and Joe Bussone Blvd (the Alley), and the second is located in Parking Lot 4 (located between 7-Eleven and State Theatre).
- Patrons can order take-out from various restaurants and utilize these areas to eat at.
- Patrons must follow the posted guidelines at the areas, including sanitizing eating area. (Cleaning solution will be provided).
- Restaurants must continue to follow the Outdoor Dining Guidelines for Restaurants and Bars provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce.
- There will be no liquor served or consumed at these areas.
- There is no application or fee to utilize the areas.
- Patrons will be limited to 45 minutes at a table, and no more than 6 people to a table.
- Restaurants must provide restrooms accessible to patrons.
- There will be hand-sanitizer stations and refuse cans available in these areas.
Department Heads will be meeting daily to review the submitted applications to ensure that the City expedites the permits. Mayor Lang will need to sign-off on any outdoor liquor applications as the Liquor Commissioner.
PLEXIGLASS SAFETY SHIELDS
The City Council has approved a program to provide a plexiglass safety shield to each of our businesses. The shields, made at Upstaging, Inc. right here in Sycamore, will help businesses as they operate with limitations or prepare for reopening under the phased-in Restore Illinois Plan. The program will also help protect residents who visit our businesses. The program provides one shield per business that has a physical operating location in the City of Sycamore and interacts with customers.
The shields are 37 inches tall and 31 inches wide with a cut out at the bottom for business transactions and has legs to stand on their own. The shields should be available in approximately one week. If you want to purchase additional screens, you may do so on the application form as well.
We are all in this together. Each shield will include a Sycamore Strong sticker, a small sign of how the Sycamore community supports one another. To request their shield, businesses should CLICK HERE to complete the application. Please send completed applications to SAFETYSHIELDPROGRAM@CITYOFSYCAMORE.COM.
PAYMENT DEADLINE EXTENSIONS
To provide some assistance to impacted businesses and residents, the City is planning to extend payment deadlines for the following:
- Restaurant and bar tax payments will be extended until June 30th.
- Hotel-motel tax payments will be extended until June 30th.
- Local gas tax ($0.02 per gallon tax) payments will be extended until June 30th.
- Penalties on water bills will not accrue until June 30th. Water shut off notices will also cease until June 30th.
- Penalties on parking tickets will not accrue until June 30th.
- All City liquor and tabacco licenses will automatically renew as of May 1st with payment due by August 1st. Please see below for more liquor license information.
Please check the City’s website for periodic updates. The City will continue to monitor this situation and will make any necessary adjustments in the future.
DCEO DOWNSTATE SMALL BUSINESS STABILIZATION PROGRAM
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has put forth the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program to assist private for-profit small businesses considered non-essential by the Governor’s Executive Order without the ability for employees to work remotely. Businesses must have at least one full-time equivalent (FTE) employee other than the owner(s) but must not exceed 50 employees (total number of people employed) including the business owner(s).
The City of Sycamore is exploring opportunities to partner with local businesses to facilitate the application and, if awarded, the administration of these grant funds.
Please note: DCEO will review all applications and make the final determination of whether a business is awarded a grant and the amount of the grant. The City of Sycamore does not determine eligibility or award status.
For more information on the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program including eligibility requirements and how to apply, please click here.
The City Council will be holding a public hearing on the first round of grant applications at the City Council meeting on May 4, 2020 at 7 PM.
If you would like to receive additional information from the City as it becomes available, please click here and submit your contact information.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided $349 billion for a small-business loan program. Banks and the Small Business Administration (SBA) have been overwhelmed with applications since the program began on April 3. Under the CARES Act, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will manage payroll-protection loans for qualifying organizations with fewer than 500 employees. Lenders were authorized to start processing loan applications for small businesses and sole proprietors on April 3 and independent contractors and self-employed workers on April 10.
As a reminder the Payroll-protection loans can be applied to expenses incurred in an eight-week period between Feb. 15 and June 30 and may be used for payroll costs, health care, rent, utilities and other business debts. Businesses are generally eligible if they employ fewer than 500 employees. However, businesses that employ 500 or more workers may participate if they meet the SBA’s size standards for their industry. Independent contractors and self-employed people are also eligible, as well as independently owned franchises that are SBA approved and employ less than 500 workers. Additionally, each store location could be eligible.
Loans may be forgivable if certain criteria are met. Applicants can apply until June 30, but they should get started as soon as possible in case the funding cap is reached before additional money is made available. Small businesses can apply through established SBA lenders or other participating financial institutions, and additional regulated lenders will soon be approved to participate in the program. Please consult with your local lender for more information on the CARES Act.
WASTE MANAGEMENT CHANGES
Waste Management has announced that they will resume bulk item collection starting the week of May 11, 2020. For more information, please click here.
Yard waste collection started on April 1, 2020.
At present, Waste Management is maintaining their standard collection schedule for trash and recycle and is not experiencing any collection interruptions. If circumstances change that may impact their ability to provide services as scheduled, they will provide updates to customers and communities.
For more information:
For the most up-to-date service information, please visit www.wm.com/alerts.
SBA COVID-19 ASSISTANCE
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). In addition, the SBA has provided the attached handout re: low interest disaster assistance loans. To view the U.S. Small Business Administration’s informational flyer on the Disaster Loan Program including information on areas that are eligible for loans and more—please CLICK HERE. To submit an application for a loan with SBA, go to HTTPS://WWW.SBA.GOV/FUNDING-PROGRAMS/DISASTER-ASSISTANCE.
LIQUOR AND TOBACCO LICENSES UPDATE
All City of Sycamore liquor and tabacco licenses are set to expire on April 30, 2020. The City continues to look for ways to assist businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Toward that end, the City is automatically renewing liquor and tabacco licenses as of May 1, 2020. Payment of fees will be extended until August 1st for the license year.
If you are a current liquor or tabacco license holder, you do not need to do anything to renew your license at this time. The City will send the renewal letter that is usually sent in March at a later date outlining the modified process.
Class B liquor license holders are permitted to sell packaged liquor for off premises consumption in accordance with the City Code.
Any Class A liquor license holder wishing to be temporarily allowed to sell packaged liquor for off premises consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis should contact the City at 815-895-4853 for permission.
BUILDING INSPECTION AND SUBMITTAL CHANGES
Effective immediately, the Sycamore Community Development Department will be performing building inspections and accepting submittals with the following conditions:
- To protect employees, residents and contractors, inspections in occupied homes will be performed on a case-by-case basis until further notice. If you require an inspection within an occupied home, please contact us at 815-895-4434 to discuss.
- Person-to-person meetings are being scheduled by appointment only unless it is an emergency. If you require a person-to-person meeting, please call 815-895-4434 to schedule. Masks or face shields and proper social distancing are required for all person-to-person meetings.
- Should an Inspector be presented with a Customer who is visibly sick, coughing or sneezing, the Inspector will leave the premises immediately and the inspection will be rescheduled for another time.
- During inspections, all individuals present at the inspection are asked to maintain a minimum six foot separation from each other. Additionally, no more than 10 people should be present at any inspection.
- When/if possible, please limit the individuals present at the inspection to essential personnel. This would typically include the General Contractor or their agent and respective trade personnel.
- If an Inspector encounters a situation they deem unsafe, the Inspector will leave the premises immediately and report the incident. We will then contact the Customer to make appropriate arrangements for the inspection.
- Access to the Community Development office area is limited to Community Development Personnel only until further notice. The foyer is still open to the public to accept submittals and allow Customers to access the various permit applications and brochures.
- Person-to-person meetings are being scheduled by appointment only unless it is an emergency. If you require a person-to-person meeting, please call 815-895-4434 to schedule. Masks or face shields and proper social distancing are required for all person-to-person meetings within the Community Development Department.
- Under the circumstances, we are encouraging Customers to e-mail permit submittals; generally smaller (8 ½ x 11 or 11 x 17 format). Larger submittals (plan sets, construction manuals, submittals with more than 5 pages) must still be submitted in hard copy format.
- Hard copy submittals should be left in the file hanger – to the left as you enter our front/exterior door OR you can use the exterior drop box to the left of our front/exterior door.
WATER DIVISION CHANGES
To protect employees and residents, water meter replacements are not being performed at this time. Once we are able to make appointments, letters will be sent.
Unreadable meters will not be assessed an estimated bill fee at this time.
New construction meter installation will continue to be performed by appointment. Please call 815-895-4516 to schedule.
The utility billing office is closed to the general public until further notice.
- Checks and Money Orders may be placed in City drop boxes located at the Sycamore Center (Somonauk Street side of building at 308 W State St) and at Public Works (475 N Cross St).
- At this time, cash is not accepted.
- Residents are encouraged to utilize electronic payment options:
SOLICITOR PERMIT CHANGES
With the City of Sycamore’s offices closed due to COVID-19, the City will not be issuing solicitor permits until further notice.
CONTINUE TO SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES
Governor Pritzker has issued an Executive Order suspending operations of all bars and restaurants in Illinois.
Please remember to support your local businesses during this difficult time. Many restaurants and bars are open for carry-out, curb-side pick-up or delivery. These businesses depend on your continued patronage. Please consider supporting a local business today!
We appreciate your patience and cooperation during this unique situation. If we all work together, we can continue to move things forward with some semblance of normalcy. However, we all need to understand that certain precautions are necessary that may result in additional steps and require more time than before. Rest assured, our current plan is to keep forging ahead as much as we are able to in order to service our Customers.