Freeport City Council to vote on reduction in liquor license fee

Published: Dec. 14, 2020 at 9:21 PM CST
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FREEPORT, Ill. (WIFR) - Financial relief could be on the way for restaurants and bars in the city of Freeport in the form of a reduction in liquor license fees.

“Any relief is good relief,” Owner of Cimino’s Little Italy Sam Cimino said.

“I just can understand how difficult it must be,” Freeport First Ward Alderperson Eric Borneman said.

At Cimino’s Little Italy in Freeport, the bar is empty much of the outdoor patio area remains unseated, and Cimino says this is his new normal.

“It’s drastic you’re looking at probably 70% difference for the holiday season. It’s been horrible,” Cimino said.

Cimino’s is one of many restaurants and bars in Freeport that could get some money back if the Freeport City Council approves a motion to reduce liquor license fees.

“I’m definitely an advocate for it because what we’re seeing at this time is those who are complying the most with the governor’s restrictions are the ones who are getting hurt the worst,” Freeport Second Ward Alderperson Peter McClanathan said.

The council will take a final vote on the reduction next week if it passes fees would be 50% cheaper from May until December.

“We pay $600 every six months I think it’s 1,200 a year so $600 definitely helps,” Cimino said.

Cimino says he appreciates the aid so far but hopes more is on the way.

“I know the city is willing to do anything they’ve already shown it through other different things the restaurant tax would help if they can deduct that,” Cimino said.

The council plans to accommodate all bars and restaurants that receive 50% of their profits from liquor and food sales in the proposed relief.

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