City of Oregon to convert many parking lots into outdoor seating areas for businesses
Oregon Mayor Ken Williams announces many city parking lots will be converted into outdoor seating areas for businesses come May 29.
"We find that our downtown business districts like many in Midwestern Illinois are made up of service economies, so we're looking for ways to make them better and help them out,” said Williams.
Local owners say they’ve collaborated with the city and each other and are ready to start serving customers again.
“It’s so exciting,” said Hazel Cafe Owner Candance Rivera. “I’m over the moon.”
Many businesses are able to reopen on Friday and Oregon City leaders say they have worked with every area business to make sure they have a space for seating.
"I wanted to make sure that we even the playing field,” Oregon Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Liz Vos. “We didn't want just outdoor bars already to be able to do this, we wanted to give everyone a chance to reopen."
Owners say they’re looking forward to reopening and possibly hiring some of their workforce back.
"It will definitely be a game changer for us as of now I might be able to bring back employees,” said Rivera. “I can't do that right now at this moment so that might be awesome to give my employees their jobs back."
Mayor Williams says the city will begin to put fencing up around parking lots Thursday night, and is waiving all fees for businesses.