NPR from Illinois State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Issues at WGLT's transmitter site are temporarily limiting our broadcast signal to low power. Thanks for your patience as we make repairs.

Bloomington's COVID Fines To Help District 87 Families

Tari Renner
As mayor, Tari Renner is also Bloomington's liquor commissioner.

The City of Bloomington is sending the fine money it has collected for COVID violations to District 87 to help families in need over the holidays.

The city has already collected $4,800 in fines from nine businesses that violated state COVID rules on masks and indoor service. That money will be rerouted to District 87 to help it support low-income families over the holiday season, the city said Tuesday.

“Our intent in the city in enforcing the rules was to achieve compliance. It was never about the city collecting money,” Mayor Tari Renner said Tuesday on WGLT’s Sound Ideas. “So we want to make sure that establishments understand the importance of protecting the health of residents during this crisis.”

Superintendent Barry Reilly said District 87 assists families identified by school counselors, administrators, and teachers, and that he expects to be able to help 50 families or more when combining the city’s contribution with other funds.

He said sometimes families don’t have enough money to buy gifts. Others struggle to cover basic necessities like food, rent or utilities.

“I’m proud of the city for stepping up and keeping these funds in the community,” Reilly said in a statement. “The city has decided to provide an important community service and that to me is a win for our families in need.”

More fines could be coming in. Joe’s Pub and Western Tap are scheduled to appear before the Bloomington Liquor Commission on Tuesday afternoon. They’re also accused of violating state COVID mitigation rules.

There's no subscription fee to listen or read our stories. Everyone can access this essential public service thanks to community support. Donate now, and help fund your public media.

Ryan Denham is the content director for WGLT and WCBU.