Why Buffalo Grove isn't joining other suburbs' efforts to alter Pritzker plan

  • Unlike several of their Northwest suburban neighbors, Buffalo Grove trustees Monday chose not to pass a resolution urging Gov. J.B. Pritzker to modify his Restore Illinois plan to potentially allow suburban businesses to reopen sooner.

    Unlike several of their Northwest suburban neighbors, Buffalo Grove trustees Monday chose not to pass a resolution urging Gov. J.B. Pritzker to modify his Restore Illinois plan to potentially allow suburban businesses to reopen sooner. Daily Herald File Photo

  • Dane Bragg, Buffalo Grove village manager

    Dane Bragg, Buffalo Grove village manager

 
Updated 5/19/2020 8:04 PM

Citing concerns that it could pit one part of the village against the other, the Buffalo Grove village board decided Monday not to take action on a resolution urging Gov. J.B. Pritzker to modify his Restore Illinois plan.

Trustees were most vocal in their opposition to the measure's suggestion that the state replace the reopening plan's four regions with the previously established 11 Emergency Medical Services Regions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Village Manager Dane Bragg pointed out that under that proposal, Buffalo Grove would sit in two EMS regions. That could potentially lead to one part of the village being in a different reopening phase than the other.

"There could be different statistics from each of those two EMS regions, which means we could have businesses that have different regulations depending on their location," he said. "So the best example I can give to you of that is the Jersey Mike's on the east side of (Route) 83 may be restricted from opening, but the Jimmy John's on the west side of 83 may be allowed to open under that scenario."

Bragg said there isn't enough data available to determine whether the resolution ­-- proposed by the Northwest Municipal Conference, a consortium of 42 suburbs and Northfield Township -- would help or hurt the village. Similar resolutions were approved Monday night by village leaders in Palatine, Arlington Heights and Hoffman Estates.

Trustee Joanne Johnson said she is not in favor of the plan because it would divide the village.

"It pits our businesses against each other," she said. "It could be confusing to our residents. It could be confusing to a lot of people."

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Pointing out Lake County's high positivity rate for COVID-19 tests, Johnson said being split into two regions may result in northern Buffalo Grove opening later than under the current plan.

"We could be punishing ourselves," she said. "We're actually getting a gift by being able to be clumped in with these other counties."

Trustee Andrew Stein said he doesn't want to see the village "split into basically two halves."

"It tugs at my heartstrings that we have got businesses that would like to open a little bit sooner," he said. "I just think it makes more sense to go with the governor's plan."

Trustee Gregory Pike said the resolution undermines the governor and could hinder the village's ability to get state and federal help to fill pandemic-related budget gaps.

The resolution also urges the governor to allow restaurants to reopen in Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan -- which could begin May 29 -- rather than Phase 4.

"There are obviously health concerns with that," Bragg said. "We are looking at ways that we could accommodate outdoor seating for restaurants, even in Phase 3, so that there would be, for example, in open air shopping centers, there may be some common tables and places that people could sit outside and eat. We're still researching a lot of details related to that that are independent of this resolution."

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