By Bob Uphues
Riverside's village government offices inside the Riverside Township Hall, 27 Riverside Road, and Brookfield Village Hall, 8820 Brookfield Ave., will be closed to the public until further notice due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases locally.
The closure was effective in Riverside as of Nov. 18, while the village of Brookfield closed its front counter window as of Nov. 23.
Village staff will be working onsite in their offices, said Riverside Village Manager Jessica Frances, and will be available by phone (708-447-2700) and email during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Residents are encouraged to conduct village business online through the village website at riverside.il.us. The village's Community Development Department will continue to schedule inspections, and staff will wear appropriate PPE when they make site visits, Frances said.
"We just want to make sure we're protecting people as much as possible," she said.
The Riverside Village Board's next meeting, which had been scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 19, has been canceled. The village board moved earlier this month to hold its meetings virtually. That practice will continue for the foreseeable future. The village board is still planning to hold two meetings in December, although that could change.
As was the case during the first wave of the pandemic in spring and early summer, village hall employees will be available through phone (708-485-7344) or email. Half will be working onsite and half offsite on any given day.
More information is available at the village of Brookfield's website at brookfieldil.gov.
All recreation programs were canceled as of Nov. 20, as the governor's Tier 3 COVID-19 mitigation measures took effect.
Village board meetings will also follow the model adopted in March. At least half of the trustees will attend meetings via Zoom and village staff will participate from their offices unless presenting information to the board. No more than 10 people will be allowed in the council chamber at any one time.
North Riverside Village Commons still open
North Riverside Village Administrator Sue Scarpiniti said the Village Commons building remains open to the public as does the front counter window, although residents are encouraged to call or email and to use the new drop box that's been erected out front of the building to pay bills.
"We've had very little foot traffic here, so we're going to remain open, for now," Scarpiniti said.
Meanwhile, North Riverside Mayor Hubert Hermanek Jr. announced last week that the village board meeting scheduled for Dec. 14 and future meetings until further notice would be conducted virtually and accessible to residents via Zoom.
North Riverside Parks and Recreation Director Teresa Mrozik confirmed that all of her department's programming was on hiatus, except for its preschool and bus service.
"We will be back at the drawing board creating new adapted programming whether it's virtual, outdoors, etc.," Mrozik wrote in an email.
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported that the seven-day rolling COVID-19 positivity rate in Region 10, which includes all of suburban Cook County, was 15.9 percent as of Nov. 14.
As a result, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced he was imposing further restrictions effective Nov. 20.
Those restrictions include limiting retail and big box stores to 25 percent of capacity and grocery stores to 50 percent capacity. Health and fitness centers can operate at 25 percent capacity, masks must be worn at all times regardless of spacing, locker rooms should be closed and indoor group classes are prohibited
Indoor recreation and performance centers, video gambling parlors, theaters and indoor museum spaces must close and outdoor group activities are limited to 10 people or fewer.