By Jean Seegers


Several business owners in the village of Roscoe voiced their opinions regarding the mandatory mitigation orders being imposed statewide by Illinois Governor Pritzker, and the Winnebago County Health Department during the Dec. 1, virtual Village meeting.

A letter was sent Nov. 20, to Village Trustees by Administrator Scott Sanders regarding the Tier Three Mitigation order.  According to the letter, “All cultural institutions, banquet and event spaces, gaming and casinos, and indoor service at bars and restaurants will cease. New occupancy restrictions will be imposed at indoor recreation and health and fitness centers, pharmacies, personal care, retail, and grocery establishments”.

(A complete list is available on the Village homepage –

Additionally, on Nov. 18, a letter written by President Szula, was hand-delivered to all bar and restaurant owners. In the letter, Szula said the Illinois Control Act authorizes local liquor commissions to immediately order the closure of a licensed establishment if it is believed they are continuing to operate and threaten the welfare of the community,

In doing so, the business risks the imposition of fines and also the possibility of a suspension or revocation of their Village of Roscoe liquor licenses.

The Village’s Declaration of Local State of Emergency and Disaster plan was reissued on Nov. 1., 2020. According to the Village Code of Ordinances the Village president is authorized to issue orders to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

In a letter addressing liquor license holders, Szula stated, “Unfortunately, due to the lack of voluntary compliance with, and in some cases in outright defiance of the recommendations of our public health officials, the number of COVID-19 cases in the Village, the county and the State of Illinois has continued to surge.”

The letter stated: The local Liquor Commission is authorized to immediately order the closure of a licensed premises if he there is reasonable evidence that to continue operations would be a threat to the welfare of the community. There is also the possibility of a suspension or revocation of the liquor licenses

“Pursuant to Village of Roscoe Ordinance No. 2020-22, violations of executive orders issued by the Illinois Governor or by the Roscoe Village President are punishable by a fine of up to $750 per day.”

Seven business owners took the opportunity to voice their objection to the proclamation at the virtual meeting. Several angry restaurant owners, including Fati Mixha, owner of Jessica’s Restaurant, said staying open is a matter of survival for his family-owned business.

“We are more than willing to wear masks, social distance and provide curbside delivery if possible” but, Mixha said, “We will be forced to close our restaurant if President Szula and the board enforce the mitigation order. President Szula isn’t willing to work with us.”

Mixha said a court date is scheduled for Dec.15. The restaurant remains open for indoor dining.

Poison Ivy Restaurant and Bar owner Steve Quies said. “We are going to have to go out of business. The mitigation order is killing us. I’m begging you to reconsider. Our customers are now going to Beloit. We may have lost them permanently.” Quies said he is down from 22 employees to three.

Roscoe resident Josh la Bree said he is ashamed of the way this (mitigation issue) has been handled.”

“We are all in a hard spot,” Ryan Asta, owner of Louie’s Tap said.  “We want and need your help and your support. We are asking you to rescind some of your decisions.”

Szula said the Village Trustees has been meeting remotely for about nine months in an effort to safeguard the citizenry.   The Driver’s License Bureau, located in the building, is now closed until further notice.

“We have a responsibility to all residents as things currently stand.  We are all in this together.” 

On Friday, Dec. 4, regional civic leaders, States Attorney’s Office personnel and members of the Winnebago Health Department met to look at alternate option in the mitigation order.

The next virtual Village meeting is scheduled for Dec. 15, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend. Follow instructions on the village website –

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