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R.I. Wants to Help Bars and Restaurants Re-open


Hoping to help bars and restaurants re-open after being closed for more than two months, Rock Island may relax the rules for outdoor dining and drinking. Monday night the city council will consider allowing the mayor and city manager approve applications.

Mayor Mike Thoms says usually it takes at least a couple of weeks to get permission from the city council. But he's asking for the change so Rock Island can respond quickly, and help bars and restaurants re-open when the state begins to allow outdoor seating this Friday. 

"A lot of people don't have that set up ahead of time and / or don't have much space for that. And so we are in some instances taking a look at closing some streets, or half a street,  to allow them to have more seating, using parking lots et cetera."

Mayor Thoms says he's already received quite a few phone calls about this, and hopes a lot of applications can be approved in time for a Friday re-opening.

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