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A proposed Delano ordinance could mean fines for businesses, residents explained

A proposed Delano ordinance could mean fines for businesses, residents explained
Posted at 11:18 PM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-09 03:42:09-05

DELANO, Calif. — On Thursday the Delano City Council was set to discuss a new ordinance that would crackdown on those who aren't following the stay-at-home-order.

Friday, 23ABC was able to speak with the council member, Salvador Solorio-Ruiz, who proposed the ordinance.

Liliana Ontiveros owns El Cosalteco, a restaurant in Delano. She's been complying with the stay at home order but says it's tough to stay afloat when other businesses are still allowing customers to dine in.

"I hear you and I see you," said Solorio-Ruiz.

That's part of the reason newly-elected council member Solorio-Ruiz is proposing a new ordinance that would fine residents and businesses not following the state orders.

The ordinance would limit outdoor gatherings to 10 people from different households and would enforce state orders for businesses.

"We are not shutting down businesses what this is doing is it will be providing an administrative citation. There is no letter [that will be given] saying you have to shut down this or that it's just saying 'hey we have to do our part and follow state orders as well as bringing down the COVID numbers-and of course not doing dine in services,'" added Ruiz.

The first penalty would be a warning, the second time would be a $100 fine, then $200, then $500 for each additional citation.

Ruiz, says this will apply to both small and large businesses, however, he says the city cannot enforce what happens inside of homes.

"This does not target homes. This only targets outdoor gatherings and businesses, because the ordinance does not allow us to enter the homes, so outside gatherings like a park or in front of a home," said Ruiz.

Ruiz said if passed, code enforcement would be overseeing the proposed ordinance. Ruiz hopes this will help business owners like Ontiveros survive the pandemic and level the playing field for business owners.

"I would be for it only if all the businesses and certain retail stores followed it, and if they shut down I would shutdown. And every business is already going day by day on top of that to add fines it's going to be hard for a small business," said Ontiveros.

Officials have not chosen the next date for the continued meeting, but shares it will most likely happen as early as next week and will notify the public online and through social media.