St. Joseph Mayor Tami Fruhling-Voges wants St. Joseph residents to be patient with one another as the State of Illinois enters Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan.
“Over the last three months, our community along with the rest of the world has experienced something that none of us could have ever imagined. Each of us will remember this time in different ways,” Fruhling-Voges wrote in a letter to residents of St. Joseph. “For some, it’s been a time to reflect on where our life priorities should be and may have been able to enjoy the time to slow down their pace of living, but for others, it’s been a troubling time either for health, financial, business survival, or concerns of living in a free society. As we navigate our way through the next few days, weeks, and months ahead please be patient with each other.”
Fruhling-Voges wrote the letter as a way to explain changes residents may see in downtown St. Joseph.
“To allow some of our businesses to take advantage of the Governor’s announcement to move into Phase 3, the village has worked out a plan to give them some space temporarily in our downtown,” she said. “Unfortunately, our downtown has limited parking, but accommodations have been made to try and make the best of the situation.”
Fruhling-Voges asked residents to take extra precautions as they drive through the downtown on Lincoln Street.
Lincoln Street from Third Street to Second Street will remain one way while the village allows outdoor seating for restaurants.
“Our community has done a great job so far to give the village’s businesses their support,” she said. “I encourage you to continue to shop local, support the curbside services, take advantage of some outdoor dining and be sure to thank those business owners for doing an extraordinary job serving our community during this time. St. Joseph is fortunate to have every one of them.”
Fruhling-Voges said the village is continuing to monitor the guidelines set forth by the State of Illinois to open the parks slowly and safely.
Beginning next week, the village can allow practices at the ball fields, the tennis courts will be open and within the week the village will open the restrooms.
The pavilions and picnic tables are available for use, but large gatherings and the playgrounds are still prohibited. The Municipal Building will open to the public during regular business hours but renting the meeting room will still be limited.
“We encourage our community to continue to follow the guidelines set forth by the state and local Public Health Departments,” Fruhling-Voges said. “Thank you for being such a great group of residents. Continue to share those welcoming smiles, lending a helpful hand, saying a kind word, and please work with us as we make those steps to bring our lives back to a healthy and safe normal.”