Concern, doubt, frustration about reopening

Rep. Dan Caulkins gives local business leaders a platform to talk about easing COVID restrictions


CLINTON — Rep. Dan Caulkins heard a mixture of concern, doubt and frustration as he and the Clinton Chamber of Commerce hosted an online town hall meeting on May 15 to let local business leaders talk about their experiences during the state stay-at-home order.
There were observations about what some businesses were doing to adapt to current conditions, while there also was some frustration expressed with state government.
“That’s going to be tough to recover,” YMCA executive director Rennie Cluver said about potential lost Y programing.  “And, when we start to reopen, now we’re going to have to have more staff that’s going to be in control of members going in and out of the facility and cleaning and disinfecting.”

He also said the Y wouldn’t be able to run its youth programs and summer camp the way it normally does.
“And, that generates a lot of revenue because, honestly, our operational costs …they don’t get backed by our membership dues enough to pay for staff and operations costs,” Cluver said.  “We rely heavily on programming.”
Cluver said the Y’s PPP loan would take the organization through about the middle of June.
“And then, we’re going to be relying on operational revenue.”
Caulkins said he didn’t feel enough direction had been provided so far by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) about what facilities such as YMCAs and other health club sites needed to do upon reopening.  He said those businesses needed guidelines so they know what to do.

• See the complete story in the Friday, 5/22 print edition of the Clinton Journal or right now on the Journal E-Edition.