For the second straight year, the town of Oyster Bay will waive a host of permit fees for local restaurants, Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino said Monday.
Fees being waived to help restaurants recover from the pandemic include the cost of permits for building outdoor seating space for patrons, including tents, heaters and other coverings and structures, Saladino said in his announcement with town board members.
"We've got to keep our business strong in the town of Oyster Bay," Saladino said in front of Craft 387 Bistro & Bar in Plainview. "... Our restaurants have faced tremendous pressure and many obstacles to remain open."
Restaurants on Long Island and throughout New York State beyond New York City can operate at 75% capacity indoors. In the city, restaurants are limited to 50% capacity indoors.
But while the governor announced the lifting of curfews on gyms, bowling alleys, casinos and pool halls beginning April 5, he has said the 11 p.m. curfew for restaurants and midnight curfew for catered events remains in place, with an announcement coming in April.
Saladino, on Monday, called for the curfew to be lifted.
"Today we're calling on New York State to fully eliminate the arbitrary curfews that have been put on local restaurants," he said. "They don't make sense."
The supervisor added that sparking the decision to waive fees and call for an end to the curfew was a late-2020 state survey that indicated upward of 60% of all restaurants could close without government-funded financial assistance, while just 1.4% of new COVID cases statewide had been linked to bars and restaurants. However, that survey was done while capacities were at 50% or less.
With Reece T. Williams
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