Bus
File Photo | Photo: Michael Beaton / Presidio of Monterey Public Affairs (Public Domain)

The mayor says the city council will vote on an ordinance that would allow Woodstock to impound buses and fine operators over $10,000 if they drop off migrants without notice.

Woodstock Mayor Michael Turner told Lake and McHenry County Scanner on Friday that the city council will be considering a bus ordinance.

The city council will vote on the ordinance, titled “Unscheduled Drop-Off of Large Groups in the City,” during a meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Turner said the ordinance is modeled after the City of Chicago and the City of Aurora’s bus ordinances targeting migrant drop-offs.

Under those ordinances, bus companies transporting migrants are required to notify the respective cities several days in advance of any arrivals by submitting an application.

The ordinances allow the cities to impound buses and fine bus companies.

Woodstock’s proposed ordinance would allow the city to issue violators fines of $10,000 plus $750 per passenger in addition to impounding buses pending a hearing.

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Last week, an unknown number of migrants were dropped off by bus on December 21 at the Pingree Road Metra station in Crystal Lake.

The McHenry County Blog obtained a video of the migrants waiting at the train station after unloading from the bus.

The City of Crystal Lake issued a statement on Thursday saying that asylum seekers are using buses and train services, including train stations in McHenry County, to access resources in Chicago.

The city said they will coordinate with the McHenry County Emergency Management Agency to help facilitate migrants being transported to “locations where appropriate resources are available.”

Officials said Crystal Lake is pursuing options to discourage bus operators from unsafely dropping off migrants in Crystal Lake. The measure would prevent the arrival of buses without prior notice.

“Maintaining the quality of life for all residents, businesses and visitors, along with having compassion for others, is a hallmark of our community. The City will continue to promote these values as it navigates this on-going situation,” the statement said.

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The McHenry City Council is set to vote Friday evening on an ordinance that will allow the city to impound buses and fine operators $10,000 for dropping off migrants without notice.

McHenry Mayor Wayne Jett said the ordinance aims to deter bus drivers from entering McHenry and dropping off migrants.

Commercial motor vehicles will be required to contact city officials five days in advance and pay a small fee if they are dropping off 10 or more passengers.

The ordinance does not apply to vehicles that operate on a “predictable and recurring basis” like school buses and does not apply to buses for private events such as weddings and parties.

Bus drivers who drop off migrants without proper notice will have their buses impounded, Jett said.

The ordinance increases the vehicle impound fee from $500 to $10,000, which will have to be paid as a bond for the bus to be released. The bond is refundable if they are found not guilty of the violation, Jett said.

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Signs will be posted at all entrances to the City of McHenry warning of the consequences.

On Saturday, the Village of Fox River Grove said a group of 38 migrants were transported from Texas and dropped off at the village’s Metra station.

The individuals were falsely told they had arrived in Chicago and disembarked from their bus.

The village said arrangements facilitated by accompanying guides were made for Metra train tickets and the migrants continued their journey from Fox River Grove to Chicago on the train.