Marengo and Harvard have become the latest to enact a ban on unscheduled migrant bus drop-offs and to impose large fines for bus operators who violate the measure.
The Marengo City Council voted on the migrant bus ordinance during its city council meeting last Monday.
The ordinance, which applies to omnibus drivers who have capacity for more than 10 passengers, passed unanimously.
“The City of Marengo is not in a position to care for a large influx of individuals who do not have the resources to provide housing and other basic necessities for themselves,” Marengo Assistant City Administrator Nick Radcliffe said in a memorandum recommending the proposed ordinance be approved.
“The City Council has confirmed it is in the best interests of the health, safety and welfare of the City and its residents to coordinate the arrival of any large influx of individuals who cannot care for themselves and to ensure that proper care for these individuals is available rather than responding on an emergency basis to unexpected to drop-offs at all hours of the day or night and in all weather conditions,” Radcliffe said.
The ordinance imposes a minimum fine for bus operators of $750 per passenger dropped off without a city-approved application.
Bus operators must provide at least 48 hours of written notice to the Marengo city clerk.
On Tuesday, the Harvard City Council unanimously passed a similar ordinance cracking down on migrant bus drop-offs.
The city council amended its city code by creating a new subsection called “Chartered Transportation Drop-Off License.”
Like the Marengo ordinance, the Harvard ordinance also mentioned that the town cannot “safely and effectively” address a sudden and unexpected arrival of large volumes of people in need of assistance.
The ordinance said the city is concerned about the safety and welfare of passengers who would arrive unexpectedly in the community.
The ordinance applies to commercial motor vehicles that have six or more passengers disembark in the city, other than on a predictable and recurring basis, and do not follow a schedule published in advance.
Bus operators who wish to drop off migrants in Harvard are required to submit an application to the city administrator at least five days in advance.
Anyone who violates the ordinance can be fined $750 per passenger dropped off in Harvard.
The two towns are the latest in McHenry County to enact migrant bus ordinances. McHenry, Woodstock and Crystal Lake have already passed similar measures.