City of Tuscaloosa could give money to bars closed by executive order

What's next for bars owners in Tuscaloosa?

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Tuscaloosa Mayor Maddox says he’s working on a plan to help bars that he ordered closed Monday through his executive order.

It’s part of an effort to stop a spike in coronavirus cases at the University of Alabama. Five hundred and thirty one people at the university have tested positive since classes started Wednesday.

Maddox says he ordered the bars closed at the request of school officials at Alabama. They believe some of those positive COVID-19 cases are from people not wearing masks or social distancing at bars.

Tuedsay, he told WBRC, 29 bars are now closed in Tuscaloosa due to that executive order. Mayor Maddox said he wants to give some money while they’re closed, but he did not say how much.

Maddox compared it to the same way the city helped dozens of businesses recently through a small business relief fund run by the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama. The city council would have to agree to it first.

“I’m open to anything that can help those bar owners get through this. Certainly, I have an idea. Compromise is the art governing. Certainly I look forward to working with the council. But certainly what ever we do, we don’t need to hesitate,” Maddox explained.

He started having discussions with the city council before Tuesday night’s city council meeting. He’d like to reach an agreement with the council before Labor Day.

Copyright 2020 WBRC. All rights reserved.