Local businesses busted for breaking COVID-19 rules

Published: May. 6, 2020 at 11:16 PM CDT
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A number of Waco businesses have been cited for not following COVID-19 regulations--some more than once--according to city records.

Since March, 10 citations have been given to seven businesses, according to City of Waco Code Enforcement officials.

"For the most part folks have been complying, but we have had to do ten citations," said Chris Randazzo, Code Enforcement Supervisor-Inspection Services.

Businesses with one citation include Cabela's at 2700 Market Place Dr., One Stop Food Mart at 3130 North 18th St., 254 Boutique at 516 North New Road., Bosque Smoke Shop at 1417 Sunset St., and Monopoly at 3400 Bosque Blvd.

Orange Theory Fitness at 1428 Wooded Acres Dr. received two citations.

Topping the list was Mr. Greek at 2625 West Waco Dr., which was cited three times.

Each citation comes with a fine ranging from $1 to $1,000 to be determined by a municipal court judge.

City officials say they've been getting thousands calls on suspected violators.

"We've accepted well over 2,000 calls on this," Randazzo said.

"We start out trying to explain the rules to everybody, and then we do go out in the field and do checks."

Although the more than 2,000 calls from people reporting violations have only resulted in ten citations, the city still encourages people to call and report suspected violations and clear-up any misunderstandings of the current rules in place.

"There's been some misunderstandings and staff will explain those to folks as we get those calls, so we appreciate it when they do call," said Randazzo. "A lot of the misunderstandings have been about the number of people for gatherings."

In addition to fielding calls and investigating potential violations, code enforcement officials say their regular duties are only increasing.

"For code enforcement, this is our busy time of year," said Randazzo.

"Grass is growing, things are happening outdoors, so we're trying to address those as well as the COVID."

He says it's definitely been a balancing act.

"Like most businesses, we've had a reduced staff," said Randazzo. "We've alternated staff in the office to make sure we're complying with social distancing ourselves, but we've done a pretty good job of keeping up I believe."

In Bell County no citations have been issued, officials said.

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