ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — It’s been 483 days, but Monroe County’s COVID-19 state of emergency is set to expire Sunday.
On March 13 2020, Monroe County Executive Adam Bello issued a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. New York state’s COVID-19 state of emergency expired last month, as coronavirus rates steadily declined and vaccination rates increased.
“Like New York state, there is no longer a need to operate Monroe County under a state of emergency, and therefore the local declaration will expire Sunday, July 11,” Bello said.
The county executive last week that the state of emergency to remain in effect for Monroe County until at least July 11, due to an executive order designed to help local restaurants.
In December of 2020, Bello issued an emergency order to limit the fees third-party delivery services may charge local restaurants.
This emergency order only impacts restaurants within the county and does not apply to businesses with 10 or more locations throughout New York state.
Under Bello’s emergency order, third-party delivery services such as GrubHub, DoorDash and UberEats are prohibited from charging any restaurant in Monroe County a delivery fee of more than 15% of the purchase price of any order, regardless of whether that order is placed through a mobile app, an online portal or other means.
That executive order will expire Sunday with the county’s state of emergency, but the county executive called on the Monroe County Legislature to make the executive order on third-party delivery service fee caps a permanent local law.
“The time has come for the Monroe County Legislature to step up and act to make this cost-saving measure permanent to protect and support local restaurants in Monroe County,” Bello said. “It was previously tabled by the County Legislature’s Republican majority. We’re here today to call on the legislature and President Joe Carbone to finally pass the delivery fee cap local law so this can become a permanent law to help residents across our community.”
Bello was joined Friday by Legislature Minority Leader Yversha Roman (D-26), legislator Rachel Barnhart (D-21), and Mercedes Vazquez-Simmons, Democratic candidate for the legislature’s 22nd district.
“I introduced legislation to cap those commissions at 15% and Republicans tabled the bill, but the county executive acted by issuing an executive order and six months later we know that the order worked,” Barnhart said. “The executive order saved individual restaurants thousands of dollars over the past six months it has been in effect. It made the difference for restaurants to be open and closing and laying off staff.”
A statement Friday from Monroe County Majority Office spokesperson Bridget Harvey:
“The County Executive’s announcement is the height of hypocrisy. Time and again, he has acted contrary to the best interests of local businesses. Just last month, County Executive Bello vetoed a law that would provide greater transparency to small businesses who have struggled over the past year and a half. Any claim that the County Executive is an advocate for business is just another attempt to mislead the public.”
Full press conference
This is a developing story. News 8 WROC will provide updates as they become available.