HURON — In a debate that got contentious at times, the Huron city commission voted 4-1 to enact a new COVID-19 resolution No. 2021-02 that encapsulated all currently active resolutions into one resolution.
Commissioner Doug Kludt spoke against the resolution, indicating that this was not the right time to “take the foot off the gas” in the fight against the virus within the city. He spoke of the positive effects of the measures taken by the city to reduce cases, but he also mentioned a recent rise in new positive cases and active cases that concerned him about passing this resolution at this time.
Commissioner Kludt also spoke strongly against removing the individual “mask mandate” that was laid forth in November by the commission and instead allowing the businesses in town to determine whether or not masking should be required in their business.
Other discussion on the evening indicated that residents who are not pleased with a lack of caution set forth by a business can choose not to enter that business and “vote with their feet” by not spending money at the establishment.
The first action of the resolution required a second reading of the repeal of Ordinance 2207 that was enacted last March and effectively closed many businesses in the city. The first indication of the resolution is that the businesses indicated in the first four paragraphs of that ordinance may further reopen to serve patrons, in accordance with the provisions laid out in the resolution.
Those provisions include that employees receive daily temperature checks and illness screenings when practical, encouraging social distancing in waiting/entry areas, encouraging electronic payments rather than cash, encouraging a Plexiglass or similar divider where practical in areas of customer/staff interaction, encouraging curbside pickup and drive-through, encouraging sick employees to stay at home, limiting access to common areas, and other provisions.
The resolution does provide for banquet areas to open to one person per 25 square feet at all sizes and expands the capacity limit to 75% rather than 50% that was previously in place. It also requires food service and wait staff to wear a mask when dealing with patrons unless other protective barriers are in place.
The city also voted to approve a second reading of Ordinance 2221-5-130 establishing new and edited special event alcohol licenses and consumption permit guidelines within the city.
City engineer Brett Runge presented two items to the commission Monday evening. The first is a used paver for the street department to be purchased from Asphalt Paving at a cost of $35,000. The paver is a Caterpillar brand, which allows for it to be serviced in town and should allow for better work to be done by the street department as a whole.
The second item from city engineer Runge was to set a bid opening for 2 p.m. on March 23 for Project 2021-23, which is the Third Street reconstruction from Union Street to Pennington Avenue. This was approved by commissioners.
• Approved alcoholic beverage consumption in public area permit for Huron Chamber and Visitors Bureau for a wine and art exhibition March 12.
• Approved alcoholic beverage consumption in public area permit for Holy Trinity Catholic School for a radio days variety show at the Fine Arts Center on March 27.
• Approved a raffle for Huron Elks for April 24.
• Approved the opening and advertising of a Park Maintenance I position for the Parks and Rec Department.
• Approved the hire of Judy Postolka as part-time library clerk.
• Approved the hire of Alexandra Kirk as Central Park Manager.
• Approved the hire of Brad Bruns as Solid Waste Maintenance I.
• Approved the hire of Karissa Schroder, Brooklyn Boetel, Brylee Hamilton, Montana Picek, Beth Iverson, Madyson Schroder, and Jesse Iverson for seasonal positions with the Parks and Rec Department.