Brookings Mayor Keith Corbett and Brookings City Manager Paul Briseno discuss the extension to City of Brookings Emergency Ordinance 20-005. City of Brookings COVID-19 Emergency Ordinance 20-005 has been extended through Wednesday, May 6th. The ordinance, which addresses COVID-19 public health concerns and measures which prioritize the health and safety of the Brookings community was revisited Wednesday night April 8th, 2020 at a Special City Council meeting. City Council members unanimously voted to extend the ordinance from the original date of April 8th to May 6th. An amendment was added to the ordinance to include and address loitering in groups of ten or more. The full ordinance, amendments, and details can be viewed online at: http://www.cityofbrookings.org/civicalerts.aspx?AID=2879
(Mayor, Keith Corbett) Good evening, I’m Brookings Mayor Keith Corbett. You’d never know underneath the mask -- but, we’re taking precautions to ensure that like everybody else were following CDC guidelines. Tonight, at the City Council we amended the ordinance that we passed on March 23rd and the ordinance was 20-005 to add and deal with when groups of ten or more are gathering, and that’s in violation of CDC guidelines and we spoke to that. Maybe City Manager Paul Briseno would like to speak about that more.
(City Manager, Paul Briseno) Thank you Mayor. Paul Briseno, city manager for the City of Brookings, South Dakota. Just a couple other things to add to that note. The Council did take action to extend the current ordinance to May 6th which is approximately another month. And, that reason why the staff made that recommendation to City Council is based on what we heard from national professionals as well as state. But, additionally, we did engage a lot of local health professionals here throughout our weekly discussions as well as the Brookings Economic Development Corporation, the Chamber, and CVB. So, throughout that process we heard a number of requests to extend the current ordinance based on what we’ve seen here.
Most recently the existing ordinance does also cover -- just so people clearly understand what it does address -- the existing ordinance addresses things like bars, restaurants, movie theaters, salons, barber shops, gyms, casinos, and similar type businesses so that the restrictions on those businesses will continue. Once again, the Mayor, I, everyone here continues to encourage citizens in Brookings to continue to patronize these businesses as they do offer takeout, they do offer opportunities for delivery, and for people to show up at the door and pick up their products as well. It’s imperative that we continue to try to spend local and help these businesses out as much as possible.
With the current endeavors there’s a lot of neat and innovative ideas that are coming out there. One of the most recent is cruising on Main over the weekends. Love to see people out gathering with social distance always in proximity. What we’re asking people to do as you do cruise, we ask people not to gather in groups outside of their car, otherwise we will have to address those situations. So, rather than addressing that we just encourage people to continue to enjoy the cruising on Main over the weekends. Stay in your cars and keep a safe distance.
(Mayor, Keith Corbett) I’ve noticed how many people are actually adhering to that six feet or farther apart. We’ll be out walking on the bike path and you’ll meet another couple or another person or maybe somebody on their bike. Roxie and I always veer to our right and they veer to their right and probably about 10-15 feet between us, but that’s great. People are well aware of it and I think -- I applaud the people of Brookings for all the steps they’ve taken to let us help flatten that curve.
(City Manager, Paul Briseno) Mayor’s exactly right. There’s a number of outdoor opportunities for people to participate in and as the weather gets nicer, we encourage everyone to go out there and engage in those activities but once again keeping that social distance in mind as they come within proximity of other people.
(Mayor, Keith Corbett) Tonight at the City Council I announce that next Tuesday, April 14th at 6:00 p.m. we’ll have a special meeting to discuss a shelter-in-place possible ordinance that a number of people expressed concern about people are not adhering and taking care of themselves. And, so, it’s important in talking to Council members they want to have a discussion. So, we’ll have a discussion at the Council. Could be a first reading, we might table it, but we’re going to start that discussion to see if we really need to move forward with an ordinance. And, if nothing else, we’ll have it in place should our numbers start to spike.
Brookings thanks for the effort you’re making on this. We are going to flatten that curve and
we’re going to get back to the days where we’re Brooking. But, for now, let’s take care of each other. Call your neighbors check in on your neighbors and ensure that if somebody needs you to run to the store that you’re doing that for them because this is Brookings where we all work hard and make this a community we love.