An emergency ordinance regulating certain businesses in Flandreau expired before council members could have renewed it at last week’s city meeting.
At this point, the council decided to not come up with a replacement emergency ordinance that limited businesses because of coronavirus. The original ordinance was in place from the beginning of April until the end of May.
The county’s number of positive tests for COVID-19 has remained steady at 19 for the past week. Of those 16 have recovered, and the state reported that 252 people in the county have tested negative.
“It doesn’t seem to me there is a strong support to keep this ordinance in place for the businesses and the people of Flandreau,” said Alderman Jason Unger, who has been strident in backing rules to prevent the spread of the virus in the community.
“Prevent the spread is the only thing that works,” he said. “The businesses should be mindful of this. It (the virus) hasn’t gone anywhere.”
Mayor Mark Bonrud said the people of Flandreau have done a good job keeping the number of cases down.
Alderman Don Whitman said it’s time to allow businesses to open more fully. “We’ve taken action to ease up some of the restrictions all ready,” he said. “I don’t think we need to regulate them any further.”
Initially, restaurants and bars were allowed no more than nine patrons in their business at one time but could offer take-out or drive-up delivery. Beauty salons also were closed at one point but opened back up after a month, operating with some safety precautions in place.
City workers will take down signs at the playgrounds warning of the virus and will open up camping at the city park, said Jeff Pederson, city administrator. The council continues to meet electronically over the internet until Centers for Disease Control guidelines change for how many people can safely be in an area yet keep enough distance from each other.
At the next city meeting, the council will discuss policies for the William J. Janklow Communty Center.
In other city business,
•Work is being done on the installation of a skateboard park at Duncan Park. Last week, contractor John Ryan was preparing the pad base and pouring cement. Skateboard equipment for the park was donated by Bruce Allen. The city will look into some private foundations that have grants for skateboard parks, Pederson said.
The city will have a sign at the park, specifying the rules. “The project is coming along,” he said.
•The city election for a new mayor and an alderman in Ward 1 was Tuesday. Results were not available in time for this week’s issue.
•Late last month, nearly 30 property owners in Flandreau were contacted because their properties were out of compliance with city ordinances for either junk, broken down cars or poor building condition.
The letters were generated after a code compliance officer hired by the city went through town and noted violations of property code. Additional notices may be coming, as well.
•The women’s restroom at the community center has been renovated to be handicapped accessible. It followed a renovation of the men’s restroom, just some of the improvements needed in the aging building.