City leaders will conduct a special meeting at 3 p.m. today to consider passage of a COVID-19-related resolution declaring Milaca business-friendly community.
The council will urge Gov. Tim Walz to allow Milaca businesses to reopen as well as address concerns regarding the business impact of stay at home orders.
The meeting will be conducted via Zoom teleconferencing and be streamed on the city’s Facebook page, similar to a related meeting conducted earlier this week.
Council members initially met Monday afternoon and discussed the possibility of the city relaxing or amending existing ordinances that relate to the consumption of alcohol in various locations, such as parks and certain public locations.
City leaders also discussed whether or not it would be possible to open up city property, namely parking lots for use by local business, and expand use areas.
Via resolution, the council will request that the city’s non-critical business be allowed to open as soon as possible, citing concerns that some businesses may longer be viable by May 31.
Businesses would be required to prepare and post a preparedness plan on site prior to reopening, a draft resolution states.
Such plans would address Minnesota Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control guidance regarding COVID-19 preventative measures.
The meeting agenda also includes review of a letter to Walz written by Mayor Pete Pedersen and follow-up discussion of guidance provided by the League of Minnesota Cities and Minnesota Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division.
Pedersen’s letter to Walz addresses the governor's executive order that’s keeping bars, restaurants, and salons closed. That letter is dated today (Friday, May 15):
“The city of Milaca recognizes the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts made by federal, state, county and local governments to protect public health and slow the rate of transmission,” Pedersen wrote.
He added: “Small businesses, bars, restaurants, salons and countless individuals have been affected by the drastic economic slowdown and Stay at Home orders. On behalf of the city council of Milaca, we strongly encourage you to allow these businesses to resume safe operations, as soon as possible, following the CDC guidelines, just as big box stores and other declared essential sectors have for the last two months.”
The Union-Times will continue to follow this developing story. Watch for follow-up coverage in next week’s print edition of the newspaper as well as online.