COVID-19 ordinance up for first reading


BROOKINGS – The Brookings City Council will consider transferring land to the South Dakota Department of Transportation and will hear a first reading on a COVID-19 ordinance at Tuesday’s meeting. 

An executive session will follow the meeting.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the City & County Government Center.

Ordinance 21-001

Ordinance 21-001 is an emergency ordinance amending emergency Ordinance 20-029 to extend and comprehensively adopt provisions to address the spread of COVID-19 and revise certain measures to preserve public health. The second reading will be Feb. 9, according to an agenda attachment.

The current COVID ordinance is set to expire Feb. 13, and the proposed ordinance would extend the measures for another 60 days.

“Based on threshold metrics, new variances, (and) vaccination distribution rates, an extension is warranted of the ordinance regulating bars, restaurants, salons, retail and requires face coverings for indoor businesses and indoor public spaces. Brookings is in substantial spread with a majority of triggers met to some degree. Staff recommends renewal of the existing ordinance,” according to the attachment.

In summary, the renewal defines the requirements of businesses and residents: 

Restaurants/bars

• Maximum of 10 customers or 50% occupancy, whichever is greater – occupancy capacity posted at front entry 

• Groups of 10 or less and 6 feet apart 

• Cleaning of high-touch areas/materials between users 

• Screening employees recommended 

• Employees required to wear masks 

• Cleaning of used spaces before and after each customer 

• No self-serve buffets or salad bars 

• No sharing of condiments unless wiped between use 

Grocery, casinos, gyms and recreational facilities 

• Cleaning of equipment after use by customer and/or employee 

• Maximum of 10 customers or 50% occupancy, whichever is greater – occupancy capacity posted at front entry 

• Employees of grocery stores will wear masks 

• Protective measures/operations will be provided 

Salons/barber shops 

• Customers 6 feet spacing and recommend service by appointment-only 

• Employees will wear masks 

• Clean equipment before and after each customer 

• Adequate social distancing for waiting customers 

Face covering required if adequate social distancing cannot be achieved 

• Required for all indoor businesses and indoor public spaces 

• Required for all city permitted events 

• Exceptions include children under 5, medical conditions, religious place, educational units, certain non-profits, organized sports activities that have an approved plan

Administrative exemptions allow for requested flexibility.

Businesses and residents who violate sections of this ordinance will be subject to fines. 

Land transfer

The council will consider a resolution to authorize Mayor Keith Corbett to execute a property transfer agreement with the DOT, according to an attachment to the agenda. The property will be a portion of the future right-of-way of 24th Street, a future collector street in the northeast portion of the community. 

“The City of Brookings owns industrial land in the Svennes Industrial Park in the northeast portion of the community. The industrial park is currently served by 32nd Avenue, which extends half a mile north of the U.S. Highway 14 Bypass, where it dead-ends. There are no additional east/west connecting streets north of the Highway 14 Bypass,” according to a memo by Mike Struck, director of community development.

The DOT maintenance facility is on 18.29 acres adjacent to 34th Avenue.

“The proposed 24th Street is identified in the Major Street Plan as a future collector and would provide better connectivity for businesses in this area. In addition, the proposed street would create better access to the remaining undeveloped 3.5 acres of industrial land on the east side of 32nd Avenue as well as provide access to a future development to the north,” according to Struck’s memo.

The DOT was favorable last summer to the proposal of converting an existing utility easement into right-of-way, Struck reported.

“A key item in the property transfer agreement is the State of South Dakota will not be liable for any current or future costs associated with the street improvements, repairs or maintenance,” according to Struck’s memo. “The property transfer is a key component of obtaining the necessary right-of-way to proceed with constructing 24th Street.”

Public hearings

In public hearings, the council will consider:

• Levying assessments for 2019 and 2020 sidewalk repair sites;

• Several on-off sale malt licenses and video lottery permits for owner Todd Voss for the 4 Aces Casino;

• 2021 outside agency funding recommendations;

• Preliminary plats in the Prairie Hills Addition;

• Authorizing retirement of Brookings Municipal Utility bonds;

• Amending the Consolidated Fee Schedule;

• City of Brookings Progress report;

• COVID-19 update.

Contact Jodelle Greiner at [email protected]

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