CAMANCHE — Camanche City officials voiced support for keeping city hall closed until after construction of the facility’s renovation.
Many businesses and operations are reopening, Camanche City Administrator Andrew Kida said last week. If the city reopens city hall now and starts construction in a month and a half, they will have to close city hall again at that time.
“It would be up to the direction of council then to say let’s leave city hall closed until we’re done with the construction process,“ Kida said. “Or if we wanted to reopen and reclose and reopen again.”
Opening city hall for a few weeks to close it down once construction starts does not seem like a very good idea, Camanche Mayor Trevor Willis said. Willis added he does not believe it would be an issue to continue utilizing the virtual meetings until city hall is available.
The City Council could meet at the community center, Kida said. However, meeting at community center would cause technological challenges, Kida said.
“To have everybody distanced there correctly and then being able to audibly hear stuff being broadcast over the internet and continue this function here would be very challenging,” Kida said. “I‘d really have to try to wrap my brain around how to do that. I don’t know that it could be satisfactorily done.”
Councilman David Bowman supports not opening city hall to the public since it is only going to open for a short period of time before being closed again. He supports the city returning to in-person meetings, he said.
“I very much miss the in-person meetings,” Bowman said. “And I’d be very pleased to be able to go back to the community center with the distancing and have our in-person meetings. I think those are more productive.“
Councilman Paul Varner supported utilizing virtual meetings until the construction of city hall is complete, he said.
The city has had individuals inquire about renting the community center, Kida added. Kida’s recommendation is to allow renting the community center but put a waiver in the contract that the renters are responsible for enforcing social distancing and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 guidelines for the function, he said.
“We’re not going to go in there and police what they’re doing and making sure people are wearing masks if they’re not wearing masks,” Kida said. “It’s going to be up to them.”
With the conditions Kida recommended, Varner does not see a problem with reopening the community center, he said. Low Moor never closed its community center, Varner noted.