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June 2, 2020

5/22/2020 1:24:00 PM
City of Dodgeville discusses reopening plans
Since the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Governor Tony Ever's Safer at Home order, it is now up to a municipality to decide on how they will reopen.
At Tuesday night's Dodgeville city council meeting, many areas for reopening were discussed. In the public comments section, Kayla Sazama of the Farmer's Appreciation Day committee requested that council wait to make decisions on the parade until June.
"We've already cancelled the event that we were going to partner with Upland Hills Health Auxiliary," Sazama said. "I'm hoping we use the data that we have from the Badger Bounce Back Plan and wait until we make decisions for events held in middle July."
Dodgeville Public Library Director Vickie Stangel stated that they would be partially reopening June 1st. The reopening would consist of seven non computer stations, a reading room station and continue with the Book it and Bag Service. Computers and reading rooms would be hour slots and people would have to sign up for them.
"People just wouldn't be coming into the library at that time but we would increase the services," Stangel said.
When the partial reopening occurs, it would be highly encouraged for patrons to wear face masks.
Dodgeville Chief of Police David Bauer stated that he has been in discussion with Chamber Executive Director Beth Mikrut-Gilles about upcoming Chamber events. He stated that they are waiting on the council's decision in terms of opening back up, and is ready when the council makes their decision.
Dodgeville EMS Chief Brian Cushman stated that while there hasn't been much change in COVID-19 for them, but they have been seeing an increase in EMS calls. He also stated that EMS is holding strong with the Personal Protective Equipment they have.
Chamber Executive Director Beth Mikrut stated the Chamber board met Tuesday morning to discuss plans for summer events. The Chamber has put a survey on Facebook to see about keeping events on as scheduled. There were 55 people that said no, 55 people said they would like the Chamber to host events and they had 83 people responding that it would be too soon to hold events. The events in question would be the Town Square on East Merrimac Street taking place the second week in July, and DodgeFest held in August.
Mayor Todd Novak suggested to Mikrut-Gilles that Chief Bauer and her continue their conversations and then see what happens in the next couple weeks.
The next part of the council meeting involved plans for opening recreation. The council voiced concerns and questions about what safety measures should be in place to conduct programs they normally sponsor. The most affected are baseball, softball and swim teams.
After a lengthy discussion about pros and cons and how much the city should be involved in programs this year the council decided to table the program discussion until the next meeting for further study. They also voted to open the swimming pool June 15 for swimming and will return to discussion about the swimming programs and lessons until later. City council has also tabled discussion on reopening on city hall until the next meeting. Council also approved having MuniCode helping with redesigning the City of Dodgeville's website.
Another topic discussed at the council meeting was the status of the new Dodgeville Public Library scheduled to be rebuilt. Novak sent an email statement to council members that reads the following.
"As council members and I have been asked by the public about the new library project, I think we need to make a decision on how to proceed. Because of the unknown effect that COVID-19 will have not only on the city budget, but on the public's personal finances, I am recommending that a new library building project not be done in 2020. While the council and the public have given support for the project, in these uncertain times it wouldn't be prudent to move forward this year. I'm asking the council for a vote to continue planning for the library project but delay the project to look at building next year."
Before council members met in closed session, it was decided to have the June 2 common council meeting conducted via Zoom, and discuss future council meetings at that time.

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