Unofficial Minutes of the Special Meeting of the
City Council of the City Of Hot Springs
March 26, 2020
A special meeting of the City Council of the City of Hot Springs, South Dakota, was convened on March 26, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. at the Mueller Civic Center with Mayor George Kotti presiding
Members Present: David Burris, Bill Lukens, Bob Nelson, Ron Richards, Alison Ritterbush, Craig Romey and Caitlin Turner
Members Absent: Ray Ecoffey
Staff Present: City Administrator John Gregory, Finance Officer Misty Summers-Walton, Police Chief Mike Close, Police Captain Bill Wainman, EPMS Facility Director Kris Hanson, MCC Staff Chris Kattke and Karl Bochert, and City Attorney Garland Goff (arrived at 6:35)
All actions recorded in these minutes were by unanimous vote unless otherwise stated.
Agenda: Moved by Nelson, seconded by Ritterbush, to approve the agenda with an amendment to add Ordinance 1212-An Emergency Ordinance to address a public health crisis by implementing certain measures which have been deemed necessary to slow the community spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)
Moved by Romey seconded by Turner, to waive council pay for special meeting
Mayor Kotti made introductory comments regarding the reason for the special meeting, he read through the proposed resolution and then opened the meeting to public comments
Communications from the Public: Lori Weissler co-owner of Winners Circle, spoke to council inquiring about the timeline and effective dates and also shared her concerns for the continuity of her business.
David Zortman co-owner of Wandering Bison Coffee Shop, thought the requests he heard were fair but wondered what happens if people don’t follow the resolution.
Greg Gunwall, owner of the Vault was in support of the resolution and asked what the City’s stance was on stopping people from coming here.
Heather Zortman, co-owner of Wandering Bison Coffee Shop added additional comment regarding visitors from other areas, stating “they are here”. She also mentioned the City of Custer put out a notice to snow birds to self-quarantine upon return from outside of the area.
Don Zon, owner Red Shed Smokehouse, requested the City adopt an Ordinance requiring individuals to self-quarantine.
Resolution: Moved by Nelson, seconded by Lukens, to approve Resolution 2020-11: An Emergency Resolution to address a public health crisis by implementing certain measures which have been deemed necessary to slow the community spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Comments were heard from Councilman Lukens, Nelson, Burris, Romey and Councilwoman Ritterbush who all agreed stronger action should be taken. Councilman Nelson read the full Ordinance 1212 that he requested be added to the agenda. Once the proposed ordinance was read the Mayor asked for additional public comments. Lori Weissler questioned why their business but not the local grocery store would be regulated, state it should be fair across the board. Comments and responses were provided by Councilwoman Turner and Councilman Burris and Nelson. David Zortman, questioned when the Ordinance would become effective and asked why his business would not be given the opportunity to adjust their on-site sales to allow for limited distances on-site seating and sales. Comments and responses were heard by Councilman Nelson, City Attorney Garland Goff and Councilman Lukens. Kim Allen, a citizen, applauded Council for having a resolution and allowing businesses and citizens to self-regulate, and shared her disappointed by the ordinance. She urged Council to not jump the gun due to fear. Greg Gunwall, spoke in support of both the resolution and the ordinance. Councilman Lukens highlighted paragraph 11 in the ordinance allowing it be amended, suspended, reinstated, or repealed by a resolution of the Council. City Attorney Goff explained the differences between ordinances and resolutions and explained that although it is not normal to amend an ordinance by resolution, it is being done across the State at this time, he also said if a change is really significant, it should be done by another ordinance. Mayor Kotti asked if there were any emergency procedures that would allow us to move quicker on an Ordinance and the attorney responded no. Roxanne Brixius, owner of Dairy Queen explained what is currently happening at her business, she agrees with the resolution but not so much the ordinance, stating “it will hurt us, and other businesses still open.” Troy Goetsch, owner of the Dew Drop in Café which is set to open April 15th said he doesn’t need legislation to tell him to do what is right. After discussion with City Attorney Goff, a roll call vote was taken with all members present voting in favor of the resolution.
An Emergency Resolution to Recommend Community Guidelines for addressing the COVID-19 Pandemic
BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of the City of Hot Springs:
WHEREAS, An outbreak of the severe respiratory disease, COVID-19, which is caused by and is transmitted by person to person spread of the novel coronavirus, started in late 2019 and has currently been detected in more than 100 countries, including the United States; and,
WHEREAS, The World Health Organization has designated COVID-19 a pandemic, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared a public health emergency; and,
WHEREAS, The CDC has issued guidance to state and local governments and all citizens recommending steps to prevent community spread and guard against the COVID-19 outbreak; and,
WHEREAS, Executive Order 2020-04 declared South Dakota to be in a State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and,
WHEREAS, The community of Hot Springs consistently joins together in times of crisis, with the objective to confront, with compassion, the potential impact of the COVID-19 outbreak upon our community:
THEREFORE, The City Council of the City of Hot Springs resolves to set the following guidelines to enable the community to reduce exposure to and reduce the opportunities for citizens to contract and/or transmit COVID-19 within the community.
Every Hot Springs resident should:
Review and follow the recommended CDC hygiene practices such as multiple hand washing or the use of hand sanitizer which are designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and encourage others to do the same.
Know the symptoms and signs of COVID-19, which may include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Upon realization of such or similar symptoms, call a health care provider in advance and stay home if feeling sick.
Understand those considered “high risk” and vulnerable to COVID-19 are those over age 60 and those suffering from respiratory conditions or having reduced immunity should take extra precautions and stay at home as much as possible.
Implement social distancing measures and support local Hot Springs businesses that are adjusting their business practices to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19.
Assist and support those in our community who serve as medical professionals, emergency responders and law enforcement.
Every Employer, both for profit or not-for-profit, operating within the City of Hot Springs should:
Implement the recommended CDC hygiene practices along with other business practices designed to reduce the spreading of disease.
Be aware that the COVID-19 pandemic is not a short term challenge and that operations will need to endure a difficult and limited social environment until the pandemic has subsided.
Be encouraged to innovate and demonstrate entrepreneurial excellence in all business operations during this difficult and uncertain environment.
Where possible encourage in home telework, implement social distancing measures, limit unnecessary gatherings, limit non-essential travel and consider regular health checks including utilizing CDC guidelines for COVID-19 screening.
If possible, offer special shopping times or access periods to those individuals particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.
Businesses operating in a closed facility that promote public gatherings should:
Note: These businesses include but are not limited to bars, restaurants, cafes, casinos, coffee shops, recreational or athletic facilities, health clubs, bowling lanes, entertainment venues, theaters, breweries, spas or other similar facilities.
Modify business practices in accordance with CDC guidance so as to accommodate a maximum of ten people to occupy one enclosed space and where a physical separation of at least six feet can be maintained.
Offer business models that do not require the public to gather which could include such things as drive through service, takeout, delivery, curb side service, off site services or other social distancing business models or innovative solutions that preclude public gatherings in an enclosed space.
Retail businesses that provide needed community services should:
Note: These businesses include but are not limited to retail stores, grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, pharmacies, hardware stores, farm and ranch stores, building supply stores, banks or credit unions, motels, small business enterprises or other similar facilities.
Develop procedures that encourage social distancing at critical points of service such as checkout lines or product pickup points.
Where possible, implement innovative procedures such as offering curbside pickup, offer delivery of goods or when available drive up windows.
Encourage increased cleanliness such as the frequent wiping of high traffic and use areas such as service counters, vending machines, coolers and other areas frequently touched by customers.
Monitor inventories to insure there is an adequate supply of critical products available for the community along setting limits on purchase of critical products that are in short supply.
Healthcare, churches or religious organizations should:
Note: This category includes but is not limited to medical offices, dental offices, counseling centers, churches or other religious or non-for-profit organizations.
Implement and continue to follow CDC guidance to include proper hygiene and social distancing practices.
Whenever possible, limit gatherings to 10 or less, but seek to utilize innovative methods such as teleconferencing, live streaming or video recording to meet the needs of the public.
The City of Hot Springs should:
Develop and implement the recommended CDC hygiene practices that accommodate both employee and customer needs with the primary goal of reducing the likelihood of spreading the COVID-19 disease.
Continually monitor the COVID-19 pandemic situation by using resources such as the South Dakota Department of Health, local medical resources and the CDC website to determine if the recommendations offered in this resolution require modifications due to a changing situation substantiated by the facts, data and science available.
Restrict public gatherings of ten or more people, unless it is absolutely necessary.
Implement the use of technology to provide access, feedback and opportunity for public participation in various civic forums and meetings.
Law enforcement will follow the specific guidance recommended by state law enforcement agencies.
Offer maximum opportunities for citizens to utilize city facilities such as the library, Evans Plunge, Mueller Civic Center or Southern Hills Golf Course provided that use falls within CDC guidelines and where additional hygiene practices are implemented.
The guidelines presented in this resolution are not intended to, nor do not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable by law or in equity by any party against the City of Hot Springs, its departments, elected officials, employees or any other person.
This resolution is based on current and developing data, facts and recommendations from the CDC and the South Dakota Department of Health and may be amended or rescinded by the City Council of the City of Hot Springs or it will be on the agenda for revocation at the May 4, 2020 Council meeting.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that this resolution is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, and welfare of the City shall become effective immediately upon passage pursuant to SDCL §9-19-13.
Dated this 26th day of March 2020
George Kotti, Mayor
Misty Summers-Walton, Finance Officer
Ordinance: Moved by Nelson, seconded by Turner, to approve first reading of Ordinance 1212-An Emergency Ordinance to address a public health crisis by implementing certain measures which have been deemed necessary to slow the community spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Comments were heard from Councilman Romey, Nelson, and Richards and also from Councilwoman Ritterbush. City Attorney Goff requested that the word effective be struck from 1-5 so as not to delay or confuse an effective date. A roll call vote was taken with all members present voting in favor of the ordinance
Being no further business to come before the Council, moved by Romey, seconded by Turner, to adjourn at 8:04 p.m.
George Kotti, Mayor
Misty Summers-Walton, Finance Officer
Published once at the total approximate cost of $153.09
Published: April 2, 2020