City Eyes Opening Plans

The City of Yankton is beginning to look at a phased reopening of its various public facilities and how board meetings will be conducted.

During Monday night’s meeting of the Yankton City Commission, the board held a discussion on where the city is at in planning for the reopening of locations such as the Yankton Community Library, Summit Activities Center and others.

No action was taken on the discussion item.

 “We’ve developed a number of different phases,” City Manager Amy Leon said. “We have, actually, four phases — Phase Zero is what we’re in now and that’s really our planning and implementation stage. We believe we’ve been in that stage since March and will probably stay there at least until May 18.”

She didn’t fully detail phases 1-3 other than to say that summaries will be released to the public in the coming days and that they will differ from facility to facility.

Commissioner Amy Miner praised the phased reopening strategy.

“That seems to be what many communities around the country are choosing to do as they begin to open,” Miner said. “I appreciate that you guys are taking each facility case by case.”

Leon said she’s received a number of questions regarding the meeting format and when they may return to the city chamber at RTEC.

She said that the digital format could be here to stay for the foreseeable future, though potentially mimicking what the board did in the early days of the pandemic.

“The governor’s order that gives us a break from a physical place ends at the end of this month,” Leon said. “At the beginning of next month, we do have to have a physical place; however, we may still be conducting our meetings this way and just have, as we started out, that physical place at RTEC.”

She said that it could be some time before the full commission physically returns to RTEC for meetings.

“When I feel it’s comfortable again to put 10 of you in the room and possibly more public, then I’ll make the recommendation that we switch that over,” she said. “Now that we have some phases to consider, I think we can think of that for our meetings as well.”

Leon said that she will be holding a meeting today (Tuesday) with city recreation, tourism and business officials to discuss the community philosophy for events and what to tell those who are arranging events.

Also Monday night, the City Commission approved a $33,698 change order for the Huether Family Aquatics Center.

According to Leon, the changes are purely construction related and not inclusive of additional amenities.

“Crews began working on the project and found some things that they didn’t expect in the sub-surface soils that required additional excavation depth, back-fill material and some adjustments in piping,” she said. “There had to be some design modifications to the ventilation system on the mechanical building which is necessary to provide that adequate ventilation.”

She said that construction on the facility is coming together smoothly.

“Construction is going well and there’s been good weather,” she said. “It’s starting to shape up and you can see where things are going to be. … We had to do some street work and because people aren’t moving around as much right now, they are able to work without that interruption.”

Commissioner Chris Ferdig was absent during Monday’s meeting.

In other business, the commission:

• Approved a sublease at Chan Gurney Airport.

• Approved the transfer of a city-owned property to Yankton Area Progressive Growth for housing development in the 300 block of Pearl St.

• Approved three plats and a conditional-use permit.

• Reminded the public that the second meeting in May will be held Tuesday, May 26, rather than Monday due to the Memorial Day holiday. A work session will also be held on this date with possible topics including the 2021 budget and the COVID-19 pandemic.

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(4) comments

Steve Jacobsen

I am Christi Jacobsen, and I congratulate the council for their measured considerations on all reopening decisions. I would like to urge you to read the document on reopening America released by the CDC. I believe these guidelines are those which Dr. Fauci urges us, to follow as we move toward reopening. Please, please continue to go forward very cautiously. We are on our own, but with this document as a guide, we could go forward with fewer casualties.

Sincerely,

Christi Jacobsen

Greatpix

Christi is absolutely correct. Reopening should be based on medical advice, not political and according to the CDC nearly ready to reopen. Our infection level is rising and we have extremely limited ability for testing.

Greatpix

My last comment should read"....according to the CDC we are not nearly ready to reopen."

Livefree

What are you waiting for the bars are open?

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