Mayor makes masks mandatory in city buildings
Vistors and city employees required to wear masks on Monday
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - As you walk into City Hall, you may notice something new. A plexiglass greeter and it’s not the only change Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender is making.
“We’re going to make masks and facial coverings mandatory for visitors to city hall facilities,” says Allender.
Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender called for city buildings to mask up on Monday.
This means employees and visitors of City Hall and other city buildings must wear masks when in these locations.
For anyone visiting City Hall without a mask, masks will be provided. This is all to keep down the cases of COVID-19.
“Whether or not you believe COVID is real, whether you believe masks help or doesn’t help, whether you’re republican, democrat, independent, libertarian, or non of the above makes no difference,” says Allender. “What makes a difference is that your ability to access the necessary hospital resources you might need in a crisis.”
Increased cases mean increased hospitalization, Allender says when health care workers get infected it strains the medical system.
“For eight months now, we have been monitoring and responding to the impacts of the COVID pandemic on our community as well as on city operations,” Mayor Allender said. “The pandemic is progressing, and present circumstances demand we take a more aggressive approach to protecting our customers and employees at this time.”
Allender says the pandemic has been going on for so long that people are starting to take more risks, which could lead to community spread.
The mayor has Allender in the past has had opposition toward issuing a city-wide mandate, Yet, on Oct. 16, Allender joined 15 other mayors in signing a letter encouraging citizens to wear a mask. The letter was released by the South Dakota Municipal League.
The City Council has been divided on whether or not to issue a mask mandate, Allender said. However, Allender has encouraged businesses to require mask policies for shoppers.
Additionally, the city is encouraging the public to make payments or conduct any other business online.
Below are links to online payment options:
- Utility bills can be paid here by clicking on the “Citizen Self Service” on the left-hand side for utility bills or by using the City’s Utility Billing “Sure-Pay” system. Call 394-4125 or visit the Water Division’s page on the City’s website. An account number and customer number is needed to register. Both are found on citizens' most-recent utility bill.
- Paying tickets can happen here or online by visiting the “How To” section at rcgov.org.
Permits, development applications and any other questions can be directed to the right person through their email found on rcgov.org.
City meetings, like City Council, Legal and Finance, Public Works and Planning Commission, will require masks. The Council dais will now include plexiglass dividers, and Council members are encouraged to wear masks walking to and from their seats on the dais and are encouraged to wear masks during Council and Committee meetings. Public comments can be submitted here.
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