At Monday night’s Hiawatha City Commission meeting, the city’s policymakers discussed the near future of city facilities as the town continues to re-open from the Coronavirus pandemic shutdown.

City Clerk Tish Sims stated that after discussions with staff and administrators that the preference at City Hall is to move toward re-opening, with limitations. The Commission voted to approve Sims’s request, which includes social distancing requirements, one-way foot traffic lanes and keeping the museum and public restrooms closed, and will go into effect on June 16th. The 7th Street door will be unlocked and the exit will be at the Oregon Street exit. There will also be a sign-in sheet for potential contact tracing.

The Police Department and Parks and Recreation Department both requested to continue welcoming the public on an appointment-only basis. HPR Director Stacy Jasper said that the schedule is starting to pick up, and would like to continue to serve groups for scheduled events, but continue to hold off on allowing unscheduled visitors. Jasper also noted that gathering sizes will not be limited at events that are pre-scheduled, but that there will be a waiver listed on the rental agreement for the Fisher Center. The Commission approved both departments’ request to continue at their current phase for the time being.

In a separate matter, the Commission voted to open the public restrooms at Bruning and Noble Parks. With practices and scrimmages going on nightly, there was discussion of bringing in a portable restrooms, but it was decided that the health risk was less with a permanent restroom. The Commission stressed (and will post signs) that use of the restrooms will be at the risk of the user.

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