The Galena Gazette is providing all of its news stories and photos of the COVID-19 pandemic with no payment required as a public service and in an effort so you can be totally knowledgeable as to how the pandemic affects you. Please consider a print or online subscription to support this vital reporting by a locally owned business .
GALENA–Outdoor dining in Galena’s downtown will continue until Nov. 9. That was the decision of the Galena City Council during its meeting Monday, Oct. 26.
The council unanimously approved the measure with Mayor Terry Renner and council members Marc McCoy, Chris Allendorf, Jerry Kieffer, Robert Hahn, Jerry Westemeier and Pam Bernstein voting in favor.
Leading up to the vote, the council debated how long to extend the outdoor dining period, which was originally approved through mid-October and then extended to Oct. 31.
Allendorf suggested allowing restaurants to serve outdoors through Dec. 7, but others had concerns, especially when it comes to snow plowing.
In a memo to the council, City Administrator Mark Moran wrote, “While the timing of snow is unpredictable, snow plowing would not be feasible on the north end of Main Street with the congestion created by the tents. Snow plowing would be complicated by the concrete barriers on other areas of Main Street.”
Westemeier concurred with Moran’s assessment and suggested outdoor dining shouldn’t go into December. He said he was fine with a Nov. 9 date.
Council members all acknowledged the difficult place restaurants and bars are in as a result of the pandemic. Under the resurgence mitigations for Region 1 imposed on Oct. 3, indoor service is currently not allowed in bars and restaurants. Carry-out and delivery are permitted. The duration of the restrictions on bars and restaurants depends on the positivity rate for the region, which is not expected to decrease anytime soon.
McCoy also brought up concerns about the fire department being able to make its way down Main Street in case of an emergency.
The council agreed to extend outdoor dining for two weeks and then possibly reexamine the decision.
The council also plans to discuss 2021 outdoor dining. A public hearing on that may take place during the Monday, Dec. 14 meeting.
In other business, the council:
•met in closed session for collective bargaining and purchase of real estate. No action resulted.
•postponed action on a revised contract with Jo Daviess County Animal Control from Dec. 1, 2020 through Nov. 30, 2021.
Under the old contract, the city paid $900 per year for animal control services, and with the new contract, the city would pay $300 for each dog that is transported to the Dubuque Regional Humane Society.
Council members had several questions they wanted answered before any action is taken.
•approved a financing agreement with US Bank for a new public works dump truck. The interest rate is 1.99 percent for a total cost of $122,698.75.
•approved a budget amendment for salaries, wages and water main repair.
•approved a $34,361 change order for the east side utility improvement project
•approved a $319,807.04 payment of the east side utility improvement project to Louie’s Trenching.
•approved a pool chemical conversion project at a cost of r $8,650.