Conway Springs tightens COVID-19 restrictions

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By Paul Rhodes
TSnews
prhodes@tsnews.com

CONWAY SPRINGS – With the recent state and county discussions around COVID-19, the city of Conway Springs has opted to reinstate City Hall and employee COVID precautions.
Those actions were taken by the Conway Springs City Council at its meeting last week.
“Please trust that much research, and the balance between the safety of you, as well as customer service was considered,” said Conway Springs Mayor Jessica Gerlach in an email sent out following last week’s meeting. “No decision is easy. But we feel this is in the best interest of all at this moment.”
Gerlach noted that Kansas is a COVID-19 hot spot in the nation right now. The reality is that Sumner County is a hot spot in the state.
“With our local (county) commissioners opting out of the Governor’s mandate, it is up to us to set the local example and protect each other,” said Gerlach. “County numbers are spiking worse than in April, and repeat cases are being recorded in our county.
“Our roster isn’t immune to this reality and will continue spread if we don’t minimize interaction now.”
Here is what Conway Springs is currently doing:
• City buildings are closed to the public.
• Department heads have formulated plans and schedules for remote work, limiting onsite staff, and inter-department interaction. These plans and schedules can shift at any moment.
• Department heads and the Mayor will meet monthly (at a minimum) for reporting, and adjusting the plans as needed. The Mayor will report to Council.
• City staff and volunteers are required to wear masks and always maintain social distancing (unless emergencies dictate otherwise).
• City Council meetings will take place via Zoom. Information is available by calling City Hall.
As the city council developed its plan last week, members voiced multiple concerns and potential issues, but in the end reached a majority agreement on the steps that are being taken. The action was approved on a 3-1 vote, with council members T.J. Sones, Jan Wiseley and Van Franklin voting in favor, and council member Daryle Smith voting against the motion.
In other business at last week’s meeting, the council:
• Approved installation of lights and a siren on a used GMC Yukon vehicle for the Fire Department by Al’s Automotive, at a cost of $5,900.
• Approved Resolution 2020-3, covering the lease-purchase agreement on the city’s new fire truck. The truck is currently being built to the city’s specifications, and delivery is expected next year, possibly by summer.
• Made note to staff to expect a citizen request concerning a large water leak. The resident received a water bill that was over $1,000. The request for assistance with the bill will be brought to the council when it is received.
• Heard a report from Municipal Court on the volume of cases this past session.
• Approved a payment to Dondlinger Construction, when grant funds are available. Dondlinger is working on the city’s new swimming pool.