With nearly half the council participating remotely, the Anamosa City Council passed a measure limiting the travel of city employees until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

The item was a late addition to the agenda and it was added at the behest of the city’s attorney. Mayor Rod Smith, in introducing the agenda item, said the measure was something that the office of the city’s attorney was encouraging multiple clients to take up during the pandemic.

The resolution sought to limit the travel of any “critical personnel” for the City of Anamosa to 60 miles outside of the city until either the public health emergency was removed or the Gov. Kim Reynolds’ emergency declaration was ended, whichever comes later.

“Critical personnel,” as described by the resolution, includes the positions of: city administrator, mayor, council member, clerk, police and fire chiefs, wastewater superintendent and water superintendents. Other personnel could be covered if it was deemed necessary.

If any employee should be deemed to need quarantine or self-isolate, based on recommendations from the Center for Disease Controls and the Iowa Department of Public Health, they would be required to do so under the resolution.

Council Member Rich Crump asked that the resolution be amended to allow the mayor or city administrator to approve traveling outside the 60-mile radius, citing the need for the wastewater department to bring e coli samples to Le Claire for testing five times per month and to allow for any other emergency travel.

The resolution passed unanimously.

During the meeting, the council approved making Mayor Rod Smith’s emergency declaration for the city official, including the closure of City Hall to the public, which began March 23.

Smith made some brief comments during his report at the end of the meeting. Smith said the public may think the closure of City Hall is an “extreme measure,” but said it was necessary for the safety of city employees. Smith also urged for calm in the community, asking for the public to be rational when purchasing certain items.

“I have been in communication with the location managers for the Dollar General, Fareway and Wal-Mart. They had a very high level of confidence that they could keep the shelves stocked with daily need items for the most part, as long as the public would just relax on the volume of items that they are purchasing…once the product starts to flow into them,” he said.

“We just need the public to take a step back and only procure what they need in the immediate time.”

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