The Village of Poynette is taking slow steps in re-opening.
Village Administrator Martin Shanks provided a lengthy memo to the village board prior to its May 26 meeting, outlining his recommendations of how the village should currently operate.
The board was in agreement with Shanks in all his recommendations.
Even though the “Safer at Home” order was struck down by the Wisconsin Supreme Court — which was set to expire May 26 — and Columbia County has no further restrictions in place, Shanks wants the village to proceed with caution.
Shanks said that state authorities have generally been telling municipal officials that it is now up to local authorities to determine what is appropriate for each community.
“Everyone is weighing the potential risks and liabilities for reopening differently,” Shanks said in the memo. “Even with the order lifted, the virus continues to cause infections. As recently as May 20, there were nearly 600 new confirmed cases in one day in Wisconsin — 14 individuals died in that same day. This has caused many businesses and organizations to continue employing recommended health practices and many organizations have canceled summer events and closed summer facilities.”
Shanks said that the board should adopt a written policy at its next meeting June 8 to outlines its plan moving forward. He also set the July 13 village board meeting as a date for re-evaluation.
Village Hall will remain closed until at least July 13, but municipal court should be allowed to be held as necessary with recommended physical distancing. The closure of the building has not affected the village in a major way.
“In general, this does not seem to be a significant impact to services as we are able to do almost everything we do over the phone or through email, Shanks said, adding that in-person appointments are scheduled as necessary. Many communities within the county continue to have government buildings closed or with limited services.
Any public meetings that take place should still adhere to the social distancing guidelines and the situation can be re-evaluated July 13.
The village’s burn site will be open, despite the continued closure of Village Hall. Shanks and Director of Public Works Scott Gorman worked out a plan of putting up surveillance cameras as a way to police the site. The site will re-open as practical, according to Shanks. The site will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. after cameras are installed and the use of the site will be assessed on an ongoing basis.
“If we observe a violation, then citations and restitution could be issued to the offending individual,” Shanks said.
Shanks said the village’s Clean Up Day should be rescheduled some time in September, but evaluated during the next couple of months.
Also, water meter change outs are on indefinite holds, unless in emergency cases. That policy can also be re-evaluated in the fall, Shanks said.
For a full list of closures, cancellations an restrictions, visit www.poynette-wi.gov.