Rice Lake City Hall

The City of Rice Lake has extended its COVID-19 emergency order through the end of the year, with one notable exception.

The City Council voted 6-2 Sept. 8 to extend the order, but discontinued the use of the Emergency Executive Committee, which had the power to make decisions without convening the entire City Council.

The emergency council was organized in late March, consisting of Mayor Michael Diercks, City Council President Dan Schwab, City Administrator Curt Snyder and other department heads.

The emergency order continues to allows city staff to close city parks and buildings at their discretion, expedites some city functions and allows city staff to take other precautions to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Decisions made by the EEC within the past 6 months included whether the City Council or committees would meet in-person or virtually, how many people to allow in city buildings and other safety guidelines. It also permitted Barron County to use city property (19 W. Newton St.) to be used for an emergency medical site.

Such decisions now fall back exclusively on the eight-member City Council—with a six-person quorum. Mayor Michael Diercks can call for emergency meetings of the Council, with 6 hours notice.

(Copyright © 2020 APG Media)

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