Conway City Council extends state of emergency order; releases phased plan for reopening

Grand Strand

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Conway City Council has voted to extend the city’s state of emergency and released plans for phased reopening.

Council unanimously approved extending the city’s state of emergency for 60 days during a virtual meeting Tuesday morning, saying it can be rescinded at an earlier date if necessary.

Councilwoman Jean Timbes was the first to motion towards extending the city’s emergency order. Councilman William Goldfinch seconded this motion, prompting a roll call vote among council. That roll call vote was unanimous in favor of extending the order.

City Administrator Adam Emrick also discussed the city’s plan for a phase reopening, which would include three phases.

The proposed phase one would go into effect on Monday, aligning with Gov. McMaster’s relaxation of restrictions on gyms, hair salons and other close-contact services, and would include:

  • tennis courts would open to the public with phased lessons
  • basketball courts would open to small groups only
  • dog parks would open, with social distancing rules in effect
  • recreation fields would open for individual use, with social distancing rules applying
  • yard sale permits would resume
  • outdoor hand sanitizing stations and signage at each facility

Emrick said phase two of the proposed reopening plan would hopefully start on June 1 and include:

  • playgrounds would open with daily pressure washing
  • recreation center would open with capacity restrictions
  • buildings would open to the public by appointment or with limitations
  • court would resume with limited capacity
  • city council would resume in-person meetings, with limited staff in attendance and seating staggered/distanced
  • outdoor recreation classes could begin
  • two employees would be able to share a vehicle if needed

Emrick detailed phase three of the proposed reopening plan, but didn’t give a specific date for when this phase could start. He said the start of this phase would depend largely on when Gov. McMaster relaxes social distancing and other similar guidelines. This phase would include:

  • city building would reopen to the public, including the finance building
  • summer recreation leagues could start
  • summer day camps could start
  • pools would reopen in full
  • all activities would resume a daily routine
  • special events approvals would resume

Emrick also said the opening of the recreation center may depend of staffing.

Mayor Barbara Blain-Bellamy asked Ermick if it would be an infringement of people’s rights to require the use of a face mask during some phased activities.

Emrick said he believed it wouldn’t be difficult for the public, but would be difficult for the city to enforce. He proposed patrolling and encouraging the use of face masks, but said the city would need to have enough masks to distribute some.

Council members further discussed the issue of requiring face masks, but made no official decision on the matter.

Count on News13 for updates.

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