by Mike Knaak
The St. Joseph City Council approved updating its video equipment so council members and the public can have remote access to meetings.
The council first considered the $7,200 plan at its June 1 meeting but decided to delay a decision to gather more information about alternative systems.
There’s a greater need for remote access by council members and the public to comply with social distancing guidelines. Local governments across the state are looking for ways to meet open meeting laws during the public health crisis.
Beyond the current social -distancing challenges, council members favored options for citizens to participate in meetings without attending in person.
By unanimous vote, the council approved the plan.
Council members delayed a decision on setting up “parklets” in downtown St. Joseph. A parklet repurposes parking spaces into a public space with amenities such as seating, plantings, bike parking and public art.
The council was asked to apply for a $1,000 grant and matching funds.
During the presentation, council members were told 18 downtown businesses were told about the initiative and 13 replied with 100 percent supporting the idea.
Possible locations include College Avenue near Krewe and Minnesota Street near Local Blend. Parklet signage would note that it is public space. The parklet amenities would be removed in late October.
The council asked for more research and options will be presented at the July 6 meeting.