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Stevensville planning return to in-person Town Council meetings

Stevensville planning return to in-person Town Council meetings
Posted at 11:42 AM, Sep 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-08 13:42:32-04

It appears that the Stevensville Town Council could be headed back to "in person" council meetings soon.

Like most local jurisdictions, the Stevensville Town Council had been meeting virtually when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit last spring. They went back to "in person" council meetings in early summer, using a larger venue at the Stevensville Library to promote social distancing.

But when COVID cases started to climb in the Bitterroot, the council went back to online. That decision prompted some residents to stage protests a couple of weeks ago, calling on the council to return to "in person" meetings, borrowing a larger venue if necessary.

Late last week, during a virtual meeting of the town's Planning and Zoning Board, Mayor Brandon Dewey said the council was closing to reaching an agreement on precautions allowing a return to in-person Town Council meetings.

“Our plan, if we can go back to in-person meetings, to implement at this time, to implement social distancing," Mayor Dewey explained. "And to require that masks are worn until you are seated and distanced from people and the distancing applies to staff, the board, and the public. To everyone in the room.”

Mayor Dewey says the meetings would be in the library again, which could raise capacity issues. But he anticipates continuing to live stream the council meetings. More details will be announced this week.