The city of Paducah plans to resume in-person commission meetings Tuesday after months of meeting virtually to conduct business.
City Manager Jim Arndt told The Sun that up to 15 members of the public can attend Tuesday’s meeting at City Hall, while commission members are expected to participate in-person.
However, meetings will look different.
The city implemented some changes for social distancing measures and COVID-19 precautions.
“We made some adjustments inside City Hall in the commission chambers themselves — put up clear acrylic shielding in between each seat on the dais,” Arndt said.
“And then, we also strapped off or disabled many of the chairs inside the commission chambers to make sure we have good social distancing separation for those who are in attendance.”
It’s first-come, first-served for attending the meeting, but people can still participate virtually if they want to make public comment. Seating will be spread out within the commission chambers and attendees will be asked to give information for contact tracing.
“If they don’t want to provide it, that’s fine, but we’re going to ask them just in case there is a confirmed case,” he added.
Regarding face masks, Gov. Andy Beshear announced a new mandate Thursday afternoon for wearing facial coverings in many public spaces. Arndt explained the city would adjust accordingly.
In the future, the in-person commission meetings could go back to virtual ones.
“It really depends on the virus and the national, state and local response to that, so if it continues to kind of go out of control ... we will have to, of course, adjust accordingly, but hopefully not,” he said.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to continue to progress, increase the ability for people to come in to the chambers and get back to normal. That’s my hope. We’ll have to wait and see.”
Meanwhile, the McCracken County Fiscal Court will wait a little longer before going back to in-person meetings. It has met virtually since late March.
“As for right now, our meeting this coming Monday is going to be by Zoom,” Judge-Executive Craig Clymer said. “I expect that meetings after that, if things (state requirements) don’t change, we’ll probably go back to in-person meetings.”
As for precautions, Clymer expects social distancing measures to be used and masks are already required at the courthouse. He also pointed out fiscal court doesn’t have the same attendance from the public as the city commission.