Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague appeared on City Channel 4 Wednesday night to explain a new order he signed regarding business reopenings in the city. The order also delayed the water rate increase schedule for July until Oct. 21.
The mayor’s order waives all sidewalk cafe fees for the 2020 season, except recording fees, and instructs the city to return fees already paid. The order also permits other businesses to operate on the sidewalk in front of their location, as long as they take up no more room than a sidewalk cafe and don’t sell either alcohol or tobacco.
The order also strongly encourages everyone to practice social distancing and to wear a face mask in situations where staying six feet apart from others isn’t practical.
Following Teague’s reading of the order, it was also read in Spanish, Mandarin, French and Swahili.
Once the multilingual presentation was done, the mayor offered reassurance that the city’s leadership was paying attention to the hardships Iowa Citians are experiencing due to COVID-19, and promised decisions regarding how to address the problems created by the pandemic will be made with an emphasis on “compassion and creativity and justice.”
“One hallmark of Iowa City and the surrounding communities is that we take care of one another and I am confident we’ll do the same now,” Teague said.