Despite keeping what has been termed “social distancing” from each other in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Hamburg City Council had its regular meeting Monday — in cyperspace.
City Attorney Paul Keith sent out a Zoom invite and hosted an online meeting in the form of video chat during which mayor Dane Weindorf, the council members, Police Chief Johnny Oliver, members of the press and other city officials logged into to participate or observe.
“I want to thank everyone for their participation. It’s not easy, but it’s doing the right thing,” Keith said. “We all have our part to do.”
The council only adopted one motion during the meeting, but Weindorf also spoke about how COVID-19 is affecting city operations and the status of recreational ball season.
Weindorf said that City Hall is on lockdown, but the phone number is posted on the outside of the door for those who have questions. He said they are asking that people pay their water bills using the payment drop-off box or through the mail.
The mayor said that summer ball has been postponed indefinitely, but not canceled and that Norman Park would still host recreational softball and baseball games he just wasn’t sure when.
“Once all of this is over — whether it’s in May or June or even July — we will have a ball season,” Weindorf said. “We will have four or five weeks of summer ball.”
The mayor also said he received a letter saying that the Ashley Chicot Cooperative is very interested in bringing broadband internet to southeastern Arkansas.
Weindorf asked the council members to “talk It up” amongst other residents and called it a “win win” for the city and surrounding area.
The only action the council took was to give the mayor authorization to purchase a $36,000 tractor with a sidearm to mow the ditches of Hamburg.
“As much as it’s been raining, we need to be mowing the ditches right now,” Weindorf said.
The council approved the purchase of a 2010 model mower only 8700 hours of use which Weindorf said wasn’t much.
A few of the agenda items- such as the city wide cleanup -were moved until next month when the public could attend, though Weindorf said he didn’t know if the council would be able to have a regular meeting next month.
The next regular council meeting is scheduled for April 27 at 5 p.m. in City Hall. City officials will decide at a later time if that meeting should be conducted via video chat.