A motion to allow North Sioux City businesses and recreational facilities to open with a limitation on patrons failed Thursday, April 23 at a North Sioux City City Council special meeting.

On March 30, the council enacted Ordinance 2020-05: An emergency ordinance to address a public health crisis in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ordinance was set to expire May 2 at 8 a.m. However, due to South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s extension of her executive order through May 31, North Sioux City wanted to follow suit with Ordinance 2020-06. The only changes were to the length of the business and recreational facility closures and a clause allowing the council to rescind the ordinance at any date should they feel the public health crisis has decreased.

The ordinance was presented at the meeting with council member Rodd Slater moving for changes. In an effort to reopen businesses while following CDC, federal and state guidelines, Slater presented these changes to the ordinance:

• Change any instance of the word “closed” to “limited to 10.”

• Change any dates through May 31, with the understanding that the ordinance can be lifted at any time.

Council member Dan Parks seconded the motion and discussion continued. Each council member was asked to make a statement to their feelings on the changes versus the original (but updated) ordinance.

“This is a very difficult problem,” Slater said. “One, there are all kinds of issues involved and two, how do we solve an economic crisis and a health crisis at the same time? My concern is... we’re learning this may be a long-term problem than we all originally thought.

“I’m uncomfortable closing businesses just out of principle,” Slater continued.

See full story in this week’s Dakota Dunes / North Sioux City Times.