City of Weiser reopens parks, fishing pond

Steve Lyon

The community fishing pond and city parks in Weiser have reopened for public use after they were closed for more than a month in response to coronovirus and concerns about the number of people gathering and the potential spread of the virus.
 Mayor Randy Hibberd said the decision to reopen was made after a discussion with hospital officials and police and was based on the low number of local cases of coronavirus and observations that people are maintaining social distancing.
 Hibberd said allowing use of public spaces in town may relieve some of the pressure on recreation areas like Steck Park and the Weiser sand dunes, where many people have been going in droves to get out.
 They can now stay home and enjoy the warmer weather as long as they follow the rules posted on signs placed at city parks.
 “If we can help out, we will,” Hibberd said.
 As of Monday, the official count of coronavirus cases in Washington County as reported by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare was one. That case was reported by state health officials on April 2, which is almost a month ago.
 There are some restrictions in using the outdoor spaces in the city with the governor’s stay-home order and social distancing guidelines still in place to curb the spread of coronavirus.
 In the parks, the playground equipment, basketball, and tennis courts will remain closed. Contact sports will not be allowed. The bathrooms at the parks are also open and are being disinfected three times a day.
 Hibberd said the police department will be patrolling to ensure compliance. Anyone who uses the picnic tables is encouraged to bring their own table cloth for safety.
 Hibberd said city hall remains closed to the public, a situation that is continually reviewed but unlikely to change immediately.
 All city services are operating and employees are available over the phone or email.
 “I’ve been really pleased at how things have gone,” he said.
 The city council approved an emergency resolution related to the coronavirus pandemic on March 25 and that week closed city hall, parks and the public library in a precautionary move to protect employees and the public from any possible exposure to the coronavirus.
 Idaho Gov. Brad Little issued a stay-home order for all Idahoans and non-essential businesses on March 25 to help stop the spread of coronavirus. The order was based on the guidance of public health officials.
 The governor’s stay-home order was extended through April 30 with some exceptions for operations of formerly non-essential businesses.
 With the city hall closed to the public, residents are urged to pay their monthly utility bills by using the dropbox located across from city hall, paying online, or through the mail.

Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

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