On Monday, May 11, 2020, Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague signed a new order that will delay a previously approved water rate increase and modify sidewalk cafe fees and regulations for businesses.
Both moves are aimed at helping residents and businesses, respectively, navigate the uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis in Iowa.
The three orders include:
- Suspending a previously approved July 1, 2020 5% water rate increase until at least October 1, 2020.
- Temporarily suspending sidewalk cafe fees, with the exception of recording fees, for the 2020 season. All fees previously paid, except for recording fees, will be returned.
- Suspending some limitations on the use of public sidewalks for 2020, and allowing City staff to expand use of outdoor seating areas to promote social distancing.
The complete order can be read online.
Though the sidewalk cafe orders are set to expand the ability of businesses to safely serve residents after restrictions are lifted, the Mayor would like to remind people that the COVID-19 pandemic remains serious, and precautions should be followed.
"Restrictions may be easing across the state, but COVID-19 will be in our communities for months to come. We must learn how to live our lives and support our neighbors, be it our next-door neighbors or our favorite local businesses, while also staying safe. Please, continue to make choices that will keep you and our neighbors safe," Mayor Bruce Teague said.
Residents should continue to wear cloth masks or face shields when out in public and social distancing isn't possible. Social distancing should be maintained whenever possible. If a resident is sick, they should stay home and avoid going out in public. Residents should also limit their trips out of their homes if possible.
Mayor Teague will be giving an address discussing this order, and COVID-19 precautions, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 13, 2020.
The online address can be found on the City's Facebook page and YouTube page live, and will be shared afterwards. Translated versions of the address in Arabic, French, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and Swahili will also be posted online.
For all Iowa City COVID-19 news updates and resources, visit icgov.org/Coronavirus.