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City leaders address public reopening and COVID-19 concerns during council meeting



ABILENE, TX — The Abilene City Council addressed many of the public’s concerns surrounding COVID-19 measures and reopening.

“My recommendation to the council are to retire the tax indefinitely,” said one member of the community, regarding a temporarily suspended street maintenance fee.

“It doesn’t sound like much, $6.75 for a residential, but like councilmen Hurts said there are a lot of mom and pop businesses that are just barely making it,” said another member of the community.

City council members decided to take no action on the street maintenance resolution, allowing it to expire. This means the fee will return to your next water bill.

Another item addressed on the agenda deals with moving forward with the extension of the local disaster declaration.

“I think if the president and the governor as well as the county judge and this body would have known the reality back in March, we may not have been so restrictive in regards to regulations we put in place,” said Mayor Anthony Williams.

As the number of COVID-19 cases rises, several people brought up questions surrounding the idea of making masks a requirement.

“The first thing he noticed when he got the box is that they are made in China. Go figure, and if you read the small print it says it will not stop the virus and most of the newer boxes that you get says it will not stop COVID-19. It says it right on the box,” says councilman Weldon Hurt.

“I’m just a bit baffled by what I just heard. I work in the medical department and yes, I wear a mask. I wear a mask for several reasons. I wear it to protect you guys and I wear it to protect me without my mask. If either one of you sitting up here coughed without my mask and you have COVID, I could be affected,” said one person in the audience.

The council decided to follow along with the governor’s latest orders.

The mayor says he is expected to meet with the county judge, which could lead to some changes in the disaster declaration.