Aldermen agree to mostly follow Governor’s recommendations until further notice

Published 3:46 pm Friday, April 17, 2020

The Batesville Mayor and Board of Aldermen met briefly Friday afternoon to review Gov. Tate Reeves’ new order that relaxed some of the business restrictions on retail outlets first installed two weeks ago by executive order.

The Governor’s order becomes active Monday morning at 8 a.m. Under the relaxed rules, several types of business that were closed will be allowed to open for curbside service only, much like restaurants have been doing.

Clothing stores, jewelry stores, florists, boutiques, beauty supply stores, shoe stores, sporting goods, and those type retail outlets that have been declared “non-essential” and were closed can now re-open if they offer curbside service.

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Gym and fitness centers must remain closed, according to state reports. Barbershops and beauty shops must also remain closed at least another week until the Governor makes another adjustment. He said in a press conference Friday morning that he wants to open all business in the state as soon as possible, but must keep the health of the public at the forefront.

Batesville aldermen talked about allowing car washes to re-open, but declined to make that move because they worry about crowds congregating while washing vehicles. Under the Governor’s original order car washes were not closed statewide.

Aldermen here included car washes in their original order, giving an exemption to the city’s one automated car wash with the provisions that customers must remain in their vehicles at all times and may not use the business’ vacuums.

Venues for entertainment, the Wilbourn Building and Ice House for example, will also remain closed for business.

The city board agreed to listen closely for any word of changes from Jackson, and attempt to follow the Governor’s recommendations except for the few specific retail outlets the city is attempting to regulate.

Aldermen also discussed a growing problem with Batesville stores relaxing their efforts to self-monitor the number of customers in their facilities.

Alderman Stan Harrison said he observed heavy traffic in Batesville Friday with several store parking lots full of customers. Officials noted that many county citizens have received their federal stimulus money and will be spending in local stores this weekend.