Coronavirus uncertainty: Monroe puts hold on July 4 parade, fireworks

Monroe city building

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Monroe city building

As uncertainty continues about mass gatherings of more than 10 people because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Monroe City Council has put a hold on the Memorial Day remembrance, July 4 parade and fireworks after the Lions Club canceled the Light Up the Sky event.

Mayor Jason Frentzel told council Tuesday that the Lions Club had decided not to hold the annual Light Up the Sky event at Community Park where the city-sponsored the fireworks show.

Frentzel said Rozzi’s Fireworks has agreed to allow the deposit for the fireworks show for July 4, 2021, and also encouraged the city to possibly find a date in 2020 when circumstances would allow mass gatherings.

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Vice Mayor Keith Funk suggested that council “keep an open mind” noting the city is in very uncertain times” as circumstances could be different in two months. He also pointed out that there may other vendors who could be available because of cancellations in other communities.

“I think this is the right thing to do to stay on top of it,” he said. “We also have our residents to think about and a quality of life component.”

City Manager Bill Brock said a public Memorial Day remembrance may not be able to happen because of the current restrictions but it might be possible to do a remembrance via Facebook or other social media platforms.

In another issue created by the COVID-19 restrictions, council approved a motion to review ordinances or resolutions that will enable city officials to refund deposits to use the Community Room or park shelters. Under the current ordinance, deposits are non-refundable. However, council felt this should be permitted due to the state restrictions. The motion will allow the city’s law director to review the ordinances or resolutions and return with legislation to consider to make the refunds because of the pandemic.

In other business, council:

  • approved an emergency resolution to award the contract for the 2020 asphalt resurfacing program to the John R. Jurgensen Co. who submitted the lowest and best bid of $410,065. The contract will include an additional 10 percent of the amount for any overage for a total of $455,628. Streets for 2020 will include Clark Boulevard; North Salzman Road from Ohio 63 to the new section of the road; and Lebanon Street from Austin Street to the east terminus. The project includes pavement repairs, resurfacing and restriping. The work will include base repair, milling, repaving, and thermoplastic markings.
  • approved an emergency resolution for a $38,500 contract with Burgess & Niple Inc. for professional engineering services for the Britton Lane Water Tank project to inspect the interior of the tank, make any needed repairs, and paint the exterior of the tank.
  • heard the first reading of a resolution to enter an agreement between Monroe and West Chester Twp. police to create a joint crisis response unit to respond to high-risk situations such as barricaded suspects, hostage situations, high-risk warrant service, terrorism response, and dignitary protection. Council will vote on the resolution at its May 12 meeting.

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