HUDSON -- The city’s role following the overturn of the state’s Safer at Home order continued to be a point of discussion for the Hudson Common Council Monday night.
After the state’s order was found unconstitutional, local municipalities are unsure of what action they can take.
Council member Paul Deziel asked if it would be to the city’s advantage to declare a state of emergency.
City attorney Catherine Munkittrick said the city does have the authority to do so, but there is specific language to determine what is an emergency. When the emergency is declared, the city has the authority to do whatever is necessary and expedient for health and welfare, she said.
This language is similar to authority given to the state Department of Health Services, and its order was still deemed unconstitutional. Any action from the council would be coming from elected officials, rather than unelected ones like at the Department of Health Services, but Munkittrick said it would still be subject to constitutional review.
Deziel said he did not want to close businesses, but wanted to help them operate safely.
City Administrator Aaron Reeves said a state of emergency was considered earlier, but state and county actions made it unnecessary. Now it is an option, but he said they don’t know if it will mean the city can take enforcement action.
“Everyone is in a state of hesitation right now,” Reeves said.
Council member Jim Webber said connecting with businesses is one piece of moving forward, along with gathering data.
Reeves said the city has been working with the county to keep communication to one voice if there are any complaints. Any recommendations and guidelines have been posted and sent out by the city.
The city cannot enforce anything, Reeves said, so it comes down to communication.
Upcoming summer events is also something for the city to consider. Booster Days is set for the Fourth of July weekend. It will be on the next agenda, Reeves said.
City Hall remains closed to the public, with some staff working from home and meeting virtually with citizens.
Vine Street and Carmichael Road
The council approved buildout plans for Vine Street and Carmichael Road. Part of the city’s agreement with the new Bella Rose development required the developer to make improvements along the two roads, Public Works Director Mike Mroz said.
The plans from Bolton and Menk include a reconstruction of a section of Vine Street up to the Carmichael intersection. Two islands will be added as traffic calming devices to enter the development.
Carmichael Road will have an added shoulder and turn lanes.
The cost for improvements will be paid for by the developer.