Brainerd City Hall will reopen to the public Monday, July 27, with safety measures in place to help prohibit the spread of COVID-19.

Remodeling at city hall began in October, followed by all city facilities shutting down in late March when the pandemic hit. Construction continues on the building’s front stairs, but members of the public will be allowed in using the east entrance.

Visitors will ring a doorbell upon arrival, City Administrator Jennifer Bergman told the city council Monday, July 20. With newly installed technology, staff will be able to see who is at the door via a video feed and press a release button to unlock the door. Upon entrance, visitors will be asked to fill out a health questionnaire and sign in on a log so city staff can keep records for contact tracing purposes. Hand sanitizer will be placed at entrances and masks will be available for visitors. When Bergman briefed the council Monday she said masks would be encouraged but not required for visitors, though staff would be required to wear them when interacting one on one with members of the public. However, Gov. Tim Walz issued an executive order Wednesday mandating masks in indoor public spaces beginning Saturday, July 25.

Glass partitions are up at counters to separate staff from visitors, and markings will be placed on the floor to promote social distancing. Only one person is allowed on each side of a counter at a time.

Members of the public are strongly encouraged to conduct city business online, by phone or via video conference if at all possible.

Under the city’s COVID-19 preparedness plan, city hall staffers are required to wash their hands frequently with soap and water and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces regularly. A contracted cleaning service will clean restrooms, break rooms, meeting rooms, entryways and other high-traffic areas daily. Field staff members will have hand sanitizer readily available in their city vehicles.

The council is expected to begin once again meeting in council chambers Aug. 3 at city hall.

In other business Monday, the council:

Approved a lawful gambling application from The Mule Deer Foundation for an event Aug. 6 at the Brainerd American Legion.

Approved a temporary beer license application from the Brainerd Aeries Eagles for an event Aug. 22 at Memorial Park.

Accepted donations to the city: $250 from Pohl Children’s Scholarship Foundation for Mustang and Bronco youth baseball; $250 from Walleye Alliance Inc. for Kids Fishing Clinic; $275 from McDonald’s for youth sports team sponsorship; $150 from Anne Fisher for Memorial tree and plaque; $300 from Brainerd Friends Meeting for memorial trees and plaque; $200 from Minnesota T’s for youth sports team sponsorship; $400 from Brainerd Kiwanis Club for youth sports team sponsorship; $250 from LaVonne Danzl for a Gregory Park kiosk; $25 from Brian and Diane McCullouch to the police department; and an anonymous $50 donation to the police department.

Received a clean 2019 audit report from CliftonLarsonAllen for the city and Brainerd Public Utilities.

Retained CliftonLarsonAllen for 2020 audit services.

Accepted the resignation of street and sewer maintenance employee Daniel Diethert, effective July 29.

Appointed Michael O’Day to the charter commission and the Economic Development Authority.

Authorized an investigation into an independent city contractor who has garnered several complaints. The investigation will be completed by Ratwick, Roszak & Maloney at a cost of $3,500.

THERESA BOURKE may be reached at theresa.bourke@brainerddispatch.com or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchTheresa.