Soon after the governor announced the plan to start opening restaurants and bars with options for outdoor service only, the phone started ringing at city hall in Redwood Falls.

According to Keith Muetzel, local establishment owners started asking questions about the options which would be available for them to be able to open with outdoor seating.

Muetzel added many expressed disappointment with the decision from the governor, as it did not allow for any service inside of restaurants or bars.

Muetzel talked about what the city had been hearing from local business owners with the city council during a special meeting held May 26.

The option to open up utilizing outdoor service, with other limitations including the number of people who can be there at any given time, is scheduled to begin today.

In an effort to help those local business owners move forward the city council took action on two provisions related to that.

The first was to approve a 90-day moratorium on current city provisions related to setbacks and zoning as well as other regulations typically required when an outdoor area would be set up.

However, if an establishment owner wants to serve alcohol in that outdoor setting they must still meet the required provisions, including demonstrating proof of liability insurance.

The council also approved a change in its rules related to picnic table rental.

Currently under the council approved fee schedule, the rate to rent a picnic table is $10 per day with an added charge for delivery. 

The rental rate during this time frame for establishments is $35 per month per table.

The city will also provide barricades for a small fee. The delivery charge is the same.

Anne Johnson, Chamber executive director, thanked the council for its support of local restaurants and bars through these actions. Learn more on the city Web site at ci.redwood-falls.mn.us.

- Image courtesy of the Internet Public Domain