Berryville council adopts mask ordinance

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Carroll County News

The Berryville city council voted 3-1 at a special meeting Monday night to adopt an ordinance requiring that masks be worn inside all businesses in the city.

The move came after Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed an executive order July 3 authorizing cities to adopt a model ordinance on the subject drafted by the Arkansas Municipal League.

Jay Lee, administrative assistant to Mayor Tim McKinney, clarified the effects of the ordinance in an email before Monday’s meeting.

“The best I can tell is that the ordinance would, as long as the State of Arkansas is under an emergency declaration due to the COVID-19 pandemic, require a mask be worn indoors at any business within the City of Berryville,” Lee wrote. “The mask wearing would utilize existing ADH guidelines, so restaurant patrons would be able to remove their masks upon the arrival of their food, etc.

“This would allow for local businesses to place a notice on their doorway, etc. of such requirement and give them support in enforcing the requirement. It also exempts them from having to provide masks to the public and would put that responsibility on the patrons. Finally, it does not criminalize not wearing a mask, just that a business would have the right to refuse service to anyone not wearing one and have the ability to have the person removed from the premises under trespassing laws.”

The council had discussed the issue at its regular meeting Tuesday, July 7, but took no action.

Also at the July 7 meeting, the council discussed an issue with excessive speeding on Saunders Heights Road.

“There’s a lot of discussion about traffic speeding going up to Saunders Heights and going back down,” McKinney said. “There’s also a lot of people that walk up the mountain, a lot of people use that for exercise, and the road’s pretty narrow.”

The council considered installing speed bumps, but did not make a decision.

McKinney mentioned that the city is working on cleaning and restoring the spring where the city was founded.

“In 1909, they built a wall around the spring, and the spring water still comes out,” McKinney said. “We’re making a part that’ll connect to our Community Center park.”

The city council’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 21, at the Berryville Community Center.

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