By Mariah Melendez
Cheshire Herald staff
CHESHIRE — As COVID-19 infection rates continue to decrease, local municipalities are beginning to open facilities back up with the hope of returning to full capacity.
At a recent Town Council meeting, Chairman Rob Oris expressed his hope that the next meeting of the group would be in person. The public would still only have remote access
“I think I speak for all of us when I say that we are eager to get back to doing these things in person again,” he said. “We are seeing the light at the end (of the tunnel) and I think we might even be able to get the next meeting in person, provided that everyone follows proper precautions and feels comfortable.”
The group was not able to meet in person on Tuesday due to a scheduling conflict, however Town Manager Sean Kimball confirmed that a date has been set.
“Our original plan to return (to in-person meetings) for May 11 had to be pushed back due to unavailability of the broadcasting/recording staff person,” Kimball said. “Our new target date is for the May 25 meeting.”
The last time the council met in person was Oct. 13.
Councilor Jim Jinks confirmed this schedule, and explained, logistically, what meeting in person will look like to the public.
“The current plan is for councilors to be seated on the dais but spaced 5 to 6 (feet) apart and there will be plexiglass dividers between the seating areas,” Jinks explained. “Only Town Councilors will be seated on the dais. Town staff will be present but seated elsewhere and everyone in the room will be required to wear masks when not speaking.”
While the councilors and town staff will be able to meet in person, the public will still only have remote access to the meeting.
“As of now, the public will be able to participate via Zoom, but not in person,” Jinks added. “Hopefully, before long we’ll get back to having the public back at Council and other meetings in town hall.”
There is no set date for when the public will be able to attend meetings in person.