Kearney to further ease restrictions in parks, public buildings

City of Kearney declares a state of emergency. (KSNB)
City of Kearney declares a state of emergency. (KSNB)(KSNB)
Published: May. 28, 2020 at 11:21 AM CDT
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As Buffalo County heads into the newest phase of Directed Health Measures starting June 1, many current restrictions will be easing or lifting for the city of Kearney. City offices will be opening with limited hours, but leaders still urge people to call ahead or pay bills online.

City Hall will be reopening its doors come June 8. Utility customers will be allowed to come in and pay their bills, but are still encouraged to do so online. Meter change outs will also resume that day as well. Public meetings will remain virtual through June 30.

City parks will continue loosen restrictions as well, all restrooms will reopen June 1. Scott Hayden Director of Park and Recreation said there will be more frequent cleanings scheduled. Hayden said the city playground and splash pads will reopen on June 8. However, the playgrounds will be closed daily from 7-9 a.m. for cleaning. Also opening back up, Cottonmill Nature Barn will open on June 13 and Meadow Lark Golf Course will be opening June 8. Hayden said all pools and swimming areas will remain closed until further notice. The department will be making a final decision by second week of June on whether or not they will be opening at all for the season.

"We realize it's confusing, we realize it's frustrating. It's not going to go smooth no matter how we do it. It's going to look inconsistent at times. We're really just trying to follow what the governor is directing us to do and working through the logistics to see if we can pull that off with what we have," Hayden said.

Summer recreation programs are slowly being opened up based on ability to social distance. So far only softball, tennis and archery are allowed.

The Kearney Regional Airport will have one daily flight for United Express and SkyWest with all flights stopping in North Platte.

“Passengers will be required to wear face masks. If they don’t have one the airline will provide it for them,” said airport manager Jim Lynaugh.

Lynaugh said they will also start using an electro-static system to clean the planes between flights.

The Kearney Library is also set to start reopening one June 1. Curbside pick up will be allowed as well as curbside drop off, “You must have a valid driver’s license or library card to check out a book,” said director Matt Williams.

All books checked back in will quarantine for 72 hours following drop off. Williams said accounts will be notified of its return following the quarantine period. The library will fully reopen with the exemption of the meeting rooms starting June 15.

Both fire and police departments continue to ask that you call to report any non-immediate emergency matters. They will both continue screening procedures for in person encounters.

For those looking to purchase firework stand permits, those applications can be picked up at Fire Station 1 during normal business hours through June 24. Fireworks will be on sale in the city from June 28-July 4.

City Manger Mike Morgan said things could change throughout the summer depending on the city’s DHM.

"We just have to adapt to those standards as they get changed. We even expect there will be more changes in the next that will affect some of the things we announced today. We just want to be proactive, be in compliance, and be able to move quick," Morgan said.

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