When the Sitka Assembly meets on Tuesday (11-24-20), it will consider an emergency ordinance that limits capacity of restaurants and bars and prohibits large group gatherings. 

The ordinance is sponsored by members Kevin Knox and Crystal Duncan. It comes a little over a week after Governor Mike Dunleavy issued a 30-day disaster declaration and called for Alaskans to bring down the infection rate.

If enacted, Sitka’s ordinance would reduce restaurant and bar capacity to 50 percent and require masking and other distancing protocols in those establishments. It would also prohibit large indoor gatherings of more than 50 people. 

Unlike previous assembly resolutions that strongly encourage mask and travel testing protocols, this ordinance includes enforcement language. It says if people do not comply the city “may seek an expedited court order.” It also says, “failure to follow this emergency ordinance is punishable by the maximum fines and penalties permitted by law under the State of Alaska Health Orders.” 

If the emergency ordinance is approved, it will expire on December 22. 

Read the full ordinance here

In other business, the assembly will consider extending the local emergency disaster resolution it approved in March in order to begin securing federal disaster relief funds. And it will consider supplemental appropriations for the Brady Lift Station Rehab Project, and approve the disbursal of a $50,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security. 

Read the full agenda here

The Sitka Assembly meets on Tuesday (11-24-20) at 6 p.m. Raven News will broadcast the meeting live, following Alaska News Nightly.