Iowa City Mayor signs order delaying water rate increase, adjusting public sidewalk restrictions

Iowa City mayor Bruce Teague signed an order to delay water rate increase and adjust public sidewalk restrictions for businesses.


Nichole Harris

Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague addresses the crowd at an Iowa City City Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020.

Kelsey Harrell, News Reporter

Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague signed a proclamation Monday aimed at helping residents and businesses navigate the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

These restrictions come as Gov. Kim Reynolds gives businesses across Iowa permission to reopen on May 15.

“As restrictions are being loosened throughout our state, please let us not lose focus of our ability to act purposefully — taking care of one another,” said Teague in a Facebook livestream on Wednesday, where he read the provisions of the proclamation. “The acts of wearing a mask is not an act, it really is taking care of our community.”

Teague signed an order to delay a previously approved water rate increase, adjust sidewalk cafe fees for businesses, and suspend some limitations to the public use of sidewalks, according to a release from the City of Iowa City. 

The order will move the start of the water rate increase from July 1 to Oct. 1, and temporarily suspend sidewalk cafe fees, except recording fees, according to the release. 

All fees previously paid by the sidewalk cafe businesses will be returned. 

The order will also temporarily suspend some limitations on the public use of sidewalks, allowing for the expanded use of outdoor seating areas to promote social distancing, according to the release. 

The city manager will allow businesses to use the public sidewalks with the following conditions: the purpose of using the space is to expand their capacity, the amount of space used is similar to what is allowed for sidewalk cafes, and no alcohol or tobacco may be sold or possessed. 

Teague in the release strongly encouraged residents to continue social distancing and wear face masks or face shields when social distancing isn’t possible. If a resident of Iowa City is sick, they should stay home and avoid going out in public, the release said. Residents should also stay in their homes when possible. 

“Restrictions may be easing across the state, but COVID-19 will be in our communities for months to come,” Teague said in the news release. “We must learn how to live our lives and support our neighbors, be it our next-door neighbors or our favorite local businesses, while also staying safe. Please, continue to make choices that will keep you and our neighbors safe.” 

Teague will be giving an address regarding this order Wednesday at 7 p.m. which can be viewed on the City of Iowa City’s Facebook page and on YouTube.