York mulls friendlier stance toward food trucks, other COVID policies

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 —Almost an hour before the regular meeting on Monday night, the Selectmen Council and the Chairman of the Planning Committee, Kathleen Kluger, participated in a seminar with local business owners to discuss how the town can help companies to welcome the next peak tourist season, especially in hotels industry.

The discussion ranged from food trucks to labor housing. Although the selection committee directly listened to the opinions of some local business owners, it remains to be seen what measures will be taken and when.

Local business owner Taylor Perkins emphasized that the changes in the hotel industry are not temporary. Perkins said: "We will not see everything return to what it was before."

Board member Mike Estes suggested that the board work towards a permanent solution, because at least some changes will not disappear.

The board of directors reverted to the idea of ​​creating a friendly environment for food trucks, an issue that has long been advocated by board member Marilyn McLaughlin.

Estes agreed: "We need to cancel the food truck law, seek comments, and prepare for May." Estes later proposed that the Select committee should provide assistance to the planning committee's efforts to make the plan effective. ASAP.

Kruger urged the board of directors to act quickly to make temporary changes take effect as soon as possible, even if they are pending permanent changes.

Kluger asked the board of directors to "quickly" issue an emergency statement on COVID relief to authorize the planning committee to assist companies.

Board members also discussed how the town helped York Hospital create a COVID-19 vaccine center.

McLaughlin, the liaison between the board of directors and the hospital, said: "We need a lot of space."

Todd Frederick, chairman of the board of directors, suggested the establishment of a community hall and said that there may be other larger open spaces for consideration.

McLaughlin said: "The hospital is waiting to find out what vaccines will be given to Maine, and as soon as we know, we will start."

The town’s code executive Amber Harrison updated the committee on issues related to local COVID, including the importance of determining the location of the vaccine center.

She said: "The plan is to find two very large spaces in York County."

Harrison warned that although vaccines are being promoted and there are plans to manage vaccines, the pandemic continues to escalate.

Harrison said: "Community penetration is definitely going up." He pointed out that the local positive rate was 11.4% in the first week of January.

She said: "From a perspective, this is almost twice the state tax rate." "We (probably) have one of the highest positive rates in the county, and we are back and forth between the first and second (county) in the state. Move around."

Having said that, Harrison praised the efforts of the town and local schools.

Harrison said: "Four cases were reported in the York School District last week." But the good news is that all of these are due to community transmission, so none of the schools have been acquired.

Harrison said: "It's time to consider what we can do to reduce our footprint in buildings and reduce the time spent working remotely," Harrison expressed his appreciation, town manager Steve Burns And the steps taken by his staff to protect the staff and the public, including the recently closed City Hall.

Harrison said that as of Monday morning, all local school nurses had been vaccinated against COVID-19, and local private clinics, dental clinics and other medical professionals in other frontline roles, as well as 900 of the 1,200 staff at York Hospital, were also vaccinated. Vaccination was carried out. she says.

She said: "As soon as the hospital receives these vaccines, they will be armed, which is really great."

In response to a question from Robert Palmer, Jr., Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, Harrison provided information on www.maineresponds.org (the state website) for anyone who wishes to volunteer for the COVID vaccine Used by people working on vaccination. It was originally an agency that recruited volunteers only in the fields of healthcare and emergency response, but now requires volunteers of any ability to register for services.

Harrison said: "This may include traffic directions, records or other areas not related to health." He pointed out that this may be an ideal opportunity for retirees.  

In other businesses, the board of directors unanimously approved a 1.3% salary increase for urban employees in the budget for the 2022 fiscal year.

This may be a positive signal for local businesses and residents eager for a safe overnight stay. The committee also voted 4-1 to pass a special event permit to host five winter games on the Bell Farm lawn on US Highway 1 dinner. 

The dinner is scheduled to start on January 22 (weekend), from 4pm to 8:15pm, with three 75-minute seats, followed by two events in February and two events in March.

Local restaurants and breweries will take turns to receive reservation-only events, which also include music. Groups that keep their distance from society (up to 6 people) will gather around eight wooden fire pits. According to the permit application, information for contact tracking will be recorded, and a mask will be required when customers are not actively eating or drinking.

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