The City of Nampa is thankful the vast majority of individuals and businesses are following the stay-home order and guidelines from public health agencies. We applaud all who have adhered to guidelines and have taken seriously the efforts over the past few weeks to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19.
While the City of Nampa is faced with the practical reality that a small number of businesses within our community may consider opening in advance of the times designated in the Governor’s Rebound Idaho plan, we do not approve of any business opening ahead of Governor Little’s direction.
We ask citizens and businesses to continue to follow the protective measures put in place by public health agencies and outlined at rebound.idaho.gov.
As we weigh the best possible allocation of our limited resources, we have determined that we will be prioritizing enforcement of adherence to operational guidelines as outlined by public health agencies. While the City of Nampa is not endorsing that any business open in violation of the Governor’s order, our police force will not be issuing criminal citations to businesses that open after May 1st. Our priority is to educate businesses and individuals regarding current guidelines. As a last resort, officers who find businesses or citizens in violation and blatantly and unapologetically violating the health district directives may, if necessary, issue a citation.
FULL STATEMENT READ BY MAYOR KLING AT NAMPA CITY COUNCIL MEETING ON APRIL 24, 2020
Governor Little released guidelines on Thursday, April 23 for moving forward as a state in the face of the COVID-19 challenges within our communities. I appreciate the Governor and his team’s dedication to maintaining public health through the provision of a four-stage path for hardworking Idahoans to safely get back to work and provide for their families. In response to the Governor’s plan, we will be instating the following enforcement prioritizations as of May 1
There are many businesses in our community that are not included in the earlier stages of Idaho’s guidelines for economic recovery. Many of Nampa’s business owners have communicated an inability to access funds or loans either to protect their businesses or to provide for their most basic, personal needs. They have bills to pay and families to support. But what our local entrepreneurs want more than government funding is to return to work, to produce goods and services for the citizens of Nampa, and to provide food and shelter for their own families. The desperation to provide for their families has created a dilemma where they feel that, regardless of their classification under any applicable order, they are compelled to resume operation.
As Mayor, I want to listen to everyone in our community, and I’ve heard the spirit in which these hard-working, contributing members of our city have communicated their intent.
In addition to the City having insufficient resources for strict enforcement, criminalization, and locking the doors of all these businesses, I’ve determined that prioritizing education will assure the best possible outcome for public health. Focusing our energy on requiring that businesses adhere to the best and strictest operational guidance from our local health district will produce the greatest benefit for the overall wellbeing of community. From the beginning of the coronavirus challenge, our goal has been education. We’re happy to report that the community has mostly complied, that no citations have been issued, and that additional resources have been, and will continue to be, directed toward further education and training.
The City of Nampa does not have sufficient resources or support to continue enforcing a general closure of all restaurants, hair salons, bars, and other businesses. While we will continue to provide education and informational resources, for those businesses that choose to open sooner than recommended, we will not be issuing any criminal citations. Rather, businesses that choose to open but subsequently disregard the health guidelines provided for their ongoing operation will become the focus of our enforcement. We will continue to curate and push out educational resources and health guidelines provided by the Center for Disease Control and Southwest District Health to ensure that our businesses know how to provide for the safety of their patrons. We are committed to proper sanitation and the public health. It’s precisely in that spirit that we are prioritizing education to equip Nampa’s businesses for their best compliance with health standards, rather than having businesses open in secret, not following established guidelines.
We will continue working tirelessly through our emergency operations structure and with partnering agencies to support the Idaho guidelines with all available resources. After consultation with Police Chief Huff and Emergency Manager/Fire Chief Carpenter, we feel confident that this plan of action is the wisest allocation and prioritization of our limited resources, that it assures the safest environment for members of our public safety departments, and that it empowers business owners and patrons to observe the best protocols to mitigate against the spread of COVID-19.
Our goal is to promote consumer confidence by ensuring customers can safely go into any business in Nampa and not risk exposure to the coronavirus. We want Nampa businesses to succeed while we protect the health of our community, achieving our community goal of creating a safe and healthy community where the people prosper.