Riverton Mayor discussed ‘Phase 1’ regulations of reopening with local bar, restaurant stakeholders today

County 10 Photo - Riverton Mayor Richard Gard addressing restaurant owners/managers on reopening.

Riverton Mayor Richard Gard held a meeting today, May 8th, for owners and managers of Riverton restaurants and bars to discuss the Phase 1 regulations of reopening. “I hope that you guys understand this is very serious business,” Mayor Gard said about the regulations. “We do not want anyone getting ill.”

During the meeting, Mayor Gard provided attendees the list of compliance items that restaurants need to follow as they reopen. “If we can comply with these guidelines the faster we can move to Phase 2,” he said.

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Today’s meeting comes shortly after Mayor Gard, along with other Fremont County Mayors, shared an open letter to Fremont County residents that discussed their concerns for the local economy and overall well-being of the residents during this time of extended closures due to COVID-19.

Phase 1 reopening is set to begin on May 15th. Those who cannot comply or do not want to comply with these regulations should direct all exemption requests to Mayor Gard, he explained. The new hierarchy for exemption requests explained during the meeting is as follows: go directly to the mayor who takes the request to the county public health officer; they take it to the state health office for review and final approval comes from the state attorney’s office.

“We need to put the responsibility back on the public,” Mayor Gard said. “If they are not comfortable then they should not come into those places.”

He also addressed attendee concerns for ramifications from local authorities if the guidelines were not adhered to exactly. “It has been reported that a few bars are already doing this,” Mayor Gard said. “You are all grown-ups.” He ensured that the police department and sheriff’s office are not arresting anyone and throwing people in jail. “I can’t speak for the State Attorney General, he can if he wants to, but he won’t.”

If we can comply, we are in business.

-Mayor Gard

He ended the meeting by encouraging folks to stop canceling activities. “If we get to a point where we need to, we can, but it is too early.”

The Phase 1 Guidelines provided to meeting attendees can be read here: Restaurant, bars, food service – Phase 1 guidelines

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