Three months after reducing the number of its meetings and relocating to a larger location because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hattiesburg City Council will return to its normal meeting format of four days per month.
Beginning July 6, council will again meet on the first and third Mondays and Tuesdays of every month: Mondays for agenda review and Tuesdays for regular meetings.
For the time being, council will continue to meet in its temporary location at Jackie Dole Sherrill Community Center on Front Street.
“We’re going to maintain our social distancing, which we couldn’t do in the council chambers,” council president Carter Carroll said at a recent meeting. “But we are going to go back to our normal format.
“(City employees) are working on having us a screen, so that if anyone has a presentation or a PowerPoint, we will be able to view that. We’ll be working just like it was in the council chambers itself.”
To keep with guidelines, recommendations and regulations handed down by health officials during the pandemic, council decided at a special-called meeting on March 25 to forego the regular Monday and Tuesday meetings and meet only twice a month.
Since then, council has only met the first and third Tuesday of every month, going through the agenda review and regular meeting during the same session.
Council members also voted to move the April meetings to the auditorium at Jackie Dole Community Center, where the larger space allows for social distancing.
“The reason for that is that it’s so much larger, and we can put everybody 6 feet apart – our council members and the mayor and even the people in the audience,” Carroll said in an earlier story. “The chairs will be 6 feet apart, so we’re going to be practicing the social distancing that the (Centers for Disease Control) has recommended.”
In addition, all meeting attendees – including officials – are required to wear masks during all meetings.