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Mask mandate debate continues for Rapid City Council

The Rapid City Council met Monday night to discuss any topics.
The Rapid City Council met Monday night to discuss any topics.(Connor Matteson)
Published: Nov. 30, 2020 at 9:51 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Rapid City is still deliberating a mask ordinance for the city.

After coming close, the Council tabled Ordinance 6453.

When discussing new business, the council proposed a similar ordinance, City Ordinance 6454, however, this one put more burden on businesses to enforce masks, not Rapid City law enforcement.

City Ordinance 6454 pentalizes citizens through an administrative process, not a criminal process. The City will notify a business they’ve violated the rule, investigate and penalize accordingly. The City Code Enforcement will report the violation.

If the business continues to violate the ordinance, prosecution could occur. The total fine and costs for a violation of this ordinance will be $100. Each day that a violation occurs can be considered a separate offense.

Any indoor public place-- a bar, restaurant, brewery, café, casino, coffee shop, recreational or athletic facility, health club, grocery store, market, retail store, hardware store, sporting goods store, convenience store, home improvement store, pharmacy, drug store, food pantry, city-owned facility, vehicle for hire, transportation networking company (TNC) vehicle, theater, or entertainment venue-- is included in the ordinance.

Council members moved to remove house of worship from the definition of a public place.

Businesses have an option to opt-out and must post a sign saying they did so. The sign must say: “This business has opted out of the Rapid City ordinance requiring the wearing of masks or other face coverings. Masks or face coverings are recommended, but not required while in this building.”

If businesses don’t opt-out, they must post a sign that says: “Pursuant to Rapid City Ordinance 6454, masks or face coverings are required while in this building.”

These signs need to be visible and legible.

The ordinance end of February.

Council members also tabled a resolution related to mask enforcement. The emergency resolution encouraged masks in Rapid City.

There would be no penalty for not wearing a mask in an indoor public place as long as individuals comply with a business that asks them to wear a mask. According to the resolution, a penalty could result in a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $100 and/or 30 days in jail or both the fine and imprisonment. The resolution would also be effective until Jan. 1, 2021.

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