Open and closed

North Pole City Hall is again open to the public, and the next council meeting will be in person.

The North Pole City Council voted unanimously Monday night to end the city’s Covid-19 emergency declaration. After being closed for nearly 14 months, City Hall reopened from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

“This means we go back to normal operations,” explained North Pole Mayor Michael Welch. He added that council chambers will open for the next council meeting on June 21. Meetings will take a hybrid format, so members of the public as well as council members can attend on Zoom if they wish.

According to Welch, who introduced a resolution to end the declaration, the decision came from seeing decreasing case numbers both statewide and in the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

“We felt this was an appropriate time to end the declaration,” Welch said. The borough moved into the yellow zone, meaning there is a low risk of transmission, last week. In fact, case numbers this week were lower than they were when they implemented the declaration on April 10, 2020.

“We believe we have moved past the emergency portion of the Covid-19 pandemic and thus feel it is prudent to end this emergency declaration,” reads the resolution.

According to Monday statistics from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, there were no new Covid-19 cases reported in North Pole over the weekend.

Although the immediate threat is deemed over, Welch said the city will continue to closely monitor Covid-19 cases in the area.

Contact reporter Maisie Thomas at 459-7544.