Shawnee City Commission: Reopening plan ratified

Vicky O. Misa

Monday's Shawnee City Commissioners meeting was short and sweet, with only a handful of annual agreements to renew and a third amended emergency proclamation to address. Continuing to observe shelter-at-home guidelines, the meeting was done via video conference, as it has been for the past month.

In the latest action regarding COVID-19 precautions, the board ratified Mayor Richard Finley's third amended proclamation to declare an emergency, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The change embraced Gov. Kevin Stitt's Open Up and Recover Safely (OURS) plan to begin reopening businesses as communities met certain criteria in set phases.

On April 24, Shawnee began Phase 1, Part 1, where the following businesses were encouraged to reopen and maintain certain guidelines:

• Personal care businesses, such as hair salons, barbershops, spas, nail salons, and pet groomers can reopen for appointments only, must adhere to sanitation protocols, and follow guidelines posted on the Oklahoma Department of Commerce website regarding social distancing between customers and visitors at personal care businesses.

• State parks and outdoor recreation should be reopened

• Grocery stores should continue to maintain hours for vulnerable populations

On May 1, more businesses were folded into the guidelines:

• Dining, entertainment, movie theaters and sporting venues can operate using CDC-recommended social distancing and sanitation protocols.

• Gyms can reopen if they adhere to CDC-recommended social distancing and sanitation


• Places of worship can reopen for in-person meetings or worship if they leave every other row or pew open and adhere to CDC-recommended social distancing and sanitation protocols, plus the recommended guidelines from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.

• Tattoo Parlors can reopen for appointments only and must adhere to sanitation protocols and social-distancing protocols for distancing between customers and visitors.

Bars are being directed to remain closed, Shawnee City Manager Chance Allison said.

With a May 15 goal, according to Stitt's plan, as long as hospital and incident rates in a community remain at a manageable level for at least 14 days, they can move to Phase 2.

The allowances added in Phase 2 include:

• Organized sports activities can reopen and operate under proper social distancing and sanitation protocols

• Visits to senior care facilities and hospitals should still be prohibited

• Bars can operate with diminished standing-room occupancy, where applicable and appropriate, and under social distancing and sanitation protocols.

• Funerals and weddings can resume under social distancing protocols

• Children’s nursery areas in places of worship can reopen

More details for Phase 3 are being promised after Phase 2 is underway, but it appears that unrestricted staffing could resume and church and school summer camps could open.

“Visits to senior care facilities and hospitals should still be prohibited,” the plan reads at this time.

Other business

Agreements were approved with Arledge and Associates for audit services; and with Crawford and Associates for accounting, financial management and consulting services for Fiscal Year 2020-2021.

Several renewal agreements were approved with various entities Monday — among them were

South Central Industries, the Shawnee Housing Authority, Pioneer Library Systems, the Youth and Family Resource Center and the YMCA.


During the Shawnee Municipal Authority meeting commissioners unanimously OK'd an amendment to its agreement for engineering services from Holloway, Updike and Bellen, Inc., for water treatment plant improvements.

The amendment reads, “The Engineer is authorized to proceed with the preliminary and final design services listed ... as outlined in the agreement, and the owner agrees to pay the engineer a total lump sum fee of $820,000.”

Once approved, the final design plans and specifications are to be completed and submitted to the ODEQ within 11 months of the date of the amendment, Allison said.