On Monday, the Gambier Village Council extended Ordinance 2021-12 — which mandates masks indoors — for six months, and amended it to only require masks indoors when Knox County is an area of substantial or high transmission, following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
Until Monday, the ordinance mandating masks indoors (with exceptions for religious institutions and Wiggin Street Elementary School) needed to be renewed by the Council each month. The amended ordinance notably ties the mask requirement to CDC standards, and makes masks optional when the county is experiencing low or moderate spread. The Council also extended the sunset clause, or expiration date, in the ordinance from one month to six.
“Essentially the same ordinance would be in effect; it would simply no longer be one that’s being voted on every month. So if folks are interested in continuity, that’s one way of going about it,” Mayor of Gambier Leeman Kessler said.
The Council settled on the CDC and Ohio Health Department COVID-19 spread level as the metric, rather than active case levels, because it is less volatile.
The Village Council also discussed a proposal to construct a roundabout at the intersection of Routes 229 and 208 — the intersection at the end of Wiggin Street, north of the bridge leading to the Brown Family Environmental Center. The Ohio Department of Transportation will conduct a feasibility study in January 2022.
Additionally, the Council took up a request to contribute funding to the College Township Service Center, raising concerns about the lack of a detailed budgetary breakdown. They tabled the discussion pending more detailed financial information.
Kessler closed the meeting by honoring retiring Council President Betsy Heer and expressing gratitude for the time they spent serving together. “It has been an honor, it has been an education, it has been a delight,” he said.
The Council will meet again on Jan. 3, 2022.