Council approves street closures

Street closures are becoming all the rage in Yuma.
Which is cool, because that means there are fun events coming up.
The Yuma City Council dealt with four street closure requests during its regular meeting, last week. And judging from a special event permit sign located on the 100 block of S. Main St., it looks like there will be a fifth street closure for a Yuma Museum event.
Last week’s meeting was the first the city council and staff members held in-person at City Hall since the second meeting in March 2020. All council members were in attendance — Mayor Ron Swehla, and Marc Shay, Marylu Smith-Dischner, Tim McClung, Daniel Ebersole, Dan Baucke, and Steve Hoch.
However, citizens who participated in the meeting for various reasons did so remotely. City Manager Scott Moore told the Pioneer that future meetings likely will be open to anyone who wants to attend, since attendance usually is low anyway.
An upcoming event called Community for Unity/Community Blessings for Hope, was the first street closure up for approval. The event will be on Friday, August 6, and organizers asked for the 100 block of S. Main St. to be closed from mid-afternoon to midnight, as well as at least a portion of the 300 block in front of the Yuma Theater during the afternoon.
Kindi Kirchenschlager provided a rundown of the event, explaining that massage therapist and nurse Loretta Mallory, who also participated remotely, wants to give back to the community by having a fun day for patients and caregivers, as well as having fun events geared toward youth.
The youth events, including a movie matinee at the Yuma Theater, will be in the afternoon.
Local bands also will begin playing on the 100 block of S. Main later in the afternoon, and there likely will be some sidewalk sales taking place at the same time. Desserts will be available all day. There will be steak dinner later in the day, and a Street Dance is planned for 8 p.m., featuring live music. Organizers have received approval from the impacted businesses. Kirchenschlager added there has been no negative feedback.
The council approved the August 6 street closures on a 7-0 vote.
The 5:10 to Yuma 5K/10K run/walk is returning to its normal course this year, prompting a request for the closure of the 100 block of S. Main on Saturday, June 19, from 5 to 11 a.m. The same courses as in the past will be utilized, but with a Finishers’ Festival held on the 100 block.
The council unanimously approved the request.
The Yuma Chamber of Commerce is planning a Craft Fair downtown on July 3. The council unanimously approved the Chamber’s request to close S. Main between Second and Fourth avenues from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Chamber Director Sammy Lee said tables will be set up in that area for locals to sell their crafts. She said that since the traditional craft fair no longer is hosted at the Yuma Community and Enrichment Center, that the Chamber decided the Independence Day weekend would be a good time to have an outdoor craft fair.
St. John’s Catholic Church also requested street closures. One was for this past Sunday by the church to hold an outdoor parish picnic. The other was for the Totus Tuus Bible camp, off and on throughout the week of Jun 13-18. The closures will be on half block of W. 5th Ave. off of S. Ash St. The council approved on a 7-0 vote.

KCI making progress
The Yuma City Council had KCI’s Chip Howell participate remotely during last week’s weekly meeting to provide an update on the company’s fiber optic installation.
Howell said the company should get enough product soon to do the remaining parts of Yuma, including areas south of Highway 34, as well as north of the railroad tracks. If all goes well, the work will be done in the next couple of months, Howell said, meaning everyone will be able to access high-speed internet access through fiber optic lines to their homes and businesses.
Hoch expressed some frustration to Howell that he has been hearing for five years he would soon have access north of the tracks. He later added that it is a great service at a great price.
Howell said he is sure it will get done in coming months. When asked, Howell said subscribers in Yuma have been minimal, with less than 200 customers.

COVID update
Beth Saxton of the Yuma Hospital District met remotely with the Yuma City Council, during its regular meeting last week, to provide an update on COVID-related issues.
When asked, she told the council there currently are no issues with the availability of the vaccine. The Yuma facility provides the Moderna vaccine, which requires two doses. Saxton said there just are not as many people participating anymore. The facility used to have a waiting list of up to 150 people, but now anyone 18 and older receives the same shot the same week in which they get their name on the list.
She shared that approximately 29 percent of Yuma County residents have received at least one shot. She said the CDPHE’s mobile vaccination clinic that frequently visits has the Pfizer two-shot vaccine and the one-shot J & J. The Pfizer shot now is approved for anyone ages 12 and up. The cutoff currently for Moderna is 18, but Saxton said authorization to drop that to 12 years old could occur in about one month.

More meeting
• An executive session was held at the end of the meeting for legal advice concerning a banking matter and investigation. No action related to that was taken following the closed-door session.
• The liquor license renewal for High Plains Recreation (the golf course and its restaurant) was approved unanimously.
• The council approved the repair of a city trash truck for $7,954.04.
• Moore told the council that the crack sealing of city streets would start this week.
• Smith-Dischner gave a report from a recent Parks and Recreation Committee meeting, stating that registration has been strong for the city’s summer sports programs. She also noted that the $25 fee for youth sports programs covers about 25 percent of the costs to run the programs.
• McClung said it is great to see the Yuma Police Department walking the business district on Main St. and visiting with people.
• Hoch said he was glad things were getting back to normal with the city and council, and thanked the city staff for dealing with all the obstacles since March 2020.