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Page last updated on September 7, 2021 at 1:09 pm

Hi, this is mayor John Hamilton. It's Tuesday, August 25th. I wanted to just give the community an update on what's going on. It's been a very busy last week. We had the full budget hearings four nights in front of the city council. Thanks for any who participated or watched that. You can check up on that on CATS archive or on our website to see those four nights of all 19 department heads presenting, as well as me and others. So to see the $166 million 2021 budget, it's a tighten the belt budget as well as Recover Forward budget. I won't go into all those details. But that was one thing that kept us busy.


On the COVID update, as I indicated last week, we were going to continue to monitor and watch very closely. Indiana University has been testing many thousands of students with a baseline infection rate of about 1%, which is a good number. We're glad to see that. And they will continue to monitor as will we. I do note, as you probably know, as we looked at those numbers, as we looked at what was going on around the country with different universities, what they were seeing, the city did decide, I provided an executive order on Friday, last Friday, the 21st, that lowered the social private gathering numbers that were allowed inside the city from 50 to 15, meaning private social gathering should not be more than 15 people.


County Health Department, with whom we've been working extremely closely and very collaboratively, was not ready to move on that for the whole county. But I frankly felt, given the arrival of so many students, given some of the indications we'd seen of gatherings, it was just a prudent thing to do to try to diminish the chance that we would suffer the same thing here that Notre Dame, or the University of North Carolina, or Michigan State, or some others did. So we've ordered that no private gatherings larger than 15 happen; that means parties, barbecues, family gatherings, et cetera, inside or outside in a private place. If it's in a public setting, in a rented facility, those kinds of things are different. Still subject to the 100 and 150 limits for inside and outside. But we felt the real risk of super spreader events and events that would be very difficult to social contact trace, that 15 was a good number.


We've had dozens of complaints and notifications of problems. We do expect and want you to let us know if you see large gatherings. You can apply for an exemption if you have a backyard wedding or a family reunion planned. We just want to know that you're taking it seriously, that you are managing to mask, physically distance, be able to contact trace, those kinds of things. So please contact the city government. There's more information on the website. You can always call my office 349-0046, for more information about that, if you want.


These are trying to take the steps that we need, to protect the option that we can keep doing our city's work. Please obey these restrictions. Wear your masks, under the state order and county order, follow these guidelines. The next few days, the next short weeks will determine whether or not we can proceed as planned or whether we'll have to cut back even further. So take care of each other, take care of our city. And thank you so much for all that you do.