Chewelah mayor asks Inslee to start reopening businesses

(STAFF REPORTS/Chewelah Independent)

Mayor Dorothy Knauss

Knauss commends Chewelah for following “Stay Home” order…

Chewelah mayor Dorothy Knauss sent a letter to Washington Governor Jay Inslee, asking him to begin taking steps to reopen the economy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Knauss pointed out that the Tri-County area only has 13 cases of the coronavirus with no community spread.

“We have stayed home five weeks now, but it is becoming apparent that if we want to save our local economy, we must take steps to reopen,” Knauss wrote in her letter. “Many businesses are struggling to survive.”

Knauss said that the people of Chewelah have been very compliant of the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order and she also thanked Inslee for his leadership during the pandemic.

“I urge you in the strongest terms to lift regulations for these counties so we can begin the reopening process,” Knauss wrote. “We believe that we can safely and successfully begin implementing steps sooner than later.”

Knauss also spoke on KCHW’s morning show on Thursday, explaining how the city have adjusted its practices during the stay home order. No council meetings have taken place since the state’s order but they will continue once the restriction is lifted. Knauss mentioned that the Chewelah City Parks are closed, but that an individual in town keeps taking down the “Park Closed” signs and putting up their own signs. Overall, she said, people have been pretty compliant.

“Our citizens are responsible enough that if our business were allowed to reopen, if we did social distancing and had some guidelines I think we could do it,” she said on the radio show.

Knauss said lodging and sales taxes for the city would be affected with this shutdown and could result in less money.

“Hang in there, it’s not pleasant staying at home, my bottom line is if we rush into this and have businesses re-open, and get a surge and have to shut down again, I think that would be worse than stick it out another week,” Knauss said. “We want to go forward steady and slow.”

Here is Mayor Knauss’ appearance on the KCHW morning show…