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Commission to vote on trick-or-treating hours, safety guidelines tonight

(Stock photo by Metro Creative)

MARQUETTE — The Marquette City Commission is scheduled to vote on a set of trick-or-treating guidelines at tonight’s city commission meeting.

The city manager’s office developed these guidelines in an effort to keep children safe amid COVID-19 this Halloween season. The guidelines were established under guidance from the Marquette County Health Department, along with information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pending the commission’s vote, trick-or-treating hours in the city will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 31.

“The City of Marquette is issuing the following recommended guidelines on trick-or-treating in the City of Marquette,” the document reads. “Trick-or-treating is not canceled, however, we strongly recommend residents adhere to safe practices as defined by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control (and Prevention) when trick-or-treating or distributing candy.”

The guidelines outline three sections for residents hoping to celebrate Halloween this year: trick-or-treating, passing out candy or opting out completely.

The top recommendation listed for those planning on trick-or-treating is to stay home if you or a member of your household is sick or is showing symptoms of COVID-19.

The city also recommends “one-way” trick-or-treating, which entails setting up a sanitized surface, such as a table, on your property and lining up goodie bags or candy for children and families to “grab and go,” making for a contactless and socially distant trick-or-treating experience.

Other recommendations include talking with your children about COVID-19 safety while trick-or-treating, going out only with the people you live with, avoiding congregating in groups and wearing a cloth face mask.

For those wishing to pass out candy this Halloween, the city strongly advises against doing so if you are sick or showing symptoms of COVID-19.

A classic trick-or-treating rule that’s important this year is to turn your yard or porch light on to indicate to trick-or-treaters that you’re passing out candy. Placing a table between you and trick-or-treaters or passing out candy on a disinfected table is also recommended. Cloth face masks should be worn by those distributing candy, and the city recommends considering handing out candy in an outdoor, open area where social distancing is possible, rather than your front door.

If you don’t feel it’s safe to pass out candy this year, the city says that’s also an acceptable thing to do.

“It is perfectly acceptable if you don’t want to participate in passing out candy,” the document states. “To assist trick-or-treaters with respecting your wishes, please turn off your yard/porch light and consider posting a sign saying you are not participating this year. We would like to encourage anyone who is participating to turn on their porch light to help differentiate between houses that are and are not participating.”

The city emphasizes that a costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth face mask, and hand washing during trick-or-treating hours is strongly advised.

The full set of guidelines can be viewed on the commission agenda at www.marquettemi.gov under the Agendas/Minutes tab. For fun and creative ways to celebrate Halloween safely this year, visist www.Halloween2020.org.

In other business to be conducted at tonight’s meeting, the commission will receive an update on the retirement of the Presque Isle Power Plant, hold two public hearings, vote to approve a purchase of property from Customs House, LLC, vote to approve a development agreement with Customs Hosue, LLC, vote to approve a contract with Donohue & Associates Inc. for the State Revolving Fund Solids Handling Improvement Project and vote to approve a one-year contract extension of city manager Mike Angeli.

The meeting will be streamed live on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/CityofMarquetteGov and Charter channel 191 beginning at 6 p.m.

Meetings are still closed to the public due to COVID-19, but residents are still able to submit public comment via phone or written comment. Speakers must state their name and address, and phone comments are limited to three minutes. Written comments will be limited to 500 words.

To make a comment via phone, call 312-626-6799 and use meeting ID 863 3329 5589. Written comments can be emailed to shobbins@marquettemi.gov.

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