FULTON, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Fulton City council unanimously passed a motion to strongly recommend people wear masks in public places.
The motion was brought up at a special meeting Tuesday, dedicated to discussing the possibility of a mask ordinance with the public.
People in the city of Fulton will not be required to wear a mask in public spaces, unless a business sets its own requirement. The majority of the council agreed that face coverings are important and hope people follow the recommendation.
The mayor of Fulton told ABC17 News on Sunday the meeting was meant to get feedback from residents and businesses about face-coverings after the council has been flooded with opinions on both sides of the issue.
About 15 members of the public spoke during the first hour of the meeting, both for and against a potential mask order. Many on both sides brought up the impact on businesses. Those opposed said it could drive business out of the city, those for said another shutdown could destroy businesses in the city.
The Callaway Chamber of Commerce director Tamara Tateosian cited a survey 93 of the chamber's members took that showed a majority of businesses would not prefer a mask order. She went on to say most wrote they did think more recommendations and signage would be helpful.
Tateosian said she is worried about case numbers going up, and what that could mean for businesses.
"They can't shut down again because they can't survive," Tateosian said. "It's going to be catastrophic for businesses, so I need (the city council) to think about those things."
Director of the Callaway County Health Department Kent Wood said he would support anything the council decided about masks. He spoke about the importance and emphasized that masks work, but that the department does not have the resources to enforce an order.
Chief of the Fulton Police Department Steve Myers mentioned the same issue, saying their department is already strapped for time and cannot take calls about masks.
Mayor Lowe Cannell emphasized that the recommendation is right "at this time." He said the council could enact a mask order quickly if the city goes under a state of emergency. It could take several weeks to pass an ordinance without a disaster declaration.
"Things could change. If things get a lot worse, which they could, we might right back here discussing the same thing," Cannell said.