UPDATE: Ordinance to limit businesses falls 5-4 at Tuesday’s late city council meeting

Local News

UPDATED: 9:03 a.m.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The proposed ordinance that would limit the number of patrons that can be in some Sioux Falls businesses was voted down by a 5-4 vote with Mayor TenHaken casting the tiebreaking vote at Tuesday’s marathon city council meeting.

Tuesday’s city council meet ran into early Wednesday morning and lasted more than five hours.

Mayor TenHaken said he didn’t want the ordinance, which would have cap restaurants and bars at 10 or make sure 6-feet social distancing was enforced, hanging over the business community right now.

A proposed ordinance that would limit the number of patrons that can be in some Sioux Falls businesses will also get a first reading from city councilors Tuesday night.

Businesses like gyms and entertainment venues would have to cap patrons at 10 people or 50 percent capacity.

Meanwhile, restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments would either have to cap customers at 10 or make sure there is six feet between parties.

In this case, a party is six adults or fewer.

Mark Fonder owns two restaurants in Sioux Falls: The Barrel House and kRav’N.

He doesn’t think the restrictions that could be coming to the local food and drink scene are necessary.

Fonder says some people are already choosing to stay home rather than go out to eat.

“Our sales numbers are on the decline right now, so I think people are listening to what’s out there,” The Barrel House and kRav’N owner Mark Fonder said.

It’s a similar story at the Gateway Lounge in Sioux Falls.

The manager says fewer people are already coming in.

“Obviously, everybody knows COVID is not fake. It’s a real deal, but at the same time, running a small business, I just don’t know if people realize that as far as us personally, people have already mandated it themselves. We’re not even close to capacity any night,” Gateway Lounge Manager Jackson Rentschler said.

Both men say some businesses would take a hit if the ordinance passes.

“I don’t think a lot of businesses in town would survive it. We did it for close to 50 some days previously this year and it’s tough,” Rentschler said.

“It’s going to be devastating to a lot of the smaller ma and pa restaurants, which I am one of them too, but I am fortunate enough to have the square footage to social distance. There’s a lot of other places that don’t,” Fonder said.

Again, the proposed ordinance is scheduled for a first reading Tuesday night.

It would need to be passed on a second reading before it could go into effect.

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