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Chino Valley town council reviews reopening of businesses
Public Library reopened May 18 with social distancing guidelines

Teri Tobey, library clerk, helps re-stock and organize books at the Chino Valley Public Library. The library has been closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic since March 17 and will reopen with adjusted hours on Monday, May 18, 2020. (Town of Chino Valley/Courtesy)

Teri Tobey, library clerk, helps re-stock and organize books at the Chino Valley Public Library. The library has been closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic since March 17 and will reopen with adjusted hours on Monday, May 18, 2020. (Town of Chino Valley/Courtesy)

In its meeting on Tuesday, May 12, the Chino Valley Town Council went over how the town will go about the reopening of some businesses after Gov. Doug Ducey said his stay-at-home order will expire on May 15.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Chino Valley Mayor Darryl Croft has remained consistent with guidelines put in place by the Center for Disease Control and state and local governments.

Last week, Croft told the Review that he thinks the town is ready to safely start reopening even though he also said that they haven’t tested enough people to determine how serious the outbreak actually is.

Croft added that social distancing guidelines will still be enforced but facemasks won’t be mandatory since “there’s no way you enforce that anyway.”

At the May 12 meeting, Croft recommended they continue following the guidelines and orders of Ducey but he added that by May 16, no stay-at-home order will no longer be in an effect. Chino Valley’s non-essential retail businesses, including barbers shops, salons, dine-in restaurants, pools and gyms, can begin reopening.

Town Manager Cecilia Grittman provided an update on the opening of Town Services as she predicts everything will be fully open by June 1. Library will reopen on Monday, May 18, with a Monday-to-Friday schedule between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. and closed on Saturday and Sunday. Only 10 patrons will be allowed in the building at a time, with a 30-minute time limit. Staff will be required to wear masks while on duty, and visitors are encouraged to also wear masks if possible.

The Senior Center will remain closed to the public until further notice but will continue to provide the Meals-on-Wheels delivery program Monday through Friday curbside pick-up of meals from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Information on the Senior Center is available by calling 928-636-9114.

All town lobbies will remain closed until the end of May but the Chino Valley Police Department Lobby has been opened as of May 11, with social distancing guidelines observed. The Town Aquatic Center is scheduled to open June 12.

YAVAPAI REGIONAL TRANSIT

Yavapai Regional Transit (YRT) founder Ron Romley gave an update on the non-profit organization’s status during the COVID-19 pandemic. Romley went over the growth of YRT over the years and said the company garnered a ridership of over 10,000 passengers in 2019.

Going into 2020, YRT was expecting another increase in ridership with 15,000 passengers but that predication took a hit because of the virus. According to Romley, YRT’s ridership has only dropped about 25%, but the company has not been receiving many grants, donations and tax exemptions to help keep them afloat.

Romley was ultimately lobbying for the town council to consider donating money — around $35,000, to be exact — so YRT can keep providing full-on transportation services to Chino Valley residents.

“I tried to show [the town council] that YRT is putting back into the community and that’s the whole thing. They get tax money off of everything that we do. So it’s kind of a two-way street,” said Romley, who also mentioned that YRT is paying into the town about $315,000 a year. “I just felt it was time to start a dialogue with the town to see what we could work out because 70% of the people that we transport are Chino Valley people … I’m just a little bit concerned going into the new year and the future because you never know what’s going to happen.”

To make a donation to YRT, contact the office at 928-636-3602, visit yavapairegionaltransit.com or visit the office, which is right behind the Mavrick gas station in Chino Valley.

Aaron Valdez is a reporter for Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter at @Valaaron_94. Email avaldez@prescottaz.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2031.

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