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Roseau City Council approves resolution asking Walz to allow all businesses to reopen

Roseau Mayor Jeff Pelowski thanked the governor and his staff for leading the state through the difficult times created by the COVID-19 pandemic, but asked that “non-critical” small businesses be on the same “playing field” as “critical” businesses.

Jeff Pelowski Roseau Mayor.jpg
Roseau Mayor Jeff Pelowski said many of the businesses in the northwest Minnesota community deemed "nonessential" might not survive until May 18 if they're not allowed to reopen. (Photo/ Brad Dokken, Grand Forks Herald)
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ROSEAU, Minn. – Echoing a sentiment that’s likely coming from many Minnesota communities, the Roseau City Council on the night of Monday, May 4, unanimously approved a resolution asking Gov. Tim Walz to allow all businesses in the northwest Minnesota community to reopen.

In a letter to the governor Tuesday in which he shared the resolution, Roseau Mayor Jeff Pelowski said the community is “dealing with several inequities that need to be addressed” under Walz's most recent order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For example, a business that sells a hammer can be open, but a business selling clothing can only do curbside,” Pelowski wrote in a letter sharing the resolution. “Frankly, this is very problematic for our constituents.”

The Roseau County Board unanimously passed a similar resolution Tuesday morning, Pelowski said.

In his letter, Pelowski said Roseau has overcome many challenges, which include rebuilding the city after the Roseau River flooded the community in 2002. The city finally got all of its downtown buildings occupied only in the past two to three years, Pelowski said.

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“Many of them probably won’t survive this catastrophe, but we are having a very difficult time administering the unfairness of the ‘critical’ vs. ‘non-critical’ designation,” Pelowski wrote. “In rural Minnesota, we consider every business to be critical, and we hope that you will agree.”

Pelowski thanked the governor and his staff for leading the state through the difficult times created by the COVID-19 pandemic, but asked that “non-critical” small businesses be on the same “playing field” as “critical” businesses.

“We hope you will address these inequities as soon as possible” before May 18, when the governor’s current order is set to expire, Pelowski wrote. “We are concerned that some of our small businesses will no longer be viable by then.”

Related Topics: ROSEAUTIM WALZ
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