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Laurium address coronavirus fears at home

The Laurium Village Council met for their regular March Meeting on Tuesday evening. During the course of the meeting, councilors attended to necessary paperwork, approved the purchase of four computers to replace models that were no longer running, and addressed response to coronavirus fears.

“We’re awaiting any updated word from the governor regarding conduct of the village meetings,” village manager Edward Vertin said in phone interview following the meeting. “The meetings are supposed to be open but how can we comply with that while keeping the public safe?”

At the meeting the council agreed to ask the villagers to conduct as much business with the village as possible through phone, email, and the village hall mail slot, in order to reduce risk to village staff and the public. A notification of the change was posted to the main page of the village website following the meeting.

“You’ve still got to function, and that’s not just at the council level,” said Vertin. “That’s planning commissions and housing commissions and school boards.”

Municipalities throughout the area are taking similar precautions and asking similar questions. The Village of Laurium canceled all village meetings until further notice. The City of Hancock is having city council meetings as of this writing but essentially all other meetings have been canceled, also with no posted end date.

“The situation is fluid and City departments will continue to keep the public updated as information becomes available,” reads a page on Hancock’s city website.

Hancock and Laurium have considered broadcasting meetings but are not sure of the best way to do so in a way that would allow the community to respond. Hancock’s city council questioned whether having a live feed of meetings might increase functional attendance.

“Sometimes you have to move back to move forward,” Hancock mayor Paul LaBine commented at Hancock City Council’s regular March meeting Wednesday evening – a meeting at which two council members attended remotely. “City council meetings used to be televised.”