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City of Manhattan mask mandate starts Thursday, July 9

(Source: CNN/file)
Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 2:16 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The City of Manhattan mask mandate is set to begin Thursday, July 9.

Manhattan City Commissioners say they voted to pass an ordinance requiring masks or other face coverings within city limits at their Tuesday, July 7 meeting.

Commissioners say the mandate begins today, Thursday, July 9, and will expire at 11:59 p.m. on September 7, 2020.

The City says the Manhattan Ordinance was modeled after Governor Kelly’s executive order requiring masks in the state, adopted after Riley and Pottawatomie Counties overrode the order.

The City asks residents to read Ordinance No. 7488 in its entirety to understand when masks are required and when people are exempt from the requirement.

The Riley County Police Department says it will field complaints of ordinance violations via email at masks@rileycountypolice.org. Residents are asked to refrain from calling 911 to report a violation of the ordinance.

The City says it discourages residents and business owners from getting into scuffles with others that do not comply with the ordinance and instead ask that residents model the best behavior of helping to protect the health of fellow residents by wearing a mask.

Commissioners say a violation of the new City Code is an infraction and both Riley County and KSU Police Departments can enforce violations, which will be prosecuted in the Manhattan Municipal Court.

Law enforcement says it has discretion to determine enforcement policies and practices. Individuals can be cited for failure to wear a mask when required and the person responsible for a business or organization can be city for failure to require employees or customers to wear a mask when required.

Commissioners say the ordinance includes a $5 fee for first-time offenses, a $10 fee for second offenses and a $20 fee for third or subsequent offenses. There is no possibility of jail time with the provision, however, in addition to fees Charter Ordinance No. 59 requires state and local court costs and fees of 498 to be assessed for this offense.

According to the City, the fine and $74.50 of the court costs can be worked off through community service at the State of Kansas rate of $6 per hour.

The City Commission says the City of Manhattan’s mission is to sustain order and protect public safety, promote public health, preserve the built environment and enhance economic vitality. The City says it supports a regional community in which individuals and families develop and thrive.

For more information about the ordinance or the City visit the City of Manhattan website.

Copyright 2020 WIBW. All rights reserved.

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