Updated: Jun 26, 2020
The Beaverhead County Board of Health held a meeting today to discuss upcoming events. The meeting started with County Health Nurse Sue Hansen, reading out the new numbers of cases reported in Montana, and was followed by asking the attendees if they knew of any future events in Dillon.
First up was the bull riding event, going to be held in conjunction with Dillon Days, at the Frontier Events Center. Again, there was asking the crowd if they knew how many spectators these type of venues would draw.
"I have seen up to 500 in past events," was a response from one of the public.
With a quick call to the venue's owner Ron Johnson, he stated that they have 16,000 feet of venue space. According to the state inspector, they would allow up to 1,000 people in the building. With COVID-19 guidelines, they would be allowed 500 people in the building.
Next up for discussion was the Labor Day festivities and how they can still happen while following the guidelines in phase 2. Jason Schumacher hinted that the Jaycees are planning Labor Day festivities, but would like to have a one-on-one with a member of the board, so they could more accurately submit a plan. The fair was lacking representation on what they would be planning.
One suggestion from the board was to separate the festivities into different plans--one being the Rodeo, two the Fair, three the Carnival, four the Livestock, and five being the downtown celebrations.
Today's meeting lacked representation from the businesses most affected by the Labor Day events, namely the bars. With no one to speak on their behalf, those attending today's meeting suggested some of the downtown business owners get together and approach the board with plans on how to deal with the Labor Day crowds and overflow.
City Mayor Mike Klakken stressed that we need to keep in mind Labor Day is a weekend that helps get local businesses through slow times, and we need to also consider the financial impact the mandatory shutdown has caused for many businesses.
The meeting ended with scheduling a plan to meet Friday, July 10th to go over the plans the community health directors have asked the organizers to submit. This will be followed by the next public meeting for the 17th of July at 11 am. If you have suggestions or concerns, this July 17th meeting will be one you can't miss. Let your voices be heard, Dillon!