Spencer Library open to public

The Spencer Public Library reopened to patrons this week. However, there are now new restrictions in place that library visitors must follow:

· The public must make an appointment to enter. · Only 10 visitors will be allowed in the building at any one time. · A temperature check and masks are required to enter. Please practice social distancing.

Mainstreet Market cancelled for 2020

The 2020 season for Mainstreet Market has been cancelled. Originally set to be five Thursday nights this summer beginning July 16, the Mainstreet Market had already been scaled back to only three nights. 

Following the cancellation of the Clay County Fair the Spencer Alliance for a Creative Economy (SPACE) Board decided to cancel the remain three nights, Spencer Main Street Executive Director Nancy Naeve told the Signal.  

In its place, SPACE will offer two events at Arts on Grand. On August 6 and August 13 artists will be selling items, with five artists selling at a time. 

The hope is that it will be easier to social distance. 

On August 6, The Iowa Project Brewing Company will have drinks available. Guests are asked to enter Arts on Grand through the back door and exit out the front.  

Spencer City Council Chambers sign

Robinson says Clay County, Spencer residents have taken COVID-19 seriously

Anyone watching Monday’s Spencer City Council meeting online or in person would have noticed a couple of social distancing-inspired seating changes. Council members and city staff were more spread out, with each of the council members sitting at individual tables. Mayor Kevin Robinson, city staff and Ward 1 City Councilman Tom Nelson also wore masks inside during the meeting. “We’re trying to spread out,” Robinson said during the meeting. “We’re trying to keep everybody safe and that’s why you’ll see people spread out all over the council room here tonight.”

At the end of the meeting, Robinson closed by praising the community on how it has handled COVID-19.

city of spencer iowa new logo

City issues 36 building permits in June

The City of Spencer issued 36 building reports in June with total fees collected equaling $2,063.81. Construction costs for all projects combined was valued at $520,772. June building permits

June 1

714 S Grand Avenue, aluminum lettering direct mount to wall, $35 fee919 1st Ave. SW, new three-stall garage on adjacent lot to primary dwelling unit, new structure is approximately 36 feet by 48 feet by 10 feet high, flood plain permit $50, $66,899 construction cost, $183.80 fee

June 2

709 W 4th St., renovate interior, move kitchen from SE corner to NE corner, build 21-foot by 11-foot-4 deck at rear yard, $4,200 construction cost, $70 fee

June 3

1202 W 9th St., 4-foot-high at front yard (portions closed and portions open), approximately 5 feet high at side and rear and 6 feet high privacy at rear SW side of house, $6,500 construction cost, $30 feeAdvanced Door, 4000 Hwy. Blvd., new 12-foot by 25-foot billboard on monopole, total height 37 feet, $35 fee919 E 13th St., add 11-foot-3 by 19-foot deck to east side of house, $3,500 construction cost, $70 fee1305 13th Ave.

Woman on scooter at Spencer Walmart on Wednesday, July 1.

City fires employee after racist confrontation at Walmart

The City of Spencer fired an employee Thursday after investigating an altercation that occurred Wednesday evening at Walmart. The city employee hurled racist comments at another shopper and several times sent the scooter she was in toward the shopper and toward the cart holding the shopper’s 3-year-old daughter.

Spencer Signal circle and tower logo behind text: COVID-19 Community Updates spencersignal.com/covid19

Spencer Family Aquatic Center to open July 1

The Spencer Family Aquatic Center will open for the season on July 1. The pool’s opening had been delayed this year due to COVID-19 restrictions and concerns. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds lifted restrictions on pools last week, allowing cities to decide if and when to open municipal pools to the public. 

New guidelines will be in place at the aquatic center, including a 50% bather capacity limit, about 125 people. 

Other rules include:

– Required sign-in and sign-out to make contact tracing easier if necessary- Screening questions prior to entry- Anyone younger than 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult- Cleaning at the top of the hour during the 15 minute break- Groups of 2 to 3 chairs spaced six feet apart throughout the facility- Recommendation that patrons wear masks while on the deck- No gatherings on the deck- Markings to help with social distancing- No drinking fountains or concessions

View more rules that will be in effect this season at the aquatic center.

Spencer Mayor Kevin Robinson talks during a Facebook live broadcast on June 11 about COVID-19 in the community.

Mayor, county supervisor chair urge responsibility as COVID-19 cases increase

As Iowa begins to open up, Clay County and surrounding counties are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases. The Iowa Department of Public Health reported 59 confirmed cases in Clay County as of Friday evening. That’s an increase of 17 cases in a week. At a press conference Thursday, Spencer Mayor Kevin Robinson said the community’s COVID-19 task force, which meets daily and includes city, county and public health officials, expected the early June peak in cases. “We had prepared for that,” Robinson said.

protesters march along Grand Avenue in Spencer during March for Justice for George Floyd

See photos of the March for Justice for George Floyd protest in Spencer

Featured image photo credit: TFC Photography

Hundreds of people joined in a peaceful protest Thursday evening in Spencer to speak out against racism and call for prosecution of the four Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd’s death. The event began as protesters gathered in East Leach Park at 5 p.m. in Spencer. They then marched north on the Grand Avenue sidewalk to the Spencer Police Department headquarters. There, they stood in silence for eight minutes and 46 seconds – the amount of time a police officer kneeled on Floyd. Mayor Kevin Robinson addressed the crowd at the police headquarters.

Spencer protest draws area media coverage

Many eyes from northwest Iowa and beyond were on Spencer Thursday evening as protestors gathered and marched peacefully to honor the memory of George Floyd, show support for the Black Lives Matter movement and protest against racism. Protestor organizers worked with city officials and local law enforcement to ensure the safety of all involved and maintain a peaceful atmosphere. The event drew media coverage from throughout the region, plus many social media posts from people who were at the event. Here are some of the highlights. KTIV, Sioux City

KMEG, Sioux City

News coverage of March for Justice for George Floyd

Protesters march down Grand for George Floyd, KICD”What’s his name?

Protest organizers, city officials working together to ensure peaceful, safe ‘March for George Floyd’ in Spencer

The organizers of the March for George Floyd Thursday evening in Spencer want nothing but a peaceful, safe protest that denounces what happened to Floyd and sheds light on racism. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck and pinned him down for eight minutes and 46 seconds. His death has sparked protests nationwide, in communities large and small, in which protesters say they are raising awareness of yet another killing of a black person, particularly at the hands of police, and condemning institutional racism across the country. That message will make its way to Spencer on Thursday. “Our plan is to meet up at East Leach Park at 5 p.m. to begin our march down to the local police department and then, at the police department, we are planning eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence in honor of George Floyd,” said Morgan Mack, a former Spencer resident and one of the event’s lead organizers.