The Clay County Board of Supervisors approved by a 3-2 vote a regulation that requires people to wear face coverings when in public and unable to stay six feet from others and when in certain indoor public settings. The regulation applies to all townships and incorporated cities in Clay County. However, those municipalities can opt out by approving ordinances of their own. The regulation will go into effect following publication in the Spencer Daily Reporter.
Spencer city officials have a message for drivers on Grand Avenue: Watch for pedestrians and bicyclists at the two flashing lights crosswalks on that street. Officials spoke out Tuesday at the Spencer City Council meeting following a collision between a bicycle and vehicle at the South Grand crosswalk earlier that day.
“We had a very unfortunate bicycle accident on South Grand Avenue recently,” Mayor Kevin Robinson said. “And it was at the intersection where the lights are.”
The flashing lights are located on both sides of the street at two locations, one on South Grand and another on North Grande.
The Spencer City Council approved a contract with H & S Roofing out of Spencer on Tuesday for the city hall roofing project at a quoted cost of $103,398.35. The council had awarded the contract on August 17. Council Member At-Large George Moriarty said he thought work was already being done on the roof, but that was for the replacement of air conditioning units.
“Are they in place now, working?” Moriarity asked.
One person from Clay County has died due to COVID-19, according to data updated Wednesday by the Iowa Department of Public Health. This is the county’s first reported death during the pandemic. No other information about the individual is available. As of Wednesday afternoon, Clay County has 141 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). IDPH provides a breakdown of cases by age group.
A total of 523 Clay County businesses and organizations received Paycheck Protection Program loans that they indicated would help retain 4,476 jobs, according to data from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and U.S. Treasury Department released the data on Monday for loans made under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The Signal has gathered data on the 523 PPP loan recipients in Spencer and throughout Clay County. That data is below. You can also view the data here.
The Clay County Fair, now postponed until 2021, would have been at risk of not living up to its reputation as “The World’s Greatest County Fair” had it been held this year. That realization, combined with fairgoer, staff, volunteer and vendor safety issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, eventually led fair officials to decide it was best to not hold a Clay County Fair in 2020. The decision was officially announced Thursday. At a press conference Thursday, Clay County Fair CEO and Manager Jeremy Parson said the 2020 fair, were it to happen, simply would not have been recognizable. “It just would have not been the same,” he said.
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
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
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
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.
Note: Below is a joint statement from the emergency management and public health teams from Clay and Dickinson counties regarding COVID-19 and Fourth of July celebrations. To residents and visitors of Clay & Dickinson counties:
As we prepare to enjoy Fourth of July week and upcoming celebrations in our beautiful Iowa Great Lakes region, we wish to remind you that Independence Day is founded on sacrifices, which includes a history of Americans giving up personal comforts to enhance wellbeing for all. The public health and emergency management teams of Clay and Dickinson counties are teaming up to ask you to make just a few simple adjustments in your holiday weekend plans to help protect the health of our communities. Together, we can make a difference in minimizing the continued spread of COVID-19 locally. Protect others – Wear a mask in places where social distancing is difficult to maintain.
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.
The Clay County Fair Association announced today that the 2020 edition of “The World’s Greatest County Fair” will not be held and will be postponed to September 11-19, 2021. The decision, announced following a vote by the Fair Executive Committee, was made amid concerns over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. After weeks of exploring various options, it became clear that the Fair could not protect the health and safety of fairgoers, staff, volunteers, 4-H/FFA youth, exhibitors, vendors, sponsors, and entertainers during the nine-day event. “The decision to postpone the Fair came with emotion and somewhat disbelief that it was really happening,” said Fair Association Board Chairman Charlie Elser. “But with lots of input from our partners and work by our staff, the decision was the right one.
Clay County Fair and Events officials want to know how comfortable people are with the idea of attending the Clay County Fair in 2020. As of now, the major annual event in Spencer is still on for September 12-20, but officials have sent out a survey to get more input. “A decision on what the 2020 fair will look like is going to require a pretty big toolbox of things to really kind of put together a full picture,” Clay County Fair and Events CEO and Manager Jeremy Parsons said. “And one of those tools that will be in the toolbox will be the results of the survey.”
The survey asks people to answer questions that will gauge their “comfort levels,” Parsons said, about attending the fair this year. It also tries to see what people may need to feel more comfortable at the fair.
“That’s just one of the tools that we will be using as we plan for the 2020 fair,” Parsons said.
Craft beer lovers will be able to enjoy a cold beverage brewed in Spencer on Saturday when The Iowa Project Brewing Company holds its grand opening. The brewery, long-awaited in Spencer, has been selling beers to-go through online ordering and curbside pickup for a couple of weeks now. Brewery co-owner Nick Applegate said they’re ready to welcome guests into the taproom. “We’ve got the taproom all set up, decorations up,” Applegate said. “The building’s finished finally.
The unemployment rate in Clay County dipped back below 10% in May to 8.3%, according to Iowa Workforce Development. That’s an improvement of just over two percentage points compared to April, when the rate in the county spiked to 10.4% due to the economic impact of COVID-19. The Clay County unemployment rate had jumped from 3.7% in March to the 10.4% mark in April. For comparison, the May 2019 rate was just 2.5% in Clay County. Neighboring counties also saw decreases in their jobless rates.