City of Breckenridge asks governor to allow border city businesses to re-open
Editor’s Note: This letter was mailed to the governor’s office and to Rep. Jeff Backer and Sen. Torrey Westrom’s offices and shared with Daily News to publish.
Dear Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan,
As the Mayor of the City of Breckenridge, I recognize the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efforts made by the federal, state, county, and local governments to protect the public’s health and slow the rate of transmission of this virus. We all understand the need to take action and implement the Executive Orders to minimize the outbreak and reduce the impacts on our health care facilities. We commend you for making the difficult decisions implementing these measures.
However, as a result of the Emergency Executive Orders, including EEO 20-48 and 20-56, our community has been seriously affected by the negative economic impacts these have created.
We are a border city with Wahpeton, North Dakota, in which all non-critical sector businesses have been allowed to reopen. Thus, this creates an uneven playing field in our community. Not to mention, the local Walmart and other large stores are flourishing, while several of our small stores ( salons, gyms, restaurants, bars, etc.) remain closed. We trust that our small businesses
can implement social distancing and other steps to protect employees and customers, just like the stores in our sister city or the large box stores can. As you are aware, it is the locally owned and operated businesses that are the life of our communities. They are the ones that reinvest into our community and continue to support our youth. We need these businesses to survive in order to sustain our community.
I would also like to point out that we have not had any new COVID-19 cases in our county (Wilkin) in approximately the past four weeks. We realize that some more densely populated regions of the state might still be on the rise with the number of cases. However, in many rural areas, we have very few or zero remaining active cases. It seems unfair to impose the same restrictions on our rural communities as what the larger cities might require in order to slow the spread of this illness.
I strongly urge you to save our community, businesses, and our way of livelihood by
allowing all businesses in border cities to open their doors as soon as possible.
Mayor Russell Wilson