City Hall

Santa Cruz County reached coronavirus-related health benchmarks this week, allowing gyms, movie theaters and bars with dine-in service to reopen. But City of Nogales buildings, which have been closed to the public since late March, will keep their doors shut until at least October.

“I think we should continue with it like this,” Mayor Arturo Garino said during a council meeting on Wednesday night.

The mayor and council didn’t take part in the initial decision to close city buildings, which was announced by then-City Manager Eddie Johnson in late March. Deputy City Manager John Kissinger, however, has brought the issue of reopening up for debate at the council’s previous two meetings.

Kissinger said on Wednesday that he recommended keeping city buildings closed and noted that city staffers can work with people who show up in person by talking to them outside. The closure affects City Hall and the city’s public works building on Hohoham Drive.

“We haven’t had any reported issues that I’m aware of,” Kissinger said.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, Councilman Jorge Maldonado proposed reopening Fleischer Park, Turley Field and the city tennis courts.

He said no games would be played, but reopening would allow individual teams to practice while adhering to health guidelines.

“I think it’s something that the kids are asking for,” Maldonado said.

Garino said he was skeptical about whether safety measures would be enforced and wanted to see more details about how any reopening could be carried out safely.

Council members agreed to revisit the issue at a meeting planned for Sept. 9.

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