YUTAN – The Yutan City Council held a special meeting via teleconference on May 27 to discuss a resolution regarding the risk of exposure to COVID-19 on city property during youth sports practices and games.

Since the state loosened the restrictions on some public events and allowed sports teams to begin practices on Monday with several specific regulations, including maintaining social distancing, having players bring their own beverages and snacks and sanitizing equipment before and after practice.

City Administrator Cole Bockelmann said the League of Nebraska Municipalities, an organization that assists member municipalities and of which Yutan is a member, released the final version of the resolution. He said all cities and villages that belong to the league are being asked to use the same resolution so there is uniformity when teams travel to other cities to play.

The resolution includes a license and management agreement and a participation agreement for teams and the Yutan Youth Activities (YYA) organization, which governs youth sports. All teams using the city’s fields at Itan Park and Hayes Field must have a waiver signed by every player.

“It’s an extra layer of protection for any liability on (the city’s) end,” said Bockelmann.

Bockelmann said city representatives are not able to be at every practice or game to ensure that the regulations are being followed. That will fall back on the YYA and coaches. But if it is reported that a violation has occurred, the city can terminate the agreement immediately.

Council Member Matt Thompson questioned the whole idea of allowing youth to play sports this summer, stating that social distancing is a difficult concept for children to follow.

The council members and YYA representatives discussed the use of portable restrooms at the fields. The city normally puts one near Field 3 at Hayes Field because it is so far from the permanent restrooms at the concession stand. Nate Mumm suggested the city put another unit near the outfield fences on Field 1, where parents will have to sit to watch the games according to the new rules. He said that would keep parents away from the permanent restrooms, which are located between the fields, an area where parents are not supposed to be under the new regulations. Bockelmann said this was not part of the resolution and that he and the mayor would work on this at a later date.

On Tuesday, the city council held another special meeting, this time to discuss the license and management agreement with Yutan Legion Baseball regarding the use of the city’s fields for games and practices. The outcome of this meeting was not available before press deadline this week.

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