Caron on Watertown business closures: “Money can be recovered, lives cannot” (Audio)

City of Watertown

March 24, 2020
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.—Watertown Mayor Sarah Caron was candid in her comments Tuesday about the impact the COVID-19 virus will have on the city both in the short term and long term.

During a daily press briefing at City Hall, KWAT News asked the mayor what kind of reaction she’s been getting since the city council took action that will force many non-essential businesses in Watertown to close their doors on Thursday…

Caron knows this pandemic has the potential to gut the city’s budget, but in her words, “money can be recovered, but lives cannot”….

Putting recreational facilities, “on hold” could mean talk of building a new ice arena in Watertown will have to be shelved for the time being. Talks on that project were expected to intensify next month. 

When KWAT News asked the mayor how she’s holding up through the early stages of this pandemic, she turned attention away from herself, and toward Watertown’s business community, and how it’s affecting them…

The emergency ordinance closing many non-essential businesses in Watertown is open ended. Caron says they will revisit the issue on when to re-open at the appropriate time, likely when the trend of COVID-19 cases begins to trend downward.

That could be awhile. Governor Noem says experts have told her the virus might not peak in South Dakota until May.

Today (Tuesday), Governor Noem announced she’s recommending all K-12 classrooms in South Dakota remain closed until May 1st.

That means school districts across the state are turning to distance learning, teaching students while they’re at home.