FRUITLAND — Monday night’s regularly scheduled Fruitland City Council meeting saw the cancelation of two upcoming events: a first-time flea market / craft fair-style event and the Fruitland Chamber of Commerce’s “Christmas on Main Street.”

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Idaho Gov. Brad Little moved the state back into stage 2 and imposed adjusted guidelines regarding social gatherings.

Councilor Kari Peterson said that based on the city’s constitution, the council must abide by the governor’s mandates for level 2 status, which would mean that large gatherings would be prohibited.

City Attorney Stephanie Bonney informed the council that there would likely not be any enforcement teams going around the area doing “spot checks”, but that this was not an excuse to disregard the guidelines for level 2 status. She also told the Council to be aware of activities that they know would violate parameters of this phase.

Councilor Stuart Grimes said that the decision the council makes needs to be “consistent with what we did last time.”

Mayor Brian Howell said that the decision must apply to both upcoming events.

“If we shut down one, we have to shut down both,” stated Howell.

Councilor Ed Pierson said that last year’s Christmas on Main Street had “over 300” in attendance.

The council decided that in order to stay in compliance with the state’s stage 2 guidelines, both events needed to be canceled, rendering any previously granted permits revoked. The decision did leave opportunity for those permits to be reinstated if Idaho moves back into stage 3.

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