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Nederland City Council sets mask rules for municipal facilities, expands recreation center access

NEDERLAND — Those doing business or visiting Nederland municipal facilities must continue to wear a mask on Wednesday and beyond.

Starting Wednesday, Gov. Greg Abbott declared an end to state-mandated rules requiring face masks and also removed capacity requirements from businesses.

However, he left it up to individual business owners to determine if they wanted to continue policies requiring employees and customers to wear masks.

The Nederland City Council, following a recommendation from City Manager Chris Duque, unanimously voted to maintain face-covering safety measures at all facilities and buildings.

City employees must continue to follow the COVID-19 safety protocols. If a patron does not want to wear a mask in the building, there are alternative methods to providing services, Duque said.

“I think we have had one or two citizens who have not wanted to wear the masks, and when we ask them to, they comply,” Duque told Council members on Monday evening.

“We have never had to contact the police department or anything like that with anyone being belligerent. I do believe that will continue. We recommend that we continue to do business as usual in that regard for the foreseeable future.”

Duque stresses this latest measure by the Nederland City Council does not impact private businesses or private property.

Decisions at those locations rest with the business or property owner.

The Nederland Recreation Building is located at 2301 Avenue H.

Recreation relaxation

Greater attendance was approved at the Nederland Recreation Building, which will allow up to four people on the racquetball court, up to ten people on the basketball court and up to eight people in the game room.

Those increases go into effect Monday (March 15).

However, the limited public schedule of 2 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 1 to 5 p.m. on Fridays will continue.

The hours can’t be expanded because of a staffing shortage.

“We have so many recreation attendant positions, but because they had no hours for the past almost year, we’ve lost a lot of that staff,” Duque said. “We’re trying to bring them back on. We’ll be slowly bringing them in and increasing hours as we bring them in and train them.”

Patrons will not have to wear a mask while playing basketball, but must wear one at all other times.

The City of Nederland also plans to open the outdoor restroom at Doornbos Park, but is only cleaning it once a day.