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North Las Vegas OKs fines for businesses violating mask order

The city of North Las Vegas will start fining businesses that do not follow face covering protocols.

The City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a resolution that would penalize businesses if patrons aren’t wearing masks. Measures to make sure patrons are using masks include posting a sign requiring customers to wear a face covering and prohibiting those without one from entering or being on the premises, according to the resolution.

For the first violation, a written notice will be given. Subsequent violations will result in fines of $250 for the second time, $500 for the third and $1,000 for the fourth. The resolution also states the city “shall maintain the right to take any other necessary enforcement action against any business or person that violates the requirements of (the governor’s emergency order).”

Gov. Steve Sisolak’s issued a statewide directive in late June requiring people to wear face coverings in all public spaces. Those who are exempted under the directive, such as those with medical conditions, are also exempted from the North Las Vegas resolution.

The resolution will remain in effect until the governor terminates his emergency directive.

“We respect the rights of the individual to make decisions,” Councilman Isaac Barron said during the meeting. “On the other hand, we know that with this virus people can be infected and be a carrier of this virus without showing any symptoms. That is a function of what it means to be a civic person — to look out for the welfare of other people.”

City Manager Ryann Juden, when asked how strictly the city will enforce the resolution, said, “We’re going to enforce the governor’s order. If people are violating it, we’re going to enforce it. The reality is when you look at the transmittal rate right now in Southern Nevada, it’s serious.”

Police grant

The council also unanimously approved the acceptance of a federal $250,000 grant to hire two new police officers to assist with homelessness issues and to engage with businesses and residents to “increase positive interactions between the community and police,” according to city documents.

The grant will pay for an entry-level salary and benefits of up to $125,000 per officer over a three-year period. The city is required to match $453,400 over the life of the grant.

After the three years, the city must retain the officers for at least 12 months after the federal funding ends. The cost of retaining those positions for one year is estimated to be $249,640, according to city documents.

Contact Alex Chhith at achhith@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0290. Follow @alexchhith on Twitter.

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