City to Walz: Let us be open for business

By Per Peterson

In response to requests from various businesses in Tracy, including Above the Fold Publishing and the Tracy Area Headlight Herald, the Tracy City Council on Monday moved to send a letter to Gov. Tim Walz, urging him to allow businesses to re-open during the imposed COVID-19 stay at home order.

Tracy Mayor Tony Peterson told the council he had been contacted “by quite a few business owners … in light of what they’ve done in other communities — they’re asking for council support to send a letter to the governor and state legislators to get small businesses open.”

Peterson said it’s up to the council to do everything it can to support Tracy’s small businesses during the pandemic. He said he has urged the small business owners who reached out to him to independently reach out to politicians as well.

“But I think as a council we should lead for the community and forward a letter onto the governor, to our senator and representative,” Peterson said. “The letters work, and the more we can send, the better off we’ll be — all of us.”

City Administrator Erik Hansen drafted a letter on behalf of the council, and it was recommended the letter be sent off as soon as this past Tuesday, as it was anticipated that the governor could make some kind of announcement either way on the subject later in the week.

The letter to the governor states that the City has done all it can to follow new guidelines, but the toll of its efforts on the city has been extreme. It also says it cannot afford to lose a single business in town without serious consequences to residents’ quality of life: “We have one dentist, one hair salon, one nursery, one dog groomer, one newspaper and three restaurants among other businesses. All of these are locally-owned, small businesses. All of them are hurting. We have done everything we can within our power to assist them.

“It is not enough to save our little economy. We are small. We cannot compete with the resources of larger communities, and we certainly don’t have their political clout. Ironically, we are the people who desperately need your help most, and you can make a difference with your actions. Please allow rural Minnesota communities to make decisions on businesses opening locally.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.