By Fred Arnold
If you want to gather in a group of 50 or more people, get out your checkbook. The city of Belleville and the Belleville Police Department are coming for you.
In an interview with The Belleville Telescope, Belleville city attorney Coleman Younger said city officials met and decided that Gov. Laura Kelley's state mandated '50 member group mandate' would be strictly enforced.
"We are taking this very seriously," Younger said. "For the safety and health of everyone during these trying times the city had decided that this mandate will be strictly enforced."
Younger said violation of the law is a Class A Misdemeanor and carries a fine of no more than $2,500 and or imprisonment of no more than one year. He said members of the Belleville police department will be watching and will have their citation books ready. Younger said the types of events affected will include: church services, community gatherings, community events and private clubs.
The city attorney said local enforcement of the policy will continue until the governor's executive order is reversed. In reality, he said it could be through July or August. When asked how that might affect such local events as the Crossroads Car Show or The North Central Kansas Free Fair younger said the measure applies to "all events, no exceptions."
"This is not a joke, it's not a hoax and we are not overreacting," Younger said. "We want the people of Belleville to understand that we are taking this very seriously and we want them to as well."