BELOIT—Beloit residents are divided on the city’s latest extension of the city’s COVID-19 safety requirements by the Beloit City Council as virus cases in Beloit and the Stateline Area continue to rise.

Multiple residents spoke out against the extension during the Beloit City Council meeting Tuesday. The council approved the extension noting it ensures the city is compliant with Gov. Tony Evers’ order requiring face coverings and masks across the state.

Those speaking in opposition to the extension said it was an overreach of authority by government and public health officials. However, those in support of the extension said the order would help protect the community as a whole.

In Beloit, a total of 789 COVID-19 cases have been reported—an increase of 50 cases since Aug. 31 as 9,391 people tested negative for the virus and 676 residents have recovered. Rock County reported 23 more cases and no additional deaths on Tuesday, bringing the countywide total to 1,862 cases and 28 deaths.

A total of 30,757 people have tested negative for the virus in the county as 1,543 people have recovered.

A total of 291 cases in Rock County remain active, per the Rock County Public Health Department.

The council approved the extension unanimously, citing public health data related to COVID-19 cases in Rock County.

Library

The council approved a plan by the Beloit Public Library, 605 Eclipse Blvd., to add a drive-through order pickup window. The plan is expected to be ready by the end of the year.

Water

The Water Resources Department unveiled a plan for improvements to the city’s water pollution treatment system. The plan’s timeline shows potential improvements would be made starting in March of 2022 followed by final construction in June of 2024 following an extensive state approval process. Water rates could increase a total of 17.5% by 2024, or an average of $5.48 per residential water bill. Increases to water rates would be as follows: 3% in 2021, 4.5% in 2022, 4.5% in 2023 and 4.5% in 2024, according to the presentation.