By Mike Kruzman /

Though restrictions are being lifted, Brighton City Council is aiming to remain meeting virtually until improvements are completed to their chambers.

On Thursday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer called for the rescinding of major pandemic restrictions on masks and capacity limits. Brighton City Council was already scheduled to discuss returning in person during their study session last night, but as City Manager Nate Geinzer put it, this change made for a less robust discussion. Additionally, City Council discussed options on their existing state of emergency declaration that allows for virtual meetings through August 31st. That date is also the date that major renovations are scheduled to be completed in Council Chambers. It was mentioned during the study session that the construction is going well and could be finished ahead of schedule.

Councilmember Jon Emaus stated, like most others on Council, his preference of getting back to meeting in person, but leaving the declaration in place.

Should Council wish to meet together, they could do it at the Community Center while their chambers are under construction. Clerk Tara Brown said that in speaking with an audio-visual contractor, it would cost between $500 and $2,000 for necessary equipment. Councilmember Jim Bohn said that they have met virtually for this long, doing it for 3 to 4 meetings didn’t seem like a big deal. That would save staff extra work and Council an extra expense. Other City Council members including Jim Muzzin, Renee Pettingill, and Mayor Shawn Pipoly supported that thought. Pipoly noted that should a real hot topic come up and they wish to go live, then they could still do so for a meeting.