BILLINGS — In an effort to practice social distancing and curb COVID-19 spread, the Billings City Council held its Monday meeting online via video call and heard public comment over the phone and in writing.
While a few technical difficulties were experienced, the Council moved through the meeting with relative ease.
Billings Mayor Bill Cole credited the city's technology department, Assistant Fire Chief Matt Hoppel and City Clerk Denise Bohlman for their help in setting up the video meeting.
Some Council members joined the meeting from their homes, while members of the city staff took seats in different rooms of city hall.
Members of the public still had an opportunity to be heard by the Council. The Council took written comments ahead of the meeting that were read live.
Bohlman operated the phones so people could call in to 406-237-6196 speak.
To vote on motions, Council members raised their hands in the video chat.
In the meeting, Council members practiced the Centers for Disease Control's recommendation for social distancing that says people should stay six feet apart from one another.
Practicing social distancing helps curb the spread of COVID-19 and helps the health care system not get overwhelmed with positive cases.