Safford considering outdoor dining on Main Street

Contributed Graphic. An artist's rendering of what outdoor dining space could look like if the Safford City Council agrees to move forward on a proposal put forward by former city manager Horatio Skeete.

SAFFORD — In announcing his new executive order limiting indoor dining to 50 percent a restaurant’s occupancy limit, Gov. Doug Ducey suggested a work-around for restaurants — outdoor dining.

“It is actually safer, if you look at the risk profiles, to eat outside. And there are many beautiful parts in our state where you can more safely do that,” he said.

The City of Safford is looking at doing just that. Former City Manager Horatio Skeete proposed an outdoor dining plan for Main Street at a previous City Council meeting.

Under Skeete’s plan, the city would bear the cost of blocking space in the parking area on Main Street to accommodate outdoor dining, while the restaurants would cover the costs of tables, chairs, shade and other related amenities.

He also talked about securing alternatives to the lost parking in front of the restaurants, including entering into agreements to use parking at nonrestaurant businesses in the area, such as banks.

The Council asked Skeete to bring back more information, including total costs, as a future meeting