The Mankato City Council will hold a public hearing on an emergency ordinance to require masks indoor in public places. The council made the decision in a special meeting Monday night. City manager Pat Hentges explains the procedure for an emergency ordinance.

“An emergency ordinance can become effective immediately with a vote of five council members,” said Hentges. “The ordinance would be in place for 60 days unless repealed in the same manner or extended by five council members for another 60 days.”

The public hearing will be held next Monday night. The council turned down an initial motion to establish an educational program to encourage community members to wear masks on a 4-3 vote. Council members Mark Frost, Dennis Dieken, and Jessica Hatanpa supported establishing the educational program. Council members Mike Laven, Karen Foreman, Jenn Melby-Kelley, and Mayor Najwa Massad opposed the educational motion. Laven, Foreman, Melby-Kelly, and Massad approved setting the public hearing with Dieken, Frost, and Hatanpa opposed. City manager Pat Hentges says only four votes were needed to set the public hearing. Five votes will be needed to approve the emergency ordinance.