Agreement reached for River City homeless camp

Agreement has been reached by both sides to resolve the issue of access to the River City homeless encampment.

Aberdeen Mayor Erik Larson tells KXRO that “Federal Judge Robert Leighton has approved an order jointly submitted by the City of Aberdeen and three individuals which resolves access to the River Street property.”

He says that “the City and the three individuals agree that life-safety, public safety, and public welfare concerns warrant restrictions on access to the property.”

The City will continue to provide this restricted access until the property is entirely closed to the public and there are no plans to immediately take such action.

According to the release from Larson, visitors following rules of conduct are generally allowed to enter the property on foot between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. daily.

In certain emergency circumstances, visitors are also allowed to enter the property on foot and are required to call 9-1-1 so that public safety agencies are informed and can respond appropriately.

The only approved access to the property remains through the City right-of-way along the northeast corner of the property.

Larson says the City will not interrupt deliveries of food, clothing, and health and hygiene products.

Fuel and firewood may only be brought in to be used in approved manners such as approved fire pits.

Supervised vehicle access for the purpose of delivering those items will be allowed through the gate at the access point on Tuesdays between 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., and Thursdays between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.

A city employee will staff the gate, and vehicles that have not exited by the time the gates close are subject to tow at the owner’s expense.

Continuing access by any visitor requires compliance with the following agreed rules of conduct:

– Obey all laws

– Do not bring alcohol or weapons onto the property

– Only bring drugs or medicines as prescribed by a doctor for the visitor, or for the individual being visited on-site

– Only be on or cross rail tracks at designated crossings, and otherwise stay 45 feet from any rail cars

– Use City-provided portable toilets and trash containers

In order to maintain life-safety, public safety, and public welfare the City will enforce the agreed rules of conduct which may include removal from the property, preventing future access to the property, and/or pursuing other legal remedies.