PUEBLO — The city of Pueblo is one step closer to applying for a program that could allow indoor dining, while still being in Level Red under the state's COVID dial.
It is referred to as the '5 Star Variance" program.
On Tuesday night, Pueblo's City Council, The Board of County Commissioners, and Mayor Gradisar met to discuss the program.
"I felt that this was very important to get this in front of council," said Mark Aliff, representative.
The program would allow restaurants and businesses to open back up, under Level Orange restrictions. However, the businesses and restaurants would need to meet certain health and safety guidelines.
When Michael Mahan, owner of Gold Dust Saloon, heard about the possibility of welcoming back his customers inside, "that would mean so much to us."
Mayor Gadisar has also played a big role in pushing for the program.
"I support this resolution and support moving forward with developing this plan," said Gradisar, Mayor of Pueblo.
According to Gradisar, the program is open to all businesses in the city of Pueblo.
However, it is not up to the city on which businesses can or can't participate.
"It is the Department Of Public Health that will make the determination about whether a business qualifies," said Gradisar.
The Board of Commissioners and the Chamber of Commerce will present the resolution and letters of support to the state on Wednesday, December 2nd.
If passed, the city of Pueblo can apply for the program.
In order for a business to qualify, it will need to follow a written business plan of prevention, mask wearing, employee system checks, outreach for exposure, and contact tracing.
"There is many things they have to do to be a part of the program when it comes to protection from COVID," said Aliff.
So if the program is passed, Mahan will soon be able to greet his customers back inside.
"All of our regulars haven't been around and we miss them. We hope to see them soon," said Mahan.