City Council makes Juneteenth city holiday

NEW ULM– New Ulm City Council unanimously approved Juneteenth as a city holiday.

City Council’s approval means all public businesses will be closed, as for any other city holiday. The holiday falls on June 19 every year, and will go into effect this month on a Monday.

Juneteenth is the celebration of June 19, 1865, when the slaves were freed in Texas by Major General Gordon Granger. It symbolizes an African American independence day from slavery.

Governor Tim Walz signed a bill in February announcing Juneteenth would become a state holiday this year. Juneteenth has been a federal holiday since 2021, when the act was signed by President Joe Biden

The approval was carried unanimously with no comments or concerns.

In other news, Uber and Lyft could operate within New Ulm in the future.

City Council unanimously approved a first consideration for changes to the city’s taxi ordinance. These changes would include ride-share companies in the ordinance. Currently only taxis are allowed to operate within the city and not ride-share companies.

Those looking to drive for Uber or Lyft would need to pay the city a $50 fee, the same fee taxi services pay.

Councilman Les Schultz wanted to ensure drivers for Uber and Lyft are insured and drive neighborly. City Manager Chris Dalton said Uber and Lyft take care of insurance and making sure their drivers are safe.

Councilman Eric Warmka asked if drivers need to have signage on their cars to designate they are Uber or Lyft. Dalton said they do need to have signage on their windshield.

This ordinance will require a second consideration before final approval.


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