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The city of Tyler will recommence in-person city council meetings and officials are working on a plan to safely welcome the public back in to participate.

During the Wednesday city council meeting, City Manager Ed Broussard explained that feedback from the public is a valued part of the bi-weekly meetings.

“We will be opening up for the next meeting (June 24),” Broussard said. “Citizens want in-person participation especially regarding zoning items. ... We will find out how to best utilize the public space to get people in for comments and participation.”

COVID-19 testing

Broussard also announced that free walk-up coronavirus testing sites will be open to the public June 16 to 18.

Anyone who has access to a phone is eligible to be tested, and will receive their results by call or text, he said.

“No registration and no symptoms are necessary,” Broussard said.

He said there will be two locations: North Tenneha Church of Christ, 1701 N. Tenneha Ave., and Saint Louis Baptist Church, 4000 Frankston Highway.

The Texas Division of Emergency Management and the Texas Department of State Health Services are the organizers of the free testing.

Broussard said after hearing public requests for transparency, Tyler Police Department reports are available on the city’s website as well as the police department website.

First responders

He also expressed his respect for the fire and police departments for protecting the rights of free speech during the series of peaceful protests in Tyler since the death of George Floyd, who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer in late May.

Mayor Martin Heines said he also appreciated the Tyler Police Department.

“The police department has done an incredible job, they have been so respectful and so helpful which shows their professionalism,” Heines said. “I am very proud of their actions.”

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Multi-Media Journalist

Taylor Miller is a bilingual reporter who helped launch an initiative to start the first ever Tyler Paper Spanish website. When she isn't translating and recording video updates, she typically covers features, government, and events.