(The Center Square) – At least one community in southeast Wisconsin is ready to reopen – almost.

Hartford Mayor Tim Michalak said he is not going to stop businesses from opening their doors on Monday. 

“We are not flinging open the doors,” the mayor said. “What we’re doing is giving them the freedom, to use their discretion, to open.”

Michalak says Hartford has too many closed businesses. 

There is no word on just how many coronavirus cases, if any, that Hartford has. Washington County, where Hartford is located, has seen at least 90 cases since the outbreak began. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says four people in the county have died. 

“Take some personal responsibility and I don’t think you’ll have a problem at all,” Michalak  said. 

Gov. Tony Evers on Thursday said people need to continue to stay at home. He said that his Safer at Home order can only work if people continue to socially distance. 

Mayor Michalak said he is thinking about safety. 

“We want to keep everybody safe,” Michalak  said. “We’re trying to do what’s best for the city of Hartford, businesses of Hartford.”

The mayor said he is telling the city’s police force not to enforce the state’s Safer at Home order. He said officers will go after real criminals instead.

Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square.

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