ST. CLOUD -- St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis says he's going to work with local bars and restaurants to help expand their outdoor seating capacity.

Kleis says prior to the governor's latest announcement, his office has been contacted by many businesses asking to utilize their parking lots for customers.

He says they are looking at several creative ways to not only provide seating on sidewalks, but closing off roads and using parking lots.

We're looking at utilizing some of the parking lots, we're also looking at some of our parking ramps where the top floor could be converted into outdoor dining.

He says the parking lot next to the Metro Bus Transit Center and the Lady Slipper lot are under consideration for restaurants to use.

Kleis says they will spend this week to come up with some plans to start letting businesses know their options prior to June 1st.

We're going to continue to do everything we can as a city to ease that burden and help those bars and restaurants that have been challenged significantly.

Per Governor's Tim Walz' next phase, bars and restaurants are allowed to open outdoor seating only for less than 50 people, in addition to take-out and curbside pickup.

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