Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri and Rome Mayor Jackie Izzo have announced due to declining COVID infection rates and rising vaccination rates, the public will be again able to attend Common Council meetings.

In a joint statement, Palmieri and Izzo say in-person public participation at Council meetings will be Phase One of reopening City Halls for both cities.

The first Utica Council meeting open to the public will be held on May 19, while Rome’s first Council meeting will be on May 26.

Temperature checks and contact tracing forms will be used and all individuals who attend council meetings must wear a face covering and socially distance.

As Phase 1 is implemented, both municipalities will assess and monitor the situation with a goal to gradually, and safely, reopen City Hall to the public as more city employees continue to obtain their vaccinations.

"It is the responsibility of public officials to promote the health of our residents. I am pleased Mayor Izzo and I are announcing in-person public participation for Council meetings. Implementation of Phase 1is a major step forward as we adjust to the new normal. In the meantime, we must continue to observe public health guidelines to continue the positive trend of declining infection rates." said Palmieri.

LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.