As the situation around Coronavirus comes with potential of long-term challenges and effects, leaders in Stevensville are planning to take measures to allow Town business to continue during a moratorium on public meetings and gatherings.
On Friday, the Stevensville Town Council will hold a special meeting to pass an emergency ordinance.
The ordinance, modeled after emergency ordinances passed by other communities across the state, outlines how the Town’s administration will proceed in delivering services and completing essential business for the community.
If passed, the emergency ordinance cancels Town Council Meetings, as well as advisory board and commission meetings, until April 30th.
Mayor Brandon Dewey may cancel meetings on a week-by-week basis after April 30th. The ordinance also includes the closure of Stevensville’s Town Hall which was implemented on March 16th.
Town offices would remain closed until April 30th, or on a week-by-week basis following April 30th at the Mayor’s discretion. Among other emergency measures, the town is providing for the possibility of staff absences.
The ordinance allows for 2 weeks of emergency leave should a staff member become infected with COVID-19 and is required to quarantine.
“The health of our citizens and employees is paramount,” said Mayor Brandon Dewey, “and we will take every precaution necessary to keep everyone safe.”.
Payment of claims will also be addressed in the ordinance, allowing the Mayor to proceed with paying the bills during the hiatus, and bringing them before the Town Council for ratification when normal operations resume.
"Vendors need to be paid for their services and goods, especially during a time where the economy is fragile. The ordinance ensures that happens while we are uncertain about future Council meetings." Said Mayor Dewey.
The attendees of Friday’s special meeting will be limited to ten. The Town is encouraging citizens that wish to observe the meeting or make public comment, to do so by the Town’s live stream on facebook and to send public comments to email@example.com.
“In light of these unprecedented times, input from the Town Council is vital in how we proceed through this situation. It is the primary goal of the administration to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the community during this trying pandemic," said Mayor Dewey
The Town Council will meet on Friday, March 20th at 6:00pm at Town Hall.
The live stream can be viewed on the Town of Stevensville – Municipal Government Facebook page and is accessible to those without a facebook account.
Those with questions are encouraged to contact Town Hall at 406-777-5271. More information about the COVID-19 Pandemic in Stevensville can be found on their website.