Auburn City Council unanimously approved two resolutions that put the City of Auburn in a state of local emergency. Both were first shown to the Council during the Committee of the Whole, with a brief adjournment that allowed them to read the proposal.
The first resolution strongly recommends that actions be taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as limiting the occupancy of a building to 25 people, said City Manager Jim Buston. But this resolution cannot be legally enforced — just strongly encouraged and suggested.
City-run facilities are currently open, but their programs are cancelled, Buston said. This resolution allows for the City to officially shut down public facilities.
Buston added that the City does not have the authority to close local businesses.
The second resolution expedites and expands the process for the City to spend money. It removes the $15,000 limit for City purchases without Council approval.
The second resolution also gives Buston the ability to appoint safety personnel.
The state of local emergency will be in effect until April 6, with an option for Mayor Ron Anders to extend it up to six weeks, Buston said.
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Now that a state of local emergency has been declared, the Council will be able to vote at their next meeting if a public safety curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m should be passed. But it will only be considered if necessary.
“It seems like we may never have to get to a curfew,” Buston said. “I expect that the governor and the state health department at some point will declare all of Alabama [in a state of emergency].”
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