City declares emergency

In an emergency meeting on Friday, the City Council unanimously declared that a local emergency is in effect due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The declaration invokes the city’s Emergency Operations/Management Plan and Pandemic Response Plans, allowing it to provide emergency assistance without complying with time-consuming procedures and formalities that are generally required under normal operational times.

“Basically we can waive, and don’t have to comply to certain laws regarding purchasing, hiring, contracting so we don’t have to follow all of the time consuming bidding and closing, if the emergency is related,” said City Administrator Brian Heck. “A good example is if the lift station pump goes out in the main station, instead of waiting for the council to meet and going through that process, we’re justing to grab it and go. We don’t anticipate that we’re going to have to utilize it.”

The declaration follows the March 16, Emergency Executive from Governor Walz and recent recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the city made operational changes to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and took additional action at the emergency to further assist in controlling the spread of the virus.

CLOSURES
City Hall, the Police Department, and Public Works buildings were closed to public access on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, and will remain so until further notice. The public is encouraged to conduct as much business as possible via telephone, email, or through the city’s website.

Read more in the print edition.

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