Marion’s city council passes emergency declaration
Marion city council members passed a resolution Monday that gave mayor David Mayfield and city administrator Roger Holter the temporary authority to make decisions without vote of council during a COVID-19 epidemic that is expected to cost the city $70,000 in sales tax revenue.
The resolution declares a local state of emergency and gives them authority to make any decisions they deem necessary to continue city operations and protect the well-being of employees and the public.
Their authority includes closing facilities, suspending operations, changing policies and procedures, granting additional leave to employees, and making purchases exceeding previously established purchasing authority.
The viral outbreak may hit the city’s utility revenues as well. An order from the governor prohibits the shut-off of utility services for people unable to pay their bills.
“Money is going to get tight,” Holter said.
Holter said he wants to keep as much of the work force on duty as possible, but some positions, such as sports referees, will have nothing going on.
If the economy doesn’t get its legs back under it quickly, Holter said, those extra weeks of unemployment will hurt local businesses.
“Nobody can define with any certainty right now what the final impact will be,” Holter said.
Although signs at park playgrounds say the playground equipment is closed, children have been seen playing on it. Council members discussed putting yellow tape around the playground areas to discourage people from using the equipment.