By Rachel Adams – firstname.lastname@example.org
Grantville leaders voted to enact an ordinance asking residents to shelter in place during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The voluntary shelter-in-place policy requests that individuals not loiter, wander, stroll or play in any public place within the city limits.
Monday night, Grantville council members voted to enact this emergency ordinance, which will remain in effect until further notice.
This policy does not apply to individuals running emergency errands or traveling to and from their place of work, individuals walking or running to or from their residence for fitness purposes, or individuals traveling by vehicle throughout the city.
The ordinance will also place a prohibition on public gatherings that exceed more than 10 people within the city limits.
This policy does not apply to places of employment; businesses such as grocery stores, gas stations and building supply stores; health care facilities; or anywhere defined as an “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce” by the United States Department of Homeland Security. Any city facilities are also unable to be rented for use by the public.
Additionally, the city will suspend disconnections due to nonpayment.
Monday’s city council meeting was held via audio conference to comply with social distancing recommendations, and Grantville residents were encouraged to call in and listen as attendees.
The council discussed resolutions to the City of Grantville Employee Handbook for a policy outlining the city’s response to a pandemic flu outbreak or similar illness.
The policy outlines the specific steps Grantville takes to ensure the health and safety of its employees during a pandemic while ensuring that the city continues essential operations and providing essential services to its residents.
According to the policy, the city may require employees displaying contagious symptoms and/or conditions not to report to work or send them home. During situations such as epidemics, pandemics or similar situations, a city employee may require a health care provider’s statement in order to return to work.
Employees must also not report to work after they or a family member has returned from an area that has been designated as a health risk by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or another recognized health organization. In this situation, employees may also require a health care provider’s statement in order to return to work.
All council members approved this resolution, and it was effective beginning March 23.
The council also discussed the enactment of an emergency ordinance to comply with the current national state of emergency due to the spread of COVID-19. This ordinance ensures the continued operation of essential businesses and services in Grantville while providing a number of provisions to comply with social distancing.
These provisions include the closure of city properties, such as parks, playgrounds and restrooms, as well as a suspension on the acceptance of applications or permits of gatherings of more than the number of people recommended by the CDC.
All public hearings, meetings of the city council and other city affiliated boards, committees or commissions are also postponed until further notice.
The council also discussed an amendment to the rules for regularly scheduled council meetings. Under this amendment, two public comments sections will be scheduled during each meeting.
The first comments section will occur at the beginning of the meeting and will concern matters that are on that meeting’s agenda. The second will occur prior to adjournment and will concern matters that are not on the agenda.
A maximum of 10 speakers will be allowed to speak during the meeting, with a maximum of five speakers during each comments section. Each speaker must complete a Public Comment form and submit it to the city clerk, and forms will be available on a “first come, first served” basis.
All council members voted to approve this amendment.
The next city council work session is scheduled for Monday, April 13.