(Minutes subject to council approval)
CONFERENCE CALL MEETING
March 18, 2020
GOVERNOR’S CALL FOR MAYORS AND CITIES REGARDING COVID-19
PLACE: Nezperce City Hall, 606 Maple Street.
PRESENT were Mayor Steve Bateman and Clerk Rhonda Schmidt
Brief notes from the call are as follows:
This afternoon, representatives from dozens of Idaho cities convened on a conference call with Idaho Governor Brad Little, Idaho Office of Emergency Management Director Brad Richy, and Idaho Department of Health & Welfare Director David Jeppesen to hear updates about the Coronavirus. Governor Little has already declared a state of emergency at the state level. The state of Idaho has established a web page concerning the coronavirus at https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/ This site contains the latest information provided by the Governor’s office and the Department of Health and Welfare.
One of the questions answered by the Governor involved potential orders to close restaurants and bars. The Governor said that the State has not mandated closing these businesses and urged local elected officials to consult with health districts on the issue. Governor Little noted that in a state as large and diverse as Idaho, there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer and that individual communities will need to make that determination based on local needs.
Governor Little confirmed that federal funds will be available to reimburse cities or counties with declared disaster emergencies for expenses they incur with 75% of the funds coming from the federal government, 15% from the state, and 10% from the city or county (Information about Category B Emergency Protective Measures eligible for FEMA funding).
Governor Little noted that his staff and people in the Attorney General’s office are looking into how to handle public meetings in a way that prevents the spread of the virus and also meets the spirit of the Open Meeting Law and those recommendations should be available shortly and will be shared with city officials as soon as they are available.
AIC is getting lots of questions about whether individual cities should declare a disaster emergency. Certainly, every city should make their own decision about whether one is necessary in consultation with the city attorney, but generally speaking the disaster emergency has three major benefits.
1. Increased liability protection for local government employees and contractors in responding to the crisis.
2. Ability to purchase without the need to go through competitive purchasing to address the crisis.
3. Ability to have eligible costs reimbursed at the rate of 75% federal money, 15% state and 10% city.
• Mayor and City Council develop special procedures and limitations to be established for duration of emergency
• Within seven (7) days of mayoral declaration City Council passes resolution that includes steps to address emergency – drafted or reviewed by city attorney.
• Duration should be until the “all clear” is sounded by the Centers for Disease Control or the Governor of Idaho.
• Do not visit nursing homes, retirement homes, or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance, but still to find ways to connect with loved ones in these facilities, such as phone, text, Facetime, and others
• Avoid discretionary travel
• Avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people
• Continue to practice good hygiene
Work from home whenever possible – UNLESS you work in a critical infrastructure industry, such as healthcare, medicine and food supply. Take advantage of the many drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options for food. Businesses are stepping up to make these options even more available than before, in order to serve customers and keep people working.
The Governor encourages school districts to follow the latest CDC guidelines for school closures when considering whether to close schools for a period of time. The official source of information and updates on coronavirus in Idaho is https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/.
Following the call Clerk Schmidt drafted the mayor’s emergency declaration, the council resolution and an emergency agenda for an email vote of the council to proceed with the emergency declaration. Action is of the upmost importance as the State of Idaho has filed its declaration as well as Lewis County on the Monday preceding the governors call.
The email to the council is as follows. As part of these minutes is a copy of the council members responses with their actual vote.
Attached for your review is the Mayor’s Declaration that he signed today. We need your vote on the matter so that I can record the document at the county. Please email me back with your vote.
Once I receive the votes (hopefully first thing in the morning, March 19th) the mayor will sign the 2nd attachment reads City Council Emergency Declaration and I will have it recorded. If you have any questions regarding the declarations please phone Mayor Bateman directly at 208-790-1999.
Council Resolution R2020-1 was signed on March 19th and filed at the county on March 20, 2020.
Steve A. Bateman, Mayor Rhonda J. Schmidt, Clerk-Treasurer