Monticello Mayor Brian Stumpf declared a health emergency in the city on Friday, Match 27, setting the stage for the city to be able to properly operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The declaration will be formally approved during a 5 p.m. Monday, March 30 special meeting of the Monticello City Council, according to Rachel Leonard, communications coordinator for the City of Monticello.
The declaration gives the City “formal latitude to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak,” Leonard said.
While the city has been enacting response plans under the guidance of the Monticello City Council and City Administrator Jeff O’Neill for several weeks, the emergency declaration is another tool of transparency so the public can understand the ways resources are being used to protect the health of the community and maintain essential city services.
The City issued a statement stating that the declaration outlines the city’s authority for adequately responding to the health emergency. These capabilities include:
• Authorizing review of ordinances, regulatory requirements, operations, and resources to evaluate services that may need to be adjusted or suspended, as well as the ability to recommend emergency regulations to support city staff and residents.
• Allowing the city to adjust operations and resources to maintain essential public services.
• Directing the city to request and coordinate appropriate aid and resources to combat the health emergency.
• Providing flexibility to conduct public meetings while following the health guidelines provided by the Minnesota Department of Health, including the use of telephone or other electronic meetings.
The Monday, March 30 special meeting is open to the public, even though strict social distancing practices will be in place.