By Terry Schrimscher
SPRINGVILLE — The City of Springville approved a proclamation of local emergency at the regular meeting of the city council on Monday night. The proposal, presented by city attorney James Hill, was drafted to adhere to federal and state policies regarding the global spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
“The public is looking to government for answers and direction,” said Chief Richard Harvey of the Springville Fire Department. “The President, today, made the recommendation that they drop gatherings down to ten people. We need to be proactive but I don’t want people getting scared.”
Harvey cautioned that the crisis could become a nationwide quarantine like Italy and said such a situation could strand people for a long period of time. “If you look at where we are at compared to what other countries have gone through—our rate of infection is lower at the same point in time than other places,” said Harvey.
The emergency proclamation designates the closure of the Springville Senior Center, the Springville Library and City Hall. City departments, such as inspections, parks and recreation and others will remain open but closed to the public without an appointment. Departments will continue to hold regular staff meetings via phone or video conferencing during the duration of the city’s emergency status.
“Our parks will be open but we will not be licensing group gatherings,” said city attorney James Hill.
The motion to allow Mayor Isley to declare a local emergency in response to the coronavirus outbreak passed unanimously. The city will remain under emergency status for a period of 45 days.
In other business, the council heard discussion regarding the installation of street lights in the Morris Meadows subdivision. Some residents of the neighborhood addressed the council in opposition to the lights.
The proposal was first addressed in the council meeting on March 3 but carried over to the March 16 meeting. Discussions from residents revolved around placement of the lights in the neighborhood, particularly in cul-de-sacs, where the lights might cause unwanted light pollution and privacy issues. Some objected to city funds being spent on the project.
After prolonged discussion, council member David Jones made a motion to deny placing the lights in the neighborhood. The motion passed.
The city also voted to annex property at 7240 Highway 11 containing a private residence near the Dollar General.
The next meeting will be held on April 7.