POLK COUNTY — Emergency declarations have been issued in Independence, Monmouth and Polk County in response to the outbreak of COVID-19.
“This declaration helps to streamline responsibilities and allows for more flexible and timely responses from the city,” said Mayor John McArdle in a March 14 statement.
Mayor Cecelia Koontz signed Monmouth's declaration on March 17.
“The emergency declaration will allow the city of Monmouth to better serve people in our city in a more responsive and timely manner in order to reduce any number of losses our community, residents and businesses may experience from the spread of the novel infectious coronavirus during the coming weeks,” she said. “We understand this is a difficult and uncertain time for our community. However I am confident that the city and its leadership will navigate the complexities of this situation successfully and that our residents will be cared for in the best possible manner.”
The Polk County Board of Commissioners also on March 17 declared a state of emergency within Polk County.
“We’ve got a declaration on standby, but haven’t decided if or when we will declare,” said Mac Corthall, Falls City city manager. “Just keeping our fingers on the pulse for now.”
“The City Council has not discussed this, nor is there an immediate legal benefit to Dallas for doing so,” said Brian Latta, Dallas city manager. “Our ordinances allow emergency public contracting and purchasing provisions without declaring a local emergency. Dallas will be able to benefit from resource sharing under the county, state, and national declared emergencies.”
Koontz said declaring a local emergency is a common step that allows cities to request state and federal assistance.
“The declaration also provides city staff greater flexibility to modify work schedules for essential staff, and gives the city manager greater latitude to coordinate an effective response by redirecting funding for emergency use as needed,” Koontz said. “City leadership is working closely with local, regional and statewide partners to make sure our community needs are met and your voices are heard. We are also coordinating ways to share information about organizations who are stepping up to help their more vulnerable neighbors.”
Cities have COVID-19-related announcements and closures posted on their websites: