Ferdinand declares local emergency

From Local Sources

FERDINAND — The Ferdinand Town Council declared a local emergency this morning in response to the coronavirus pandemic in an executive order signed by Council President Ken Sicard.

The executive order closes town facilities — including Town Hall — to the public, though business can still be conducted at town hall via the utility drive-thru. If a patron has business that cannot be done through the drive-thru, they can call 812-367-2280 to make alternative arrangements.

The gates to municipal utility buildings will also be closed. If patrons need access, they should call 812-367-2283 to make arrangements.

Town employees will continue to conduct business and offer services to the best of their ability. Essential services — defined in the executive order as public safety, utilities and sanitation — will continue to operate.

There will be a moratorium on utility service disconnections.

Citizens are discouraged from using common areas, such as restrooms at the town’s parks as those cannot be sanitized after each use, the executive order says. Rentals of park shelter houses and the senior center are also suspended for the next month. Refunds are available for reservations that have been made.

Town government meetings will be postponed or reduced to only pressing business. At this time, the board of zoning appeals and plan commission meetings for March have been canceled, with that business postponed until the April meetings. The Town Council meeting, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday is still scheduled and open to the public, per the Open Door Law, but attendance will be governed by local, state and federal recommendations for crowd size.

“This is a very fluid situation that requires constant re-evaluation and could require temporary suspension of rules that would ordinarily be in place,” the executive order says.

The executive order also gives the Ferdinand Police Department authorization to take lawful action to enforce the order.

The executive order will expire in seven days unless rescinded earlier or extended.

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