The Lake County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution declaring a State of Emergency for conditions resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak during an emergency board meeting on Thursday, March 19.
In addition, the Board approved three resolutions as follows:
- To close all Lake County offices to the public effective March 19, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. until further notice;
- Delegating authority to County Administrator Matt Huddleston to allow county staff to work remotely when and where feasible during the emergency; and
- To allow county staff to utilize paid leave in certain circumstances during the emergency.
The resolutions were created following discussions with the emergency task force and department heads to help encourage social distancing and to grant the county the ability to take actions otherwise unable, Huddleston said.
"One example is that we currently have a limit where any spending over $5,000 has to come to the board for approval, whereas with the declaration, we could use funds for emergency supplies without having a vote," Huddleston said. "It allows for more flexibility when it comes to accepting funds from the state, as well."
While county offices will be closed to the public, the county will remain open for business. Services will be provided to the community by phone, email and USPS. A complete listing of department contacts can be found on the Lake County website www.co.lake.mn.us and at 218-834-8300.
The Lake County Courthouse will remain open during regular business hours for district court business only. It is recommended that residents call ahead to court administration at 218-834-8330 to determine the appropriate location to enter the courthouse.
Every effort will be made to keep the Recycling Center open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. However, if the county is unable to appropriately staff the facility, it will be closed until further notice. Please check the Lake County Facebook page for updates or call the Solid Waste office at 218-834-8304.
The demolition landfill will maintain its regular schedule.
The board also discussed how to go about holding regular board meetings in the future. To continue to allow public viewing of a meeting, the board will consider setting up a teleconference line and or using video conferencing. More discussion about how to move forward will likely be had at the board meeting on Tuesday, March 24.
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