CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The City of Champiagn approved an ordinance Friday morning putting the city under a local emergency.
The reason is to prepare for a possible coronavirus spread. Mayor Deb Feinen said she declared the local emergency to set up a process for the City to continue to run if the pandemic gets worse.
The city council unanimously approved the ordinance at their special meeting. The local emergency will be in effect for 28 days. City officials said the regulations used in the ordinance come from City code.
The city manager said there are some regulations in there that will become immediately useful. However, there are some like the suspension of liquor licenses and closing of businesses that won’t be necessary unless the situation gets worse in Champaign. Mayor Feinen said she hopes it won’t get there. “Making sure that we are prepared and ready for any eventuality. I hope all of this is for naught and that none of the emergency measures we’ve put into place are necessary,” said Feinen.
One regulation extends the deadlines on payments that need to be made to the City. The council said they do not want someone sick coming to the City Building because they feel like they have to make a payment.
The city manager also said the declaration gives her some flexibility in maintaining emergency services like police and fire. She will now be able to prepare their workforce better in case it gets hit by COVID-19.