St Marys approves emergency declaration

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Meeting again remotely, St. Marys City Council approved an emergency declaration and ordinance for the city via a conference call meeting livestreamed on YouTube Thursday, March 26.

The city fell under the county’s joint emergency declaration earlier in March but city officials found there were things that may need to be addressed outside of that order.

“We want to make sure we can identify certain things within our community and even be stricter at it if we choose to do so,” interim city manager Robby Horton said. “That doesn’t mean that we’re cutting ourselves off from Camden County. That just means that we’re going to work with them like we have been but if we see an area that we need to address as an individual community, this gives us the ability to do that.”

One of those things is reiterating that no one will be disconnected for not paying their utility bill with the city while the declaration stands and giving residents 60 days after the declaration ends to bring their accounts current.

Council set the same curfew hours as the county, 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., and decided the declaration will remain in effect until April 21.

At the close of the meeting, council again spoke to the public, commending staff and residents for their efforts.

“We’re better together. We’ve become closer as a community through adverse times,” Rassi said. “… Just keep blessing and helping each other.”

Councilmen Jim Goodman and Artie Jones Jr. especially commended Horton, who has served as the city’s fire chief for many years and as interim city manager since October.

“I don’t think that we could have a better person to be in the position,” Goodman said. “I just really think that everyone on his staff is going the extra mile.”

In other business, council:

• approved a temporary resolution that allows restaurants to sell alcohol with carry out orders of food. The resolution will expire when the emergency declaration is lifted.

• agreed to contract with Brunswick Floors for $23,878 to prepare the concrete slab and install vinyl flooring in the small building next to city hall.

• decided to contract with Tindall Enterprises for $2,821 a month to operate the city’s water plants if another solution can’t be worked out. The city has to have a certified operator to maintain its permit and that employee moved to another position, public works director Bobby Marr said. The contract with Tindall, which operates the city’s wastewater treatment plant, would be temporary.