EASTON — Mayor Robert Willey declared a state of emergency on Thursday, March 19, for the town of Easton in response to COVID-19 pandemic. Following additional measures Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday, Willey revised the town’s state of emergency. The additional provisions are amended to the provisions below.
The declaration follows suit after President Donald Trump, Gov. Larry Hogan and the Talbot County Council all issued states of emergency declarations. The declaration is effective for the next 30 days unless extended by legislative action of the Easton Town Council.
The declaration cited Section I 1-1 I I of the Public Safety Article of the Maryland Annotated Code authorizing the mayor to “declare a local state of emergency to activate the response and recovery aspects” of the state’s state of emergency plan. Willey ordered the following:
Federal and state aid: The town requests and authorizes the receipt of all available federal and state aid, resources and assistance to protect the public health safety and welfare of the citizens of the town of Easton.
Procurement: The town’s procurement policy shall be suspended under the emergency provisions therein for the purchase of goods or services as deemed immediately necessary to protect public health, safety and welfare.
Closure of public buildings: All town buildings shall be closed to the public with the exception of the lobby area in the town office building and the Easton Police Department building. The town will continue to be open and operate to assist the public, but some services, such as inspections, may be limited or reduced.
Public assembly permits: All previously issued public assembly permits for events intended to occur during the time that this emergency declaration remains in effect are rescinded.
Extension of licenses and permits: All licenses or permits issued by the town that will expire during the term this emergency declaration is in effect shall be extended until May 31.
Suspension of Motor Vehicle Administration flagging for unpaid tickets: The town shall suspend all MVA flagging as a result of unpaid parking tickets or speed camera tickets.
Sidewalk cafe permits: All sidewalk cafe permits previously issued are revoked during the term of this emergency declaration.
Boards and commission meetings: All town board and commission meetings are suspended except to deal with items deemed critical. The determination of whether an item is critical shall be made by the chairman of the board or commission and the town manager, and provided the meeting can be held virtually via teleconference or live streaming or other available technology and provided such meeting complies with the state’s Open Meetings Act requirements in the determination of the town attorney.
Zoning for temporary medical uses: Any use associated with the temporary provision of hospital services or diagnostic or testing facilities associated with the COVID-19 outbreak, shall be permitted as a temporary use in any zoning district in Easton and shall not require any zoning approvals to open or operate. The use may require building permit or health department approvals as applicable.
Late fees, interest and penalties: The town will not assess any late fees, interest or penalties on any payment owed to the town until 30 days after the statewide declaration of emergency is lifted by the governor.
Continuity of operations plan: The COVID-19 COOP (a separate document that is available at stardem.com) is adopted and implemented.
Effective date: The emergency declaration shall be effective for 30 days unless extended by legislative action of the Easton Town Council.
Supersedes inconsistent local law: The emergency declaration and accompanying orders shall supersede any inconsistent or conflicting local law, rule or regulation.
The declaration may be revised or amended from time to time by the mayor’s discretion.