Emergency city council meeting held

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The Frederick City Council held an Emergency Meeting March 18, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. at the Civic Center, 110 S. 17th St. to acknowledge Mayor Eddie Whitworth’s Emergency Proclamation regarding the City of Frederick’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The room was set up to allow for the six-feet of social distancing between council members and city staff recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Since President Trump has declared a national infectious disease emergency and Governor Stitt has declared a state of emergency for Oklahoma, It was important for Mayor Whitworth to implement the same regulations for the citizens of Frederick.

The Mayor’s proclamation, in accordance with the CDC recommendations as well as the President’s and Governor’s proclamations, reads that citizens should avoid human contact by social distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The proclamation will remain in effect until such a time as it is no longer deemed necessary.

Included in the proclamation, the City of Frederick’s administration offices, police department, fire department, Public Library, and other city owned businesses or offices will be closed to the public. They will remain open to conduct business via telephone, email or other available electronic means. The utility office drive through will remain open for payments. There is also an after hours drop box at the Water & Light Office just to the left of the front doors. The Civic Center is closed until further notice.

The Frederick Public Library has modified operations to reduce risk of spreading the virus:

1. Library staff will meet you at the elevator (push the buzzer button) to hand you what you want to check out, but only staff will be allowed inside.

2. Due dates will be extended to when they reopen - no late fines for days closed.

3. Books and magazines may be returned in the drop box.

4. DVDs and audio discs may be returned at elevator door (ring buzzer) or keep them till they reopen.

5. Staff will be available by phone and email during regular library hours at 580-335-3601 and library@frederickok.org.

6. Wireless internet will be available, same as always, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., near the building.

City Manager Robert Johnston or anyone that he designates are authorized to make operational changes to protect employees and the public from possible exposure to COVID-19. This includes but isn’t limited to allowing non-essential City employees to work from home.

Meetings of city council, City of Frederick boards, commissions or committees are cancelled until the expiration of this proclamation. The City Council will or Frederick Public Works will be allowed to call special or emergency meetings.

All court dockets are cancelled until May 1.

It is now mandatory that all in-person gatherings are limited to 10 people. This includes but isn’t limited to community events, Civic events, public events, faith-based, sporting events, parades, concerts, festivals, conventions, fundraisers, and similar activities until the expiration of this emergency declaration. Events where there will be more than 10 guests/people are prohibited until the expiration of this proclamation.

The spring storm season has arrived in Oklahoma and questions have come up about what to do if there’s a tornado. Does the 10 person limit apply?

According to Emergency Management Director Randy Hasley, Frederick has no public tornado shelters so that shouldn’t be an issue.

“Shelter in place, which means your home,” Hasley said. “If people come to your storm shelter, you need to log them in by name, address, age, and gender.”

Restaurants, bars, and other privately owned gathering places are required to limit the number of patrons such that at least six feet of space is available between patrons. Such facilities are also required to transition to take out or delivery options as soon as possible.

Local Fitness and exercise facilities, churches and schools are required to discontinue all group activities and significantly increase their facility cleaning regimens.

Johnson is authorized to discontinue the disconnection of utility services for non-payment and the collection of related late fees for 30 days. Balances due will not be forgiven.

A request will be submitted to the federal government to designate Frederick Memorial Hospital as a critical access to facility in order to utilize this facility for Frederick residents and other citizens during this National Emergency.

Mayor Whitworth and Johnston reserve the right to update the Proclamation as the situation warrants.

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