City Proposes New State of Emergency
The Florence City Council is back to business on Monday as it meets for its scheduled work session at 10:30 in the morning. The 4 member council will work through items for the Monday evening meeting. On the planned agenda for the evening meeting is the repealing and replacing of the city’s emergency declaration that was enacted back in March at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. This action will allow the city to continue to respond to the needs of the community including the ability to procure funds from the state of Oregon and some federal agencies. The move extends the state of emergency until January 31, 2021 an additional 20 weeks. If the effects of the pandemic continue past that point the new declaration will also give the City Manager or the city council the ability to extend that declaration. Currently city work sessions and meetings are being held through a special gotowebinar format which can be accessed on the city’s website: ci.florence.or.us.
Utility Relief Program
The City of Florence will consider establishing a Utility Relief Program. Over the past 7 months the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has put a financial burden on many residents in Florence and has created a financial burden for the city’s water utility. Currently the city has 171 delinquent accounts that add up to $34,900. The City of Florence was awarded $316,255 as part of the CARES Act fund through the state of Oregon and the city administration would like to allocate $40,000 of that money to create a program to assist people that have been directly affected by the coronavirus. If creation of the program is approved it will run through December of this year or until the dedicated funding runs out.
Lane County COVID-19
Lane County added another 23 positive cases of COVID-19 to the list yesterday raising the total number of cases to 917. There are also now 85 residents considered infectious with 4 hospitalized. For the first time this week the state is reporting no new deaths associated with the virus, but there were 215 new cases reported. The Case total is now over 30,000 at 30,060.
Normal Testing Resumes
The Oregon Health Authority reports that it has resumed normal processing of COVID-19 tests at the state laboratory after having closed for 3 days due to HVAC problems related to poor air quality from the smoke and ash of the wildfires burning. Testing and processing was severely limited by the wildfires. Lane County has not issued a statement regarding testing but had previously noted that test numbers had fallen off as a result of the fires across the state.