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Council ends local state of emergency

Franklin City Council voted 6-0 at its July 12 meeting to officially end the local state of emergency related to COVID-19.

Amanda C. Jarratt

Ward 3 council member Gregory McLemore was not present at the time of the vote.

Amanda C. Jarratt, Franklin’s city manager, explained to the council why the time had come to terminate the local state of emergency.

“As the director of emergency services, we’ll declare a state of emergency surrounding a specific event or item, and it’s associated with that specific event and item, and you adopt it at the next available City Council meeting,” she said.

She noted that the City of Franklin entered into a state of emergency associated with COVID-19 back on March 13, 2020, and then just stayed in that state of emergency. 

“But the state-level state of emergency expired on June 30,” she said, adding that she and attorney Vivian Giles discussed this at a previous meeting and “feel like, especially for the director of emergency services as well, that we need to bring an end to it because it has closed at the state level. And just so for record-keeping purposes, we can show that we entered into it on March 13, and we will have exited it this evening.”

There were no questions or concerns from the City Council before the 6-0 vote.

In a July 23 email interview, Jarratt offered a general understanding of the temporary powers afforded by the local state of emergency status that have now been relinquished.

“A state of emergency allows the manager and staff various flexibilities with regards to things if necessary such as procurement, spending, access to emergency funding,” she stated. “In the state of emergency we operate under our Emergency Operations Plan. The same applies to all Virginia municipalities.” 

She noted that because Franklin is an independent city, it has its own Emergency Operations Plan.