Members of the Tooele City Council, along with the mayor, talked about extending the local state of emergency in the city during the City Council’s work meeting Wednesday evening.
During the meeting, mayor Debbie Winn presented the idea to the City Council.
On May 18, the mayor declared a local state of emergency for 30 days. This is after the County Commission declared a state of emergency and encouraged Tooele City to do the same.
On April 15, members of the council voted to extend the emergency until June 30.
The mayor has the power to declare a state of emergency in a city for 30 days, after which it must be voted on by the city council, according to state code.
Extending the local emergency until Aug. 6 would continue to allow for businesses to disregard the city’s sign ordinance and obtain more business.
“This will allow us to continue the suspension of the enforcement of the sign ordinance and that gives our businesses an opportunity to put up those temporary signs and leave them up,” Winn stated. “I know that our businesses have suffered greatly due to this COVID-19 issue and we want to give them every opportunity to succeed.”
Extending the local emergency would also allow the city to be able to purchase equipment quickly if needed without having to obtain three bids on dollar amounts over 5,000.
“This will also give us the opportunity to suspend the purchasing policy,” Winn said. “If there is anything that is over the $5,000 amount normally we would get three competitive bids but if we have to buy P.P.E (personal protective equipment) and we see a really good deal, we want to be able to purchase that in an emergency and not have to get the three competitive bids. This will also enable us to do that.”
Standing before the council, Winn had a few thoughts to add.
“We hope that there is not any other emergency during this time that we have to respond to but if there happens to be and things get worse, this will give us the ability to act quickly and efficiently,” Winn said.
During the meeting City Council chairman Scott Wardle stated that he was opposed to extending the local state of emergency.
“I understand why we do this. I am opposed to this,” he said. “I would recommend that if we do take care of this, that the sign ordinance, we immediately start working on the enforcement mechanism to change it, so that it is suspended throughout the end of the year. My comment is very simple and that is, we are no longer in a state of emergency.”
At the meeting a vote was taken and all of the members of the council except for Wardle voted to extend the local state of emergency until Aug. 6.