No cases of COVID-19 currently suspected in the county

On Tuesday morning, Providence Mayor Doug Hammers declared a state of emergency in the city of Providence.

In an executive order issued to the newspaper, Hammers laid out the grounds for the declaration, citing directives issued by Governor Andy Beshear and explained his powers under such an order.

“I, Doug Hammers, Mayor of the City of Providence, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Chapter 39A, et seq. and Chapter 39B, et seq. of the Kentucky Revised Statutes, do hereby declare that a State of Emergency exists in the City of Providence, and that I shall be exercising the authority granted to me for the period beginning on March 17, 2020 and continuing until further notice,” Hammers stated in that declaration. “More specifically, I shall be exercising the authority granted to me through Executive Orders and through the utilization of City personnel, services and equipment and additional acts necessary to the management of this emergency.”

Hammers stated that under the declaration, and the powers given to him under KRS Chapters 39A and 39B, he may choose to waive procedures and formalities required by law when it came to performance of public work, entering into contracts on behalf of the city, incurring obligations on behalf of the city, employing temporary or permanent workers, utilizing volunteers, renting equipment and spending public funds.

He went on to say that the declaration gives him the ability to set and establish curfews, although he did not do so at that time.

“I may order immediate purchase or rental of, contract for, or otherwise procure, without regard to procurement codes or budget requirements, the goods and services essential for protection of public health and safety or to maintain or to restore essential public services,” Hammers stated in the release.

In a separate statement from the mayor, he explained that this was not in response to any suspected local cases of the COVID-19 (the Coronavirus).

“This declaration is for the same reason the county did it last week,” he stated. “At this time as a precautionary measure to obtain funding and assistance if needed I have declared a state of emergency for the City of Providence.  I have declared the state emergency not only to coordinate the efforts of Governor Beshear but also President Trump in combating the Coronavirus.  I want to try to keep Providence in front of this crisis as much as I possibly can.  The state of Emergency is for proactive measures in the event we are in need of funding or supplies.  All of our citizens are important and by enacting these measures we can streamline state and federal funding if we are in need of those resources in the future.  I ask that everyone follow the precautionary measures put in place and give you a heartfelt thank you for doing so.  We are going to continue daily efforts to do what is best for the citizens of Providence.

Judge Executive Steve Henry issued a county-wide declaration last Tuesday afternoon in order to qualify the county for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds in case the virus did hit Webster County.

 

Reach MATT HUGHES

 at 270-667-2068 or