By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • The Raeford City Council held a meeting Friday morning to approve several coronavirus-related measures, including closing city facilities to the public and waiving disconnect fees for city utility service. The council voted to approve the following items:
1. Closure of all City of Raeford facilities to the general public until March 30, 2020; this can be extended at the city manager’s discretion.
2. Allow non-profits to use city facilities for relief efforts during the state of emergency; programs will be approved by city staff to ensure that all federal, state and CDC guidelines are followed.
The nonprofit Noonday Kitchen plans to help feed those in need in the area, and will work with other agencies to identify families who need groceries to deliver or arrange for pickup; but will not be hosting a public grocery pick-up day.
3. Waive all city utility disconnect fees incurred during the state of emergency.
Customers must still pay their utility bills and any amount unpaid will still accrue. The waiver does not remove the need to pay the bill, only puts a stop on disconnects for the state of emergency.
4. Create a sick leave bank for city employees who may be directly affected by the coronavirus.
5. Take reasonable protective and operational measures to ensure safety of the staff and community.
The city council approved the measures at the meeting, held at city hall.
City Manager Dennis Baxley additionally reported that FEMA has approved Category B items for reimbursement. While Baxley told the council he did not think expense would be an issue, revenues most likely will be negatively impacted.
The council also held a closed session for personnel matters.
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