Paola City Hall

Paola City Hall

PAOLA — Paola City Council members have approved a resolution declaring a local state of emergency that grants new City Manager Sid Fleming the authority to take necessary actions to keep city residents and employees safe from the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The resolution was approved Wednesday, March 25, during a special meeting in which council members and city officials called into a conference line.

Some of the temporary authorities given to Fleming include the ability to close city facilities or suspend operations, make personnel decisions, and amend purchasing and other policies, all without having to call special meetings to get approval from council members.

The city had already closed City Hall, Paola Free Library, Firehouse Gym and other city buildings to public walk-in traffic until April 1, and Fleming said during Wednesday’s meeting that those closures will now likely be extended through Wednesday, April 22, to match the county’s recently approved stay-at-home order.

Paola Community Center rentals and activities have also been suspended.

Councilman Trent Upshaw asked that an email be sent to council members to notify them of changes and keep them in the loop, and Fleming said that would be done.

Councilman Aaron Nickelson asked if city parks and trails will remain open, and Fleming said they are all currently still open, but residents are encouraged to practice social distancing while utilizing them.

The approved resolution will remain in effect until the State of Disaster Emergency declared by Miami County has expired.

Editor and Publisher Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or brian.mccauley@miconews.com.

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