The City of Lincoln City declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic Monday after an emergency city council meeting and subsequent unanimous vote.
According to city counselors at the meeting, the emergency declaration was instituted to make daily operations run smoother and to give City Manager Ron Chandler more tools to take action when needed in a more timely fashion.
From the Lincoln City Municipal Code:
A state of emergency exists whenever any part of the city of Lincoln City is suffering or in imminent danger of suffering from a tornado, storm, high water, wind-driven water, earthquake, tsunami, volcanic eruption, landslide, mudslide, snow or ice storm, drought, fire, explosion, health hazard, infestation, toxic substance, civil disorder, disruption of community services, or any other catastrophe whereby extraordinary measures must be taken to save lives, to protect public health, safety and welfare, to minimize destruction of property or the environment, or to avert or lessen the threat of a major disaster. (Ord. 2018-03 § 1)
One city counselor had reservations with voting for the declaration because they did not want to add to the panic and confusion. He proceeded to ask questions to make sure they were doing the right thing.
“In trying times, take a deep breath and try to remain calm,” the counselor said. “We have a great community that cares and helps each other. Businesses are still open. Just remember to wash your hands, love on your kids and family and shop local. We’ll all get through this together.”
Under the declaration, the city manager can redirect funds for emergency use, prohibit price gouging and issue other emergency orders.
Restricting travel and curfews are a couple extreme examples of what the city manager can do, and curtailing commercial activity, prohibiting or restricting the sale of alcohol and cannabis, and prohibiting the possession of loaded firearms on public streets, public property or any outdoor place are all powers granted to the city manager. For a full list check out the Lincoln City Municipal Code:
City offices will remain open although the City prefers to conduct business by phone.
From the City of Lincoln City’s website:
Also on March 16, 2020 Governor Brown issued further directives concerning COVID‐19. The governor’s actions are effective March 17, 2020 lasting four (4) weeks until April 17, 2020.
These directives include the following:
All restaurants will be closed and restricted to serving takeout and delivery food only. Exemptions to this ban include grocery stores, pharmacies, retail stores and workplaces.
Gatherings of 25 or more individuals are prohibited.
Governor Brown at the same time urged Oregonians to avoid being around 10 people at a time and suggested businesses that cannot serve customers in a way that minimizes interpersonal contact should shut down completely during the pandemic. In response to both the emergency and Governor Brown’s directives, the City of Lincoln City has taken the following actions:
1. The Lincoln City Culinary center will close from March 17, 2020 through April 17, 2020.
2. The City will hold municipal court on March 17, 2020 and strict social distancing will be enforced. The court will then be closed until April 17, 2020.
3. The City Planning Commission meetings will be cancelled until April 17, 2020.
4. The Driftwood public library will close March 17, 2020 through April 17, 2020. The library will be developing alternative service delivery options and will provide this information on the web and social media sites.
5. The Lincoln City Community Center will close March 17, 2020 through April 17, 2020. The community center will be developing alternative delivery options and will provide this information on websites and social media site.
6. City Hall for Lincoln City at this point will remain open, we are asking citizens that need to conduct business with the Finance, Planning and Public Works department to call first at (541) 996‐2151 to determine if business transactions can be done by phone or email.
We encourage you to conduct all business with the City remotely if possible. We’ll post alternative service delivery options for conducting business tomorrow.
As of Monday, March 16, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Lincoln County.