City of Helena declares State of Emergency

Posted at 4:07 PM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 12:22:39-04

The City of Helena declared a State of Local Disaster Emergency Monday afternoon.

Helena City Codem Section 2-10-3 allows the Mayor to declare a state of emergency for 10 days, when there is an imminent threat of widespread loss of life resulting from an epidemic.

This declaration of a State of Local Disaster Emergency activates the response and recovery aspects of any and all local disaster emergency plans, including the Lewis & Clark County Emergency Operations Plan in response to COVID-19.

The declaration also gives the Interim City Manager the authority, pursuant to MCA 10-3-406, to direct law enforcement to enforce quarantines and curfews, with or at the direction of the City-County Board of Health, or the ability for City employees to work from home.

At this time, no curfews or quarantines have been decided.

Currently, all City Administrative Meetings are canceled until further notice. That includes the upcoming Wednesday, March 18, 4:00 p.m. Administrative Meeting.

However, the City Commissioners are still legally required to meet and will continue to meet on Monday, March 23 at 6:00 p.m with a limited agenda, including an extension of the declaration if necessary, claims, and general public comment.

All advisory board meetings, including Helena Citizens Council, TIF Advisory Boards, and more, are canceled until further notice.

"The declaration of a state of local disaster emergency gives us the flexibility to respond to COVID-19 demands," said Mayor Wilmot Collins. "The health and well-being of the public and our staff is the number one priority of City leadership."

The City will utilize the Governor's "State of Emergency" declared on March 12, if emergency funds are needed.