Members of the Leesburg Town Council have followed suit with Loudoun County and other localities in declaring a local emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This morning, the council held a special meeting where a 5-0-2 vote consented to the declaration of local emergency to be issued by the town manager, acting in his capacity as the director of emergency management.
The declaration of emergency gives Town Manager Kaj Dentler flexibility in normal procurement requirements to allow for the purchase of equipment or supplies related to the emergency; gives the town manager discretion in deploying resources such as town employees; implements applicable mutual aid agreements and allows for requests for assistance; and may open potential sources of reimbursement offered by federal and state governments, according to Public Information Officer Betsy Arnett. The declaration is set to expire May 2, unless extended or terminated by the council, Dentler, or by operation of law.
When asked by Councilman Ron Campbell what measures he expects to take during the emergency, Dentler said he was still unsure. However, he did announce his first measure would be making town government-controlled parking in the downtown area free, in an effort to help local businesses. That means parking at the Town Hall parking garage and Loudoun Street parking lot are now free, as is on-street parking. That was expected to be implemented today and will be in place until further notice, Dentler said.
Mayor Kelly Burk and council members Suzanne Fox and Neil Steinberg were physically present for the meeting, and Vice Mayor Marty Martinez and Campbell participated electronically. Council members Josh Thiel and Tom Dunn did not participate in the meeting.