What’s Open, What’s Closed in Loudoun’s Towns

Efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus have forced partial governmental closures. In Loudoun, that means many town meetings are cancelled and town offices closed for the foreseeable future.

Here’s what Loudoun’s seven town governments have done to protect against COVID-19.

Leesburg

The Leesburg Town Council Wednesday morning consented to Town Manager Kaj Dentler’s declaration of a local emergency, which will be in effect through May 2. Town Council, Planning Commission, Board of Architectural Review and Board of Zoning Appeals meetings will take place as scheduled. If there are no public meetings on a particular day, the Town Hall will close at 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

According to a town statement, the town staff is looking into alternative ways, other than in-person, for residents to participate in town meetings. While all Leesburg advisory commission meetings have been cancelled through March 31, the chairperson of each body will make decisions on a case-by-case basis.

Many town events, including the Flower & Garden Festival, have been cancelled, as has Mayor Kelly Burk’s March 31 State of the Town address.

For more information, call 703-777-2420 or go to leesburgva.gov/residents/coronavirus-information.

Purcellville

Purcellville Town Manager David Mekarski on Monday declared a local emergency, which the Town Council was slated to ratify Wednesday night. Because of the emergency, Town Council meetings, for now, will be held by electronic means. That means public participation will also be electronic—with residents able to speak during the citizen/business comments portion of meetings by joining the council’s GoToMeeting sessions.

Mekarski also closed the Town Hall to visitors starting March 17. But town staffers are providing residents with assistance via phone and email and will work on a case-by-case basis to accommodate in-person service, if residents should request it.

Purcellville’s Economic Development Advisory Committee, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Purcellville Arts Council, Train Station Advisory Board and Tree and Environment Sustainability Committee meetings have been cancelled until further notice. The Board of Architectural Review, Board of Zoning Appeals and Planning Commission will meet on an as-needed basis. Also cancelled is the Town-Wide Cleanup, March and April Nature Walks, youth band auditions for the Purcellville Music and Arts Festival and the Purcellville Music and Arts Festival.

The town will review the situation after eight weeks—the amount of time the CDC recommended people wait before again attending events where 50 or more people are gathered. For more information, go to purcellvilleva.gov, call the town office at 540-338-7421 or email info@purcellvilleva.gov.

Round Hill

Round Hill Town Administrator Melissa Hynes, who also serves as the town’s director of emergency management, declared a local emergency on March 17.  The Town Council is scheduled to ratify the declaration on March 19. The Town Office will also close to visitors starting Friday, March 20. The town staff will work on a case-by-case basis to accommodate in-person service, if residents should request it.

Residents unwilling to physically attend the March 19 Town Council meeting, but still wanting to participate in the public hearing on the Fiscal Year 2021 budget, may email Hynes their questions and comments at mhynes@roundhillva.orgby 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.

In lieu of making utility payments in-person, residents may mail paid bills to P.O. Box 36, Round Hill, VA; drop them off in the secure 24-hour drop box on the back porch of the town office; or make them electronically at roundhillva.org/home/pages/bill-payments.

For more information, go to roundhillva.org, call 540-338-7878 or email Hynes.

Middleburg

Middleburg Town Administrator Danny Davis on March 16 declared a local emergency, which the Town Council could ratify at its March 26 meeting. While Middleburg Town Council meetings are scheduled to continue, advisory committee meetings are encouraged to postpone, if possible. The town office is closed to visitors. All in-person meetings are encouraged to be held via telephone or virtually as much as possible.

According to a town statement, Middleburg’s water and sewer contractor, Inboden EnvironmentalServices, is prepared to continue utility service and has plans to include back-up staffers and remote monitoring systems. Residents who want to pay utility bills may do so by bringing them to the town office drop box or by paying them online at ipn2.paymentus.com/cp/tomu.

For more information, call 540-687-5152 or go to middleburgva.gov/323/Stay-Informed—Coronavirus.

Lovettsville

On March 15, Lovettsville Mayor Nate Fontaine announced that all non-essential Town Council, commission and committee meetings had been cancelled. The March 26 Town Council meeting, however, will continue as planned, since the council must vote to adopt the town’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget at that point. Moving forward, the chairperson of each commission, committee or board will determine if a meeting is needed.

The Lovettsville town office is also closed to visitors until further notice, with a minimal number of staffers in the office during normal business hours to assist residents electronically. Residents wanting to make payments can do so by leaving them in the town office drop box or by paying them online at lovettsvilleva.gov/how-do-i/pay-my-bill-or-taxes.

For more information, call 540-822-5788 or email Town Manager Rob Ritter at townmanager@lovettsvilleva.gov.

Hamilton

The Hamilton town office is closed to the public. The town staff encourages residents to use electronic means to communicate with town leaders for the time being. Residents can still drop off checks and other paperwork in-person by using the door slot on the front door of the office. For more information, go to town.hamilton.va.us or call 540-338-2811.

Hillsboro

The Town of Hillsboro’s Old Stone School—its town office—is closed to the general public until March 30, at which point town leaders will review the situation. All town events have been cancelled. For the time being, most town meetings will be held using conference and video calls, with essential personnel still working out of the office. For more information, call hillsborova.gov or call 540-486-8001.

If the coronavirus crisis gets worse and additional restrictions on social interaction are mandated, each Town Council could decide to operate electronically if they meet certain criteria, seeing that Gov. Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency.

Under Virginia law, that would be possible if the catastrophic nature of the emergency makes it impracticable or unsafe to assemble a quorum in a single location; the purpose of a meeting is to address the state of emergency; and the public body gives public notice and makes arrangements for public access to meetings.

pszabo@loudounnow.com

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