Editor: As we all take action to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Coalition of Loudoun Towns offers the collective steps we are endeavoring to take to support the needs of our Towns and surrounding communities. This is an unprecedented time, but as a community working together, we will get through it.
Fighting this virus: First and foremost, we must contain the spread of this virus. This requires every one of us to follow the guidance of our public health professionals. Practice social distancing, wash hands regularly, and avoid going to crowded places unless you have too. Put simply, these are our most effective weapons to win the battle.
State of Emergency: Each Town has or will shortly be issuing a State of Emergency or equivalent. This is an important measure as it allows the Towns to provide support and acquire necessary goods and services on an immediate basis to fight this virus. It also enables each Town to qualify for reimbursement from the State for emergency related expenses, overtime and services, easing the fiscal burden to our citizens as we incur these additional costs.
Town Services: The Towns remain fully operational for all essential services such as policing, water/sewer services, trash collection, etc. We have moved to online and phone service as much as possible, so please call your Town office directly for any questions, concerns or needs. Our staffs are working overtime to meet the public needs.
Suspension of Utility Shutoff: We understand the concerns many may have regarding utility payments during the economic impact of COVID-19. During this crisis, the Towns are moving to suspend any water & sewer utility cutoffs for lack of payment. The goal is to reassure every citizen you will not lose your water & sewer if you become hard hit by this emergency.
Support Local Business: COLT knows that the economic lifeblood of our Towns flows from our many small businesses. Hit hardest already are our retail shops and restaurants, many of whom are small and family-run. We encourage everyone to “Shop Locally, Shop Virtually!” Most of our local retail stores have an online presence, so while staying at home—before you hop on Amazon—check out your local stores for what you may need. They can ship it, hold it for pick up and maybe even deliver. This goes for restaurants as well— if you are at home, eating in, go for taking out. This will keep the dollars in our community and support our local businesses and keep them going.Local Matters!!
Engagement with the State: COLT is working directly with the Governor and State officials to ensure our local governments can function effectively and meet our obligations to our citizens and businesses—but doing so safely and efficiently. Of particular concern are statutory requirements for all local governments to hold their meetings in person. While in normal times this remains extremely important for transparency and to allow for public engagement, with the pandemic, this requirement puts government workers, the public and elected officials at serious risk of exposure. We have requested the we all be allowed to hold meetings through telephonic means during the emergency, with the ability of the public to also participate remotely. This allows government to function, and the public to participate, but in a safe manner.
Finally, we express our deepest sympathies and pledge our support to those who have contracted this virus or have lost a loved one to it. Our thoughts are with each of you and we are here to help in any way we can.
These are extraordinary times for us all and we are committed to doing everything in our power to helping the citizens and businesses of our Towns and the entire Loudoun community weather this crisis. We are working closely with County Officials and the Health Department to stay informed of any new updates and provide information on every Town’s needs. Do not hesitate to reach out to us if you need anything. As your representatives, our first priority is to your health and safety.
Kelly Burk, Mayor, Town of Leesburg
Nathaniel O. Fontaine, Mayor, Town of Lovettsville
Bridge Littleton, Mayor, Town of Middleburg
Scott Ramsey, Mayor, Town of Round Hill
Kwasi Fraser, Mayor, Town of Purcellville
David R. Simpson, Mayor, Town of Hamilton
Roger Vance, Mayor, Town of Hillsboro