West Columbia passes resolution to deal with coronavirus

West Columbia City Administrator Brian Carter introduced a resolution to West Columbia City Council Monday, that would authorize the city administrator to make quick decisions regarding city services. Council later approved the resolution. 

It would allow quick action regarding the implementation of work-at-home schedules for certain personnel and the ability to minimize person-to-person contact during the coornavirus crisis.

Carter said it allows for the modification of city services as a part of plan that would limit situations that would spread the virus. 

He said limiting city services could include (as an example) the collection, by sanitation department staff, of only household garbage, eliminating recycle collection and yard waste routes. 

Other modifications that the city could implement would be the addition of sick leave time for a city employee facing quarantine because of the coronoavirus.  

In addition to a resolution to allow Carter to modify services, he said West Columbia Public Information Officer Anna Huffman and Treasurer and  Assistant City Administrator Justin Black are working on a plan that would allow council to meet without face-to-face contact.

He described an electronic, computer-based system, similar to a conference call, that would verify the identities of all council members. 

There would also be a process by which West Columbia citizens could access city council meetings electronically, via live stream. 

Other measures being taken by the city include the closing of city parks and the installation of glass partitions at city hall to reduce contact. 

The suspension of gatherings at city-own properties and the pushing back of municipal court schedules until April 4, are other efforts being considered as a way to combat the spread of the coronavirus. 

Carter also suggested the suspension on credit card fees for remote payment of bills to the city, to reduce traffic at city hall. 

The City of West Columbia will also work with the Town of Springdale, as a backup, during the coronavirus saga, exchanging services as a part of an as-needed mutual agreement plan.
Springdale also closed its city parks Monday to limit personal contact because of the coronavirus.