Safety First

El Campo City Manager Courtney Sladek wore a mask at Monday night’s monthly city council meeting. At the meeting, council voted to maintin city and county COVID-19 disaster declarations.

Wharton County’s assorted disaster declaration remains in place, following city and county meetings this week.

Both were renewed via unanimous votes last session.

“This means that Wharton County remains eligible for reimbursement of any cost associated with preventive or responsive steps to address COVID-19 related issues,” County Judge Phillip Spenrath said.

The county’s disaster declaration has been in place for the last eight weeks. On March 16, Spenrath and mayors from El Campo, Wharton and East Bernard gathered at the Wharton County Courthouse to announce they were united in the effort to address COVID-19.

The federal government should reimburse up to 75 percent of the cost for personnel and supplies.

The city’s disaster declaration remains active until June 8, the next council session.

Councilwoman Gloria Harris said she was concerned with enforcement of safety measures under the governor’s COVID-19 Reopen Texas guidelines.

“Everything said is kind of vague,” she said. “It does no good to make a proclamation if we don’t enforce (it).”

Safety guidelines from the state came with the possibility of fines and/or jail time for infractions. The possibility of jailing was later removed by the governor.

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