Kellyville declares state of emergency over COVID-19 pandemic

The Kellyville Board of Trustees met in an emergency session on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall at 410 East Buffalo. 

In attendance were Town Attorney Clay Fees, Trustees Ed Pruitt, Cliff Barnes, Bobby McGarrah, and Russ Howard, Mayor Terry Voss, and Town Administrator Beverly Lucas. 

The only issue on the agenda was how the town wished to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, whether or not to declare a state of emergency, and specific instructions regarding town employees and buildings. 

At Wednesday night’s emergency meeting at Kellyville Town Hall, chairs were spread out to practice “social distancing.”

Many other towns have issued state of emergency resolutions in the last few days. “We would not be pioneers” for doing so, said town attorney Clay Fees. 

Trustee Ed Pruitt asked if it would be easier for the town to receive state assistance if they did so, and Fees said “It sure won’t make it harder.” 

The final omnibus resolution includes the following: 

  1. Utilities: 
    1. There will be no cutoffs until further notice. 
    2. There will be no late fees after the 18th of March. 
    3. This does not mean that people should not pay their bill if they are able to or that fees incurred before the 18th are not still owed. 
    4. Payments may be made by phone, mail, or through the drop box at Town Hall. 
  2. Town offices and buildings: 
    1. All town offices and buildings will be closed to all but essential town employees. No exceptions. 
    2. Department heads can set their own hygiene requirements for employees. 
    3. Department heads will be responsible for reporting sick employees to Town Administrator Beverly Lucas.  
  3. Town park, library, and senior center: 
    1. All will be closed immediately, if not already, until further notice. 
    2. There will be no library fines while the library is closed and due dates have been pushed back. 
  4. Court:
    1. Trustees will go by the notice Judge Loeffler issued.  
    2. The original court date was March 23rd; defendants can now defer until April 27th. 
    3. Upcoming trials will be pushed back and no warrants will be issued during this time. 
  5. Since every issue cannot be anticipated, the town will adhere to recommendations from government agencies. 
  6. This resolution will be in effect from the 18th of March until the trustees meet again for their regular meeting on Tuesday, April 14th and will have a chance to update per CDC or state guidelines. 

The Trustees chose not to close businesses or restaurants. Pruitt noted that “they are already restricting themselves and they have gone above and beyond helping people.” 

Lucas said several churches and other organizations have expressed an intention to help provide meals for children, the elderly, or any others who will have trouble getting their usual meals with school and government shutdowns. 

Police Chief Shelly Garrett stated that for the time being, it’s “business as usual” for the police.  They will be “out and patrolling and you will still see them” around town.  

Additionally, the town storm shelter will be open during imminent tornadoes, with certain precautions, such as requiring face masks and keeping sick people in a separate area. But no one will be turned away. 

Kellyville’s Board of Trustees meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the Town Hall at 410 East Buffalo. 

Next month, the meeting will be on April 14th. Members of the public are encouraged to attend.