In wake of the coronavirus pandemic, a state of emergency was declared by the Boaz City Council on Monday night during it’s latest regularly scheduled meeting.
Though merely a formality, the council made the declaration to become eligible for a reimbursement of funds by the federal government in the event COVID-19’s impact called for financial aid from the city.
Other local municipalities like Albertville and Guntersville and the Marshall County Commission made similar declarations last week.
In the midst of the chaos brought on by COVID-19, Mayor David Dyar encouraged residents to make the best of the situation.
“You know, I think this is an opportunity for us as individuals, and as a community, for our light to shine,” he told The Reporter after the meeting was adjourned. “Because these are some very difficulty and dark times — uncharted water — but I think it’s an opportunity for us to let our light shine. And by that I mean, for example, if we go into a store and there’s a limit of three rolls of toilet paper, or three packs of toilet paper, get one… Don’t get the max. Show some heart. Show some love. Show some compassion, because there’s a lot of people that may be in worse situations than we are. But if we can let our light shine bright, come together as a community and do the right thing, it’ll be a lot easier and a lot better for everyone… We’ve got an opportunity to step up and do right. Put others before ourselves and show who we are as a community.”
Dyar said the reason for people hoarding groceries and items such as toilet paper could be partly due to misinformation from the national media.
“They are not confident of the information they are getting — whether it’s accurate or not,” he said. “I think they feel like it fits a political narrative depending on which side of the aisle they’re on.
“We need to put our political narratives in the trash can,” he continued. “Just give us good information, and maybe people wouldn’t be reacting the way they are… and, you know, I’m talking about the national media we see on TV: CNN, FOX, MSNBC… They need to start giving us better information — more accurate. The American people deserve it. Instead of playing this political football … give us the real news that’s accurate — whether it’s good or bad … I think that’s one of the things that would really help [calm people].”
Despite health orders in place, Dyar also urged people to try and continue supporting local small businesses. He and the city's leaders are doing what they can to help support them as well, he said.
In other business, the council:
• Held a public hearing to “go over” an alcohol license application for a special retail — more than 30 days … within the city limits of Boaz” from Big LLC, doing business as Clear Creek Golf Club, located at 1715 Alabama Highway 205. No one spoke for or against the alcohol license. The council unanimously voted to issue Big LLC the license.
• Approved the accounts payable voucher dated March 13-23, totaling $575,248.37.
• Employed Wayne Hunt as a full-time maintenance worker.
• Deemed the following property items as surplus property and instructed the city clerk/treasurer to dispose of the property:
- 1984 Pierce Dash fire truck
- HotPoint freezer, model No. FV12ALD
- Amana freezer, model No. ESV13DL
- 2001 Ford Goshen 21-passenger bus, VIN No. 1FDXEA45S21HB77469
- Four wall mount light fixtures, 75-watt, type T4 Minican Halogen
- Epson Stylus Printer C88+
- Two Panasonic VCR/DVD player combo
- Xerox Laser 3250 printer
• Entered into an agreement with the State of Alabama — acting by and through the Alabama Department of Transportation relating to public transportation with partial funding by the Federal Transit Administration — for a new 17-passenger bus for the Boaz Senior Center. Dyar said the bus was the second vehicle the senior center had applied for and will receive in less than four years.
• Approved the purchase of one 2020 Chevrolet Tahoe for the Boaz Police Department from Donohoo Chevrolet, LLC, which is the vendor that currently holds the State of Alabama bid, in the amount of $30,739 and $1,277.64 in other options for a total of $32,016.64. The purchase is to help solve the department’s vehicle shortage since three were involved in a chase last month. One of the new Dodge Chargers was totaled out. The other two vehicles could be repaired.
• Entered executive session for approximately 30 minutes to discuss “present and future economic opportunities within the city.”