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Neighbors helping neighbors: A give and take station in front of a house on Bayside Gardens Road in Nehalem.

Cities on the north coast are following state and county examples by announcing a state of emergency as the coronavirus pandemic escalates.

On March 8, Gov. Kate Brown declared Oregon to be under a state of emergency. On March 11, the World Health Organization categorized COVID-19 as a pandemic threat, causing respiratory distress, potentially serious illness and loss of life. Tillamook County announced a state of emergency on March 14. April 28 was set by most as a date to reevaluate the situation.

Manzanita

Mayor Mike Scott declared an official state of emergency Wednesday, March 18, for the City of Manzanita. The state of emergency declaration provides City Manager Cynthia Alamillo with the latitude to coordinate an effective response by redirecting funding for emergency use as needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city manager is authorized to initiate emergency request for aid from Tillamook County, State of Oregon, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency as necessary.

The city council and city staff continue to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak and want residents, second homeowners and visitors to know that they are proactively taking steps to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the community.

The mayor has been providing frequent local video updates regarding the coronavirus pandemic via social media.

Nehalem

Following the local state of emergency declared for Tillamook County due to COVID-19 and social distancing measures ordered by the governor, the City of Nehalem City Hall followed the same measures effective until April 14. City Hall will be closed to walk-in traffic, and open only by appointment or for urgent business.

City staff is in contact with state and local public health authorities and will make any necessary changes to these measures as this situation continues to develop. Staff will continue to work and will be available by phone or email.

During the state of emergency, Wheeler will not perform any shut offs for basic services such as water. Payment relief will be offered and late payments will not be reported or garner late fees.

“We know how hard it will be to keep up with financial responsibilities and will try our best not to increase the stress of worrying about losing something as important as your water,” Mayor Stevie Burden said on social media.

“Also, we are working with the North County Food Bank to devise safe and efficient ways to distribute food supplies to our neighbors,” Burden said. “The Food Bank will distribute supplies on Tuesdays, as usual, and appreciate your patience as they move toward safer ways to serve those in need.”

City Hall may be reached by calling 503-368-5627. The city manager can be reached by email at dshafer@nehalem.gov. The public works director is at ddavidson@nehalem.gov.

Wheeler

The City of Wheeler officials said the city is committed to the safety and wellbeing of its employees, residents and visitors. Considering the state of emergency in Tillamook County and increasing threat of coronavirus disease, adjustments have been made.

City Hall will be closed all week, but staff welcome your calls and emails. We will assess our options for next week on Friday, March 20. City Manager Juliet Hyams will take calls at 503-812-7105.

If you have any questions, please call Wheeler city staff at (503) 368-5767 or send email to cityofwheeler@nehalemtel.net.

Rockaway Beach

Rockaway Beach joined the cities that declared a state of emergency on March 23. City officials are now allowed to redirect funds as needed for the coronavirus emergency.

In response to the public health emergency, the City of Rockaway Beach closed all parks and day-use areas except to those who live full-time in those locations. All beach access points and parking lots are closed, and the no parking zones in public rights of way are extended.

Transient lodging including hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and short-term rentals including condominiums to all visitors not providing essential services or traveling for commercial purposes.

“The City cares deeply about the economic resilience of its lodging providers and businesses in the tourism sector and is grateful for their sacrifices for the protection of their employees, guests and the community at large,” a City of Rockaway Beach press release said.

Garibaldi

Garibaldi City Council made an emergency declaration at a special city council meeting March 18 declaring a temporary state of emergency within the boundaries of the city and delegating authority to the city manager.

The city council finds that during this state of emergency, it is prudent to delegate certain powers and responsibilities to the city manager in order to more efficiently expedite city responses and services.

These emergency circumstances require focused and coordinated municipal and community responses beyond that which occur routinely, and such coordinated responses cannot be achieved without temporarily amending some of the city’s regular business, emergency, employment and intergovernmental practices.

Garibaldi closed its administrative and public works offices starting until April 1. This will be amended as needed. The City will be staffed by a reduced number of employees and any administrative needs, or land use applications can still be submitted. The City Planning Department is processing applications that do not require a public hearing at this time.

There was concern about City Manager Geoff Wullschlager having responsibility, rather than Mayor Judy Riggs.

“The reason there are so many people involved in this is because of flexibility,” Riggs said. “If there was an earthquake, the city manager would be the first person who would probably be available.”

Riggs said the responsibility first falls on the city manager, and in order to have flexibility, needs to have as many people available as possible.

“The reason we need to declare an emergency as soon as possible in order to get in line is if there is federal or state funding that we need to have in order to protect citizens,” Riggs said. “That’s our main concern.”

During the state of emergency, the City of Garibaldi may take any legal action and necessary steps to respond and recover from the emergency, including: requesting assistance, funds, and reimbursement from the State of Oregon and federal agencies; adopting temporary rules and policies regarding city facilities, funds, resources and staff; entering into contracts for services or aid agreements with other governmental or private entities; and cancelling non-essential city meetings and events.

The city manager has the authority to take actions and issue orders necessary and reasonable to protect health, safety and welfare of the city and the public and to conduct activities that minimize the effect of the emergency. If he desires to issue an order limiting or banning public gatherings, issuing curfews, closing or limiting businesses or implementing other social distancing measures beyond what is ordered by the State of Oregon, he will first consult with the city council.

This state of emergency is effective immediately and will remain in effect until 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 28, unless extended. City offices are closed.

Bay City

The City of Bay City declared an official state of emergency Monday, March 23.

City Manager Chance Steffey said a plan needs to be activated and an emergency operation center needs to be initiated. All non-essential meetings and events are cancelled until further notice.

“Some of the other functions we have been working on such as emergency preparedness, that needs to stop,” Steffey said. “It needs to stop until we are done with this emergency because we can’t be out doing the functions to get people prepared at the same time we’re following the guidelines of the governor and social distancing.”

City offices have been closed to walk-in customers except by appointment and the city is asking utility customers to use the payment drop slot at City Hall. Parks are also closed including the campground and bathrooms. The mayor, city council and staff are continuing to monitor the situation and are taking steps to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community.

Bay City officials have recognized the potential economic hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic and have suspended water disconnections and late fees through April.

Mayor Chris Kruebbe said the Bay City Fire Department is fully functional; however, they are short of volunteers. If you would like to volunteer, contact the Fire Chief Darrel Griffith either by telephone at 503-377-0233 or email at firedept@ci.bay-city.or.us. Public access to the fire hall is restricted.

Tillamook

At the March 16 City of Tillamook Council Meeting, the council made an emergency declaration pertaining to the COVID-19 virus. Several measures will be put in effect immediately and remain in effect until March 30. These measures will be extended week by week as the emergency persists.

City of Tillamook officials said they are committed to making every effort to stop and prevent the spread of the virus to citizens. They encouraged everyone to limit contact with other individuals in the community in the days ahead and conduct as much business as possible online and by phone.

City Hall offices will be closed to walk-in traffic and the public during the emergency. City Hall staff will be limited but available to receive calls and questions. Utility customers should use the payment drop box on the corner of Third Street and Laurel Avenue or use the online payment services for any payments during the course of this emergency.

All other payments for dog licenses, business licenses, lease agreement payments, Transient Room Tax payments, liquor license fees and licenses, public works permit fees and any other payments can be submitted by mail or placed in the drop box. Vehicle impounds will be handled by appointment only by calling 503-374-1824.

Tillamook Police Department will be fully operational. Public works will have limited operations during this emergency. Mayor Suzanne Weber said limited operations for the public works means “mostly maintenance, and small jobs that don’t require too many people.”

“The water people are concentrating on water and the sewer folks on sewer,” Weber said. “In other words, no big projects that require a larger workforce. Also, it is perfect pot hole patching weather.”

Any changes to the above-mentioned measures pertaining to this emergency will be updated on the City’s website at www.tillamookor.gov.

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