City of Kearney declaring State of Emergency

City of Kearney declaring State of Emergency

KEARNEY, Neb. – (KGFW) The City of Kearney held a press conference this morning to address their plan of handling the situation related to COVID-19. City Manager Mike Morgan declared a state of emergency to allow the city to have access to emergency reserve funds if needed. Each department addressed their plans going forward from here:

Human Resources (Shawna Erbsen)

  • Self-quarantine employees due to recent travel to high risk area
  • Evaluating potential Federal and State mandates related to employee leave guidelines
  • Implemented work from home options where feasible
  • In process of setting up a communication system with employees
  • Provided guidance to all departments related to sanitation efforts
  • Implementing social distancing within work areas
  • Suspended all travel and training for employees

Finance (Wendell Wessels)

  • Encourage customers to make payment for utility bills as follows
    • Online
    • Telephone
    • Bankdraft
    • Drop boxes
    • Mail
  • No extra fees
  • Suspend water service disconnections for failure to pay
    • Make payment arrangements with the office

Airport (Jim Lynaugh)

Effective April 1, the Kearney to Chicago flight will be suspended and reduced operations related to the Kearney-Denver flight are expected.

Library (Matt Williams)

  • Closed to the public
  • Implemented curb-side pickup
  • Encourages public to utilize online resources

Utilities (Tony Alinek)

  • Public water system is safe
    • Bottled water is not necessary
  • Household hazardous waste restore is closed until further notice

Development Services (Brenda Jensen)

  • Encourage to apply for all permits online
  • Building inspectors will use discretion for inspections if they can be completed by real time video chats or pictures
  • Will be implementing additional online payment options

City Clerk (Lauren Brandt)

  • Implementing teleconference abilities to allow upcoming planning commission and city council meetings to continue as scheduled
  • No live streaming of meetings available until further notice
  • All other public meetings cancelled
  • Adjustments forthcoming for non-Class C liquor license

Fire (Jason Whalen)

  • Cancelled all fire prevention activities and fire station tours
  • Fire department has cancelled all fire group training until further notice
  • Fire department personnel will have access to online training tools and materials
  • Limiting personnel entering structures on non-emergency calls for service

Police (Bryan Waugh)

  • Public access to secure areas of the Law Enforcement Center including the Multi-Purpose Room is suspended
  • Law Enforcement Center lobby hours will be restricted to 8:00am-Noon, Monday through Friday
  • 911 communications staff are implementing a caller inquiry procedure to check for any ailments
  • Staff is working on policy on limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people
  • The Police Ride Along Program is suspended until further notice

Park & Recreation (Scott Hayden)

  • All events and rentals are cancelled through May 10
  • Organized team practices and games at city parks have been suspended until further notice
  • Batting cages at Patriot and Memorial are closed until further notice
  • Peterson Senior Activity Center closed until further notice
  • Delaying release of KPR summer program guide
  • It is not feasible for staff to regularly clean and sanitize park equipment such as playgrounds