EASTON — Mayor Robert Willey declared a state of emergency on Thursday, March 19, for the Town of Easton in response to COVID-19 pandemic.

The declaration follows suit after President Donald Trump, Gov. Larry Hogan and the Talbot County Council all issued states of emergency declarations. The declaration is effective for the next 30 days unless extended by legislative action of the Easton Town Council. 

The declaration cited Section I 1-1 I I of the Public Safety Article of the Maryland Annotated Code authorizing the mayor to “declare a local state of emergency to activate the response and recovery aspects” of the state’s state of emergency plan. Willey ordered the following:

Federal and State Aid: The Town hereby requests and authorizes the receipt of all available Federal and State aid, resources, and assistance to protect the public health safety and welfare of the citizens of the Town of Easton.

Procurement: The Town’s procurement policy shall be suspended under the emergency provisions therein for the purchase of goods or services as deemed immediately necessary to protect public health, safety, and welfare.

Closure of Public Buildings: All Town buildings shall be closed to the public with the exception of the lobby area in the Town office building and the Easton Police Department building. The Town will continue to be open and operate to assist the public, but some services, such as inspections, may be limited or reduced.

Public Assembly Permits: All previously issued public assembly permits for events intended to occur during the time that this Emergency Declaration remains in effect are rescinded.

Extension of Licenses and Permits: All licenses or permits issued by the Town that will expire during the term this Emergency Declaration is in effect shall be extended until May 31, 2020.

Suspension of Motor Vehicle Administration (“MVA”) Flagging for Unpaid Tickets: The Town shall suspend all MVA flagging as a result of unpaid parking tickets or speed camera tickets.

Sidewalk Café Permits: All sidewalk café permits previously issued are hereby revoked during the term of this Emergency Declaration.

Boards and Commission Meetings: All Town of Easton board and commission meetings are hereby suspended except to deal with items deemed critical. The determination of whether an item is critical shall be made by the chair of the board or commission and the Town Manager and provided the meeting can be held virtually via teleconference or live streaming or other available technology and provided such meeting complies with the State's Open Meetings Act requirements in the determination of the Town Attorney.

Zoning for Temporary Medical Uses: Any use associated with the temporary provision of hospital services or diagnostic or testing facilities associated with the COVID-19 outbreak, shall be permitted as a Temporary Use in any Zoning District in Easton and shall not require any zoning approvals to open or operate. The use may require building permit or health department approvals as applicable. 

The declaration may be revised or amended from time to time by the Mayor's discretion. 

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