Lake Oswego City Council ratifies emergency declaration
Following the declaration of a state of emergency over the spread of the novel coronavirus yesterday, the Lake Oswego City Council ratified the emergency declaration during an electronic meeting Monday, and approved an additional motion that ensures orders issued by City Manager Martha Bennett are consistent with Gov. Kate Brown's new statewide orders that were also issued Monday.
During the state of emergency, the city may "relax or adjust" code enforcement, including its parking ordinances, according to the text of Bennett's order.
The city government may also redirect city funds or bypass normal procurement procedures to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
After Brown issued a statewide stay-at-home order this morning, Bennett announced the closure of the water sports center, public park restrooms, the golf course, City playgrounds and outdoor sports courts — something LOSD Superintendent Lora de la Cruz expressed concern about in a press release sent yesterday.
"Our partners in the City are very concerned by the number of people congregating at Westlake and George Rogers Parks, particularly the basketball courts, this past weekend," de la Cruz said in the press release. "They have asked our help in reminding students and families to practice social distancing. Social distancing is remaining 6 feet from other individuals at all times. If this is not possible, users should find an alternate location or find another space."
Bennett said as soon as the City can acquire caution tape, locks and other barricades for those facilities, they will be blocked off immediately.
The City will even close parking lots at the parks, if possible, in an effort to limit large congregations of people at places like Luscher Farm and George Rogers Park.
Parks Director Ivan Anderholm said closures include dog parks, Luscher Farm community gardens, pools and athletic fields that can be locked.
"We are trying to get as many people to work remotely as we possibly can on City staff," said Bennett, adding that there is no more work-related travel, meetings will be moved online if they can, public traffic into City Hall, the Maintenance Center, Water Treatment Plant and fire stations has been halted, and the City moved to a "no-fault leave" policy, where staff members can take leave related to the coronavirus without a doctor's note or preapproval.
Click here to read the Governor's executive order.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.