St. Cloud Mayor Declares Local Emergency

St. Cloud Mayor Declares Local Emergency Click to Enlarge Photo: KNSI News

(KNSI) - St. Cloud has declared a local emergency. St. Cloud is moving from containment to containment and mitigation.

Mayor Dave Kleis talked about what the emergency declaration means.

"It's the allocation of human resources of essential services. Water, sewer, and public works. And to do that, we need the flexibility in an emergency to redirect resources where necessary to allow us the flexibility to keep the public safe."

There will be an emergency city council meeting on Tuesday to ratify the emergency declaration.

The declaration allows the mayor to spend tax money on whatever is necessary to ensure public health, safety, and welfare.

Kleis says it's not panic but part of a strategy they've been getting ready to implement.

"Planning is not panic. We don't want people to panic or be afraid, but we want people to be concerned, cautious, and plan. And the city continues to plan and to keep people safe."

There are also some changes coming to City Hall.

"We would prefer, and we are asking strongly if you can do city business online, please do."

If you can't do what you need online, you can come to St. Cloud City Hall during regular hours but will be directed to the city council chambers. All residents will be assisted there.

The changes are in effect until further notice.

Kleis says the vital part of the emergency declaration is to ensure the city has the resources to serve the people during this crisis.

"If it snows, we'll plow the streets; your refuge will be picked up, all the services will continue to take place as they have. In some cases, we will need to make adjustments, and those adjustments may come in the future."

All city services like trash collection, public safety, and utilities will remain in operation.

The city will close the St. Cloud YMCA on Monday night and the St. Cloud Public Library.

Permits for anything with more than 50 people will be declined until further notice.

St. Cloud will hold daily afternoon briefings to keep the public informed on the latest happenings with the COVID-19 pandemic.

At least three people in Stearns County are sick with the coronavirus, and at least one person is infected in Benton County.