Carbondale Mayor Considering Emergency Declaration

Apr 3, 2020

Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry says he's preparing to take steps to help keep local government operating during the state's Stay at Home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During a Facebook live session, Henry says he's strongly considering declaring a State of Emergency because some decisions -- that would normally require City Council approval -- need to be made more quickly.

"Probably going to end up doing that just to help us keep running the City along as we do, if we have to move money from one fund to another temporarily, or something of that nature. We're also going to look at having a special City Council meeting in the near future to do some of the things like canceling our boards and commissions meetings."

Henry says the emergency ordinance would allow him to make decisions and then the City Council would have to review the changes after 48 hours.

Economically, Henry says the shutting down of some local businesses will mean a major hit to the City's budget.

"We feel we could have up to a $2 million shortfall in revenue from not just local taxes, but what comes back to us from the State. That's almost 10% of our main operating budget, out our of main operating fund. We have to be good stewards of the public's money."

As a small business owner himself, Mayor Henry says he is sensitive to how the virus outbreak and the subsequent economic slowdown is impacting local business owners.