Monroe digital meeting

The Monroe City Council conducted an emergency called meeting digitally on Thursday morning, March 26, 2020. Seated in a conference room at City Hall as shown in a screenshot are, from left, Mayor John Howard, City Clerk Debbie Kirk and City Administrator Logan Propes.

MONROE, Ga. — The City Council voted to restrict public gatherings but stopped short of implementing a curfew.

Monroe leaders declared an emergency Thursday related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many businesses are at a crucial time,” Mayor John Howard noted.

The council voted to divert $100,000 in utility capital funding to a new Downtown Development Authority Stabilization Fund that will make grants available to downtown businesses.

In other business, the council:

• Closed certain businesses, including gyms, fitness centers and “live performance centers” where people cannot be kept more than 6 feet apart per federal social distancing guidelines, and prevented dine-in and outdoor patio service by restaurants.

• Agreed to allow restaurants to sell to-go containers of beer and wine, including growlers up to 60 fluid ounces, when filling to-go or takeout orders.

• Increased City Administrator Logan Propes’ spending authority, on matters related to the COVID-19 outbreak, to $100,000 from $10,000, over the next 90 days.

• Gave Propes 90 days of authority as the chief administrative officer of the city, to assign job duties with full authority to redefine reduction-in-force rules and approve work schedules and pay plans in order to respond to the pandemic.

• Said it will waive utility disconnections and late fees until April 30.

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