Following suit with other municipalities in the region, the Metropolis City Council and Mayor Billy McDaniel declared a local a state of emergency at its Monday night meeting in light of the coronavirus COVID-19.

This step will give the mayor permission to make certain decisions in an emergency situation without the consultation of the council, but his spending limits set in place will remain the same.

“This is a lesser step than declaring a disaster. If this gets worse, and we have to in order to seek reimbursement if money becomes available from federal or state, we will go that route,” said Rick Abell, corporate counsel for the city.

On March 20, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker mandated all residents to shelter, ordered all non-essential businesses to close by 5 p.m. on March 21 and banned any gathering of more than 10 people, which includes houses of worship. According to Abell the city has seen overall good results with local businesses being in compliance. The complete order from the governor can be found on the city’s website www.metrpo lisil.gov.

“I do appreciate our restaurants that are, lets face it, they are coming in contact with people, and we are trying to restrain from being in contact with so many people because we are public service. Part of our job is to deal with the public, and they (the restaurants) are running specials instead of jacking the price up, they’re lowering the price. I believe most of them realize that they are not going to do as much business as they could in a sit down environment,” said McDaniel.

“If you are not going to cook at home, patronize our local businesses, not only for groceries, food service, whatever you need that is open. Please patronize what we have here. And it might make their struggle a little easier,” he continued.

Metropolis City Hall and all city buildings are now closed to the public until further notice. All city employees will continue working, some remotely or on different shifts.

Utility bills may be paid in one of the following ways:

• Place checks or money orders in the city’s drop box on the front of city hall

• Pay online at www.metropolisil.gov and click on Pay My Utility Bill

• Call 1-833-638-7757 to pay over the phone.

• Drop checks or money orders payable to the City of Metropolis at the City National Bank drive-thru

• Mail it to 106 W. Fifth St., Metropolis, IL 62960

In other business, the city:

• Approved a solid waste removal contract extension with Bulldog Systems through 2027.

• Approved the purchase of an automated meter information system for the city clerk’s office.

• Approved a proposal from ACI-X for James Street water main extension to accept the purchase of materials to upgrade the well pump #6 motor in the amount of $2764.

• Approved a redevelopment agreement with ASG-RE, LLC.

• And, gave the mayor permission to accept the lowest bid per property on upcoming demolition proposals.

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