The Town of Lyons Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting tonight at 5 p.m. via remote conference call to vote on a resolution that will extend the March 13 proclamation made by Mayor Connie Sullivan declaring a state of local disaster emergency for the Town of Lyons due to the health crisis created by the novel coronavirus.
Sullivan made the proclamation shortly after President Donald J. Trump’s national emergency proclamation and after Governor Jared Polis signed an executive order declaring a statewide emergency in Colorado.
The March 13 proclamation states that municipal facilities will be closed to the public but that services will continue. It also prohibits gathering in local parks in groups of more than 10, and encourages people to maintain a distance of six feet between each other.
The proclamation also advises against even private gatherings of 10 or more, and gives the town the right to disperse public gatherings that may pose health and safety concerns. Among other points, it suspends utility shutoffs and waives fees for late payments and nonpayment.
The original proclamation was passed by the Board of Trustees at the March 16 regular meeting.
According to Town of Lyons Administrator Victoria Simonsen, Sullivan extended the proclamation over the weekend after further researching measures for protecting the public’s health and safety.
The added measures include closing parking adjacent to public parks in an effort to keep large groups from congregating in those areas. The proclamation notes that violators could be ticketed. In addition, those living outside of Lyons are “highly discouraged” from using the parks in Lyons.
Another amendment states that all short-term rentals in the Town of Lyons will cease for the duration of the proclamation. Those who have a contract are permitted to stay for the duration of the contract. The only other exception will be for those who are currently under quarantine.
An additional measure advises residents who have traveled outside of the state of Colorado to self-isolate for a 14-day period.
Finally, the proclamation also imposes a curfew that runs from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Simonsen clarified that the extended proclamation is coming from the mayor, and that the Board of Trustees will discuss it thoroughly at the meeting before voting on whether or not to pass the measures.
“The mayor has the ability during a public health emergency to declare what actions should be taken to protect the public’s health and safety,” Simonsen said, “and she did that. The board will decide whether to keep these or not.”
The issue of a curfew has created some social media controversy already. Simonsen said, however, that the measure would not apply to essential activities such as going to work.
“Our intent is not to punish people to make them stay at home. If people are going to work or are out for essential reasons, it’s not for those people,” she said. She added that it applies to suspicious gatherings of people in town, and noted that over the weekend there were incidents of graffiti in the park and signs stolen in town.
“The mayor is just trying to get ahead of these things,” said Simonsen.
The pubic can attend the virtual meeting via Zoom conferencing. The meeting can be accessed at https://zoom.us/j/310640020 using the meeting ID 310 640 020, or by phone at 669-900-6833 using the meeting ID 310 640 020. The access information also appears on the agenda, which can be retrieved here.