New safety precautions were announced for workers at the various village departments during Monday’s Delta Village Council meeting. The meeting was conducted by way of teleconference.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, departments are now instructed to have employees take and record their temperature prior to starting their shift, according to a report given by Village Administrator Brad Peebles.
Employees with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher will be sent home, and only allowed back when they no longer have a fever for at least 72 hours.
Masks are also being provided for workers. Although not N95 masks, the designated masks are homemade, and of the same variety to those in use at St. Luke’s Hospital.
“Although they’re not the 100 percent guarantee for perfection, they are much better than nothing,” stated Peebles.
It is being requested that employees clean and sanitize their “work areas” when they start a shift, and prior to leaving. Furthermore, they will be signing a form stating they agree to perform these practices.
Mayor Bob Gilbert announced there are changes being put in place within the police department, mainly pertaining to officer’s shifts.
Officer’s will work four straight 12-hour shifts, then have eight days off. Gilbert says with this new shift installment, the department hopes to limit the number of bodies in the building at the same time.
They are also looking to handle as many calls as possible over the phone or at a reasonable distance, looking to operate under a more hands-off policy while on the scene of a potential crime. However, in the case of an emergency, police will respond immediately.
Gilbert wants the public to know how important containing the spread of this virus continues to be.
“I think it needs to be talked about. I think we need to talk about it as a community,” the mayor said. “Just remember that, this virus started with one person not too many weeks ago. It’s become a worldwide spread of a virus, now. And it’s ridiculously high in our country — it’s higher than any other country.”
He notes a member of his family who has all the coronavirus symptoms, and after visiting the emergency room, did not test positive for influenza or strep throat. This person did not admit themselves to the hospital, thus was not given a coronavirus test.
With not everyone being tested that needs to be — as was the case with Gilbert’s relative — he wants people to know how vital it is to continue to practice social distancing.
If not, and if government restrictions are eased up too quickly, the effects could be disastrous. “To think that that virus can’t spread like wildfire, we’re kidding ourselves,” Gilbert said.
A village services meeting was tentatively scheduled for Monday, May 11 to discuss a rate increase for water and sewer.
Michael Tanner, the Village Services Committee Chairman, recommends the meeting be done when Council can meet in person — and with hopefully all members present.
“If we can’t meet in person, I’d like to push it back until we can,” said Tanner. “After reading the administrator’s report, there’s a lot of figures. I read through it quite a bit, and I think we need to sit down and be able to look at them in person together in case there’s any questions.”
Water meters were not read in March. This month, every water customer will receive a bill for the minimum payment of $48.12, as was explained in a statement posted to the village website on April 13.
Also, it was brought up at Monday’s meeting and confirmed by Peebles, that late fees are being waived and no person’s water will be turned off.
A pair of resolutions were approved without protest during the old business portion of the meeting. Councilman Chad Johnson was not in attendance and his absence was excused by the rest of the members.
Council approved 5-0 the third reading of a resolution declaring it necessary to renew an existing levy for recreational purposes, a levy which would be on the ballot in November.
They then approved the second reading of a resolution allowing the village administrator to enter into agreement with the law firm of Bricker & Eckler, LLP to serve as bond counsel for the bond financing with the United States Department of Agriculture to complete the Fernwood Street utility restoration.
No new business was conducted at the meeting. They closed the night by approving the payment of invoices.
The next Council meeting will be Monday, May 4 at 5:30 p.m. It is yet to be determined whether the meeting will be conducted in Council chambers or via teleconference.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010