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Xenia declares state of emergency


XENIA — City Manager Brent Merriman declared a state of emergency in Xenia Monday.

The declaration is in line with declarations already made by Gov. Mike DeWine at the state level and President Trump at the federal level, according to a release from the city. The declaration makes Xenia eligible for funding as it relates to expenses incurred by the virus response and also allows the city to make operational changes in the coming days.

At last week’s Xenia City Council meeting, council members passed an ordinance that gave Merriman the authority to declare a state of emergency if it was deemed necessary. The ordinance gives the city manager seven specific powers:

— Order all nonessential services to close including, but not limited to, business establishments, commercial establishments, industrial centers, factories, entertainment centers, recreational facilities, schools and churches. The city manager may allow retail food establishments to remain open on a limited basis, as well as drug stores and medical facilities.

— Establish a curfew, during hours of the day or the night, which prohibits or limits the number of persons from being out-of-doors, or in certain areas, or upon public highways during the curfew.

— Restrict or prohibit movement within, above or beneath the area or areas that are imperiled by the public danger or emergency or within the city as a whole.

— Suspend or modify for the duration of the emergency or any part thereof, the due dates or collection of rents due for water, sewer or any other municipal utility, or the required filing dates for any city permit, license or tax filings.

— Suspend or modify for the duration of the emergency or any part thereof any personnel policy or regulation, whether set by council or by administrative directive.

— Call upon all necessary personnel, equipment and supplies from any department of the city to aid in emergency operations.

— Call upon any auxiliary law enforcement agencies and organizations within or without the city to assist in preserving and keeping the peace and order within the city.

It also grants Merriman any other powers or authority conferred by federal law, state statute, city ordinance, resolution or as otherwise authorized by council. Nothing in this section shall be construed to modify or limit such authority, powers or duties and responsibilities of any officer or public official as may be provided by law.

In the immediate future, the city expects some operational changes including staffing and service response, according to city spokesperson Christina Schaefer.