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City of Pinehurst extends declaration for 30 days

By Dawn Burleigh 

The Orange Leader

 

Pinehurst City Council met by teleconference on Wednesday to consider extending the SARS-CoV2, COVID-19 Public Health Disaster Declaration originally issued on March 26.

Council voted to extend the declaration for 30 days to go into effect at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

Prior to making its own declaration, the city had been adhering to the Orange County Declaration signed by County Judge John Gothia on March 17.

“A lot of restaurants have established curbside or delivery services that did not have it available before,” City Administrator Robbie Hood said.  “It may be an inconvenience but a necessary one.”

The City of Pinehurst City Hall and police department lobbies are closed to the public for precautionary measures due to COVID-19 until further notice.

“We are also practicing Social Distancing when on service calls,” Hood said. “We are conducting what business we can via phone, online or email. We are still issuing permits as well.”

Code and Building Inspector Harry Vine said he is getting requests almost daily for permits.

“Right now, they have to email me for the information,” Vine said. “We are working on making it accessible online.”

Inspections still require an in-person situation. 

“Gas inspections are outside,” Vine said. “If we have to go inside, we mask up, glove up and maintain social distancing.”

Residents may make water and/or court payments online at cityofpinehursttexas.com or utilize the dropbox, located to the right side of the front entrance.

Chief of Police Fred R. Hanauer III said the police department has seen some changes as well as to the new ‘business as usual’.

“We take reports over the phone when we can,” Hanauer said. “If they have to come to the police department, we take the report outside.”

Fortunately, the department was able to access Lysol and other cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer before the stringent guidelines were given.

“We helped a local pharmacy access the alcohol needed for homemade sanitizer,” Hanauer said. “Although we are already limiting transportation for citizens.” 

The declaration also authorizes the City to take any actions necessary to promote health and suppress the virus, including the quarantine of persons and occupied structures, regulating ingress and egress from the City, regulating ingress and egress to occupied structures, the establishment of quarantine stations, emergency hospitals, and ensuring compliance for those who do not comply with the City’s rules, pursuant to Section 122.006 of the Health and Safety Code.

City Administrator Robbie Hood added the city is still maintaining operations.

“We are doing the best we can to continue the same level of service, just in a different way,” Hood said. “Try not to get frustrated as we continue with social distancing. We want everyone to be safe.”

With the need for protection from contaminations, the city asks residents to please properly dispose of their takeout containers by placing a bag in their car for the trash to be disposed of in a trash receptacle.