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Scott supervisors OK electronic meetings during outbreak

Holly Viers • Apr 2, 2020 at 7:00 PM

GATE CITY — The Scott County Board of Supervisors can now meet electronically during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During Wednesday’s regular meeting, the board approved an emergency ordinance for continuity of government, which will be in effect for the next 60 days.

“The ordinance is allowed by code to address the continuity of government during a disaster, such as the one we’re in with COVID-19,” said County Attorney Sally Kegley. “It allows this board and other boards authority, including the school board, to hold meetings through electronic means, without the need for a quorum in the room.”

While four supervisors attended Wednesday’s meeting in person, the other three attended remotely by phone. Now all supervisors could meet remotely through an electronic conferencing system, such as Zoom.

Kegley noted that a public hearing would need to be held if supervisors wanted to extend the ordinance beyond 60 days. Supervisors approved advertising a public hearing for next month’s meeting.

What else has the county done in response to COVID-19?

On March 23, County Administrator Freda Starnes declared a local emergency in Scott County due to the virus. In addition, the following county offices were closed on March 24 and will remain closed until further notice: Scott County administrator’s office, Scott County building official, Scott County Public Animal Shelter, Scott County Economic Development Authority and Scott County voter registrar.

Animal control officers will continue to answer emergency calls, and if members of the public are interested in owner surrender or adoption, appointments will be made for serious adopters only during the hours of 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday.

Curbside voting for town elections is available 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at 190 Beech St. in Gate City.

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