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State of emergency declared

on Tuesday, 24 March 2020. Posted in News, Local News

State of emergency declared

Florence County Council declared a state of emergency at a special called meeting on March 19. The primary purpose of the proclamation is to allow county officials to speed up purchasing of necessary materials, limit access to the county and to implement a curfew if necessary, due to the spread of COVID-19.

The proclamation gives Florence County Emergency Management Director Dusty Owens, Florence County Sheriff Billy Barnes and Florence County Administrator Rusty Smith authority to “control ingress and egress to areas of Florence County deemed necessary, to suspend or limit non-emergency activities and prohibit public assemblies as they deem necessary.”

It also gives Smith and the county’s chief procurement officer power to “engage in emergency procurement of property, supplies and/or construction deemed necessary to protect and/or preserve life.”

As of Monday, no curfew had been implemented in Florence County, but the resolution gives the county the ability to implement a curfew should it become necessary to do so.

The state of emergency will remain in effect until Owens, Smith and Barnes decide the threat from the virus has passed.

The City of Florence also announced a modified operations schedule to protect its employees and citizens by minimizing opportunities to spread COVID-19 in our community. City officials are requesting that customers call (843-665-3113) prior to visiting city facilities to determine if you can prior to visiting city facilities to determine if they can be assisted by other means (phone, e-mail, etc.).

To accommodate new scheduling of employees, the City Center at 324 W. Evans Street will have the following operating hours: 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 5 p.m.

As a resource for the community, the City has created a page on the City website, related to the COVID-19 Response.

Other announcements

City Court: Under the direction of the SC Supreme Court, the City of Florence Municipal Court will NOT hold jury trials or morning court (traffic and criminal) until further notice.

Water Billing: The Utility Finance Department will be open to the public; however, it is strongly encouraged to use alternative methods for payment.

Public Works: At this time, services provided by the Public Works department will operate on regular schedule, but service schedules may be modified if deemed necessary.

Utilities: At this time, services provided by the Utilities department will operate on regular schedule, but service schedules may be modified if deemed necessary.

Recreation: Effective immediately, all City of Florence Recreation Services Department community centers will be closed until further notice.

Athletics: The City of Florence will cancel or postpone ALL Athletic programs to include games and practices through April 12.

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