NORWOOD — The village announced Wednesday morning that it will declare a state of emergency, which would allow for the municipality to bypass local laws and enforce a curfew, if necessary.
Mayor Timothy Levison told the Times that the major factor in declaring the state of emergency was in case a village employee, such as someone employed with the Department of Public Works or at the wastewater treatment plant, tested positive for COVID-19, the village could suspend any of its local laws or regulations during the emergency.
“If our wastewater treatment guy came down with this and had to be quarantined for 14 days, this will allow us to get somebody else in there who knows what they are doing without putting it out for bid or applications,” Mayor Levison said. “Just pick a guy out and place him there, which obviously you couldn’t do under normal circumstances . . . We could ask another village to loan us a guy or two, that kind of thing.
In addition to suspension of local laws, the mayor said under the state of emergency, the village would be authorized to establish a curfew, prohibit and control traffic except the essential emergency vehicles, regulate and close places of amusement and assembly, suspend or limit the sale, dispensing or transportation of alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives, prohibit and control the presence of a person on public streets and places, and establish and designate emergency shelters and/or emergency medical shelters.
“Some of these are far reaching,” he said. “There’s no set curfew now, but what is going to happen is if we get reports of people out at 10 or 11 at night, unruly or whatever, we can establish a curfew and then the police can enforce it. Right now we did it just so we are prepared, in case any of these events are necessary to address.
“We’re hoping we don’t have to do any of it, but we have never gone through this,” the mayor said. “Nobody else has and there’s no precedent for it anywhere as to what to expect. It could be done in three weeks or it could be three months, we don’t know, but we want to have it there, just in case.”