Lyon County’s Judge-Executive is considering lifting the emergency declaration for the county that has been in place for the last three months under the COVID-19 pandemic.
At today’s meeting of the fiscal court, Wade White ran the idea past magistrates and other officials gathered for the monthly meeting. The county’s top elected official, White explained that it has been several weeks since the powers granted by an emergency declaration have been utilized locally.
“I don’t like stuff like that just laying around and saying we’re in an emergency situation and we’re not,” he said, adding that his decision could come as early as Friday.
An emergency declaration is a tool that allows local governments to coordinate response efforts with all levels of government for "maximum effective response." The nation, state and cities of Eddyville and Kuttawa all remain under states of emergency. If lifted this week, White said, Lyon County would be the first in Kentucky to do so.
“It gives us the tools to get things done quickly,” he said. “I don’t look at the emergency declaration something out there we can use forever when you don’t need it.”
White has consulted with FEMA, the Kentucky Department for Local Government and Lyon County Emergency Management Director Randy Wright about the idea. He has been assured lifting the declaration will not affect federal aid headed to the county through the CARES Act. Social distancing inside the courthouse and other restrictions in place for the sake of public health would remain.
Common sense, he urged, would still apply.
“If there is a flare up, we can reinstate it with the stroke of a pen,” he added.
As head of county government, judge-executives can issue and lift emergency declarations at their own discretion.