Oxford council holds emergency meeting to grant power to mayor

Oxford City Council emergency declaration for COVID-19

OXFORD, Ala. (WBRC) - Oxford’s city council issued a declaration of local emergency Tuesday, empowering the mayor to act quickly dealing with coronavirus-related emergencies.

In an emergency meeting, the council members who were present voted unanimously to give Mayor Alton Craft the authority to act, using however much money he needs to use.

This empowers the mayor to hire temporary workers, rent equipment, enter into contracts and a number of other activities without seeking council approval.

The local emergency was declared so Craft can respond more quickly to challenges presented by the coronavirus.

“If we have to buy certain items, equipment, to be able to move faster than - you know, you usually have to wait 24 hours before the council can meet - so we want to be able, if the president issues something or the governor issues something, to be able to move very, very quickly for our citizens,” Craft said after the meeting.

Craft also says city buildings, such as community centers, ballparks and the Civic Center, will be closed beginning Wednesday.

However, he says, the walking tracks will remain open at places like Oxford Lake and Choccolocco Park.

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