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Municipalities extend states of emergency

It’s been more than a month now since many local municipalities issued states of emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic, and now they’re renewing them for another 30 days.

A state emergency allows the chief executive of a government entity, such as a town supervisor or village mayor or manager, to exercise broad powers outlined in Section 24 of state Executive Law, which include setting curfews, closing places of assembly or suspending local laws. A state of emergency declaration can last for no more than 30 days at a time.

The town of North Elba’s emergency declaration has been extended through May 2, according to Supervisor Jay Rand. St. Armand Supervisor Davina Winemiller said her town has the same extension date.

In Tupper Lake, village Mayor Paul Maroun and town Supervisor Patricia Littlefield jointly extended their state of emergency through May 15, reinforcing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “New York State on PAUSE” emergency orders.

“I believe it is in the best interests of the residents of Tupper Lake to decide issues related to COVID19 on the side of caution,” Maroun wrote in an email. “I believe the Governor is taking the correct path on this issue.

“We monitor the County wide facts each day as well as the surrounding Counties. Should a serious outbreak occur in Tupper Lake, we have an Emergency Operations plan. Face covers are being provided to businesses in the community by a generous family; Cheryl Vaillancourt and her daughters.”

Saranac Lake’s state of emergency will also last through May 15, according to village Manager John Sweeney. The town of Harrietstown’s was extended on April 14 for another 30 days, according to Supervisor Mike Kilroy.

Town of Franklin Supervisor Dorothy Brown and Santa Clara Supervisor Andrew McGill extended their towns’ states of emergency on Friday, through May 18. Brown’s proclamation, published in the Enterprise, says COVID-19 remains “an imminent threat to the health and safety of the residents of the Town of Franklin.”

The town of Wilmington also remains under a state of emergency.

“Our attention will now turn to having a real plan on how our community and area will go to the ‘un pause’ of the crisis,” Supervisor Roy Holzer wrote in an email. “My feeling is that as our area gets ready to welcome visitors back to the region we will have to be ever diligent in accomplishing this. Public safety and trying to get back to a new normal will be a real challenge.”

The town of Brighton never declared its own state of emergency, separate from those declared by the state and Franklin County.

“We are following the lead and guidance from the Governor’s office and the Franklin County Legislature,” town Supervisor Peter Shrope wrote in an email. “We have not changed anything regarding the town’s operations since Monday March 23.”

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