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City adopts pandemic plan resolution

By Staff | Apr 10, 2020

In a regular meeting Monday evening, members of the Rugby City Council adopted a resolution and pandemic illness plan annex to the Pierce County Emergency Operations Plan.

The plan’s purpose is to “provide guidelines to organize and direct the communities in Pierce County in the event of a pandemic outbreak.”

The plan establishes a command structure. In the plan, Pierce County Commissioners are listed as the primary authority for managing a pandemic, and an incident response team-which reports to and acts under the authority of the commission-will serve as the emergency management team. The team will organize a “Incident Command Structure” with Pierce County’s Public Health acting as a unified commander, sharing command with Heart of America Medical Center representation in most cases.

Command staff develop task groups as necessary to address key issues; and staff an emergency operations center as needed to develop response recommendations.

The plan also establishes pandemic emergency thresholds. At low risk, or threshold 1, a pandemic may be occurring elsewhere but there may not be evidence of “significant community transmission in North Dakota yet.” At that threshold, authorities are to consider mitigation measures and cancel/postpone events were attendees are from high-risk populations or locations.

At moderate risk, or threshold 2, transmission of a pandemic is occurring in at least one jurisdiction within North Dakota. Authorities are to consider canceling/rescheduling events in the area “that has community transmission of the disease” or is expected to bring in people from impacted areas. Authorities are also encouraged to consider alternate attendance options for events, include remote or web-based attendance.

At high risk, or threshold 3, widespread community transmission of a pandemic is occurring within the state, and authorities are to cancel/postpone all events “that involve the potential for disease transmission and cannot accommodate alternative attendance options.”

The plan also includes recommendations for non-pharmaceutical interventions and factors to determine whether to postpone or cancel large gatherings.

Ward 2 Councilman Dave Bednarz was absent for the meeting.

Other actions

During Monday evening’s meeting, the council:

– Approved the first reading of Ordinance No. 424, which makes changes regarding compensation for City Planning Commission members. Members who are on city payroll will not receive compensation for meetings they attend. Members not on city payroll will receive $50 per meeting.

– Approved the Convention & Visitors Bureau budget.

– Met with District Judge Mike Hurly and Rugby resident Barbara Austin, who requested the city look into separating sewer lines on their respective properties, as both currently share a sewer line.

– Approved a motion to charge the Rugby Golf Course $250 per month for every month they use water

– Accepted bids for grass hauling and gravel. In a related motion, the council awarded the high bid on a truck previously owned by the City to Ken Kuntz.

– Approved March regular meeting minutes, bills, financial statements, Municipal Judge’s report and Job Development Authority meeting minutes and financials.

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