SILVER LAKE — Decisions were made regarding how to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic as it relates to town business at a special meeting held by Silver Lake Town Council.
A resolution was approved at the meeting Wednesday, March 18 giving Clerk-Treasurer Tonya Conley the authority to modify the hours the town hall is open to the public as well as her own work hours and the hours of employees under her direct supervision during the coronavirus pandemic.
Conley may also pay all routine claims and obligations without prior approval of the town council, including, but not limited to, employee salaries, bond payments, utility payments and other claims and obligations, according to the terms of the resolution.
The resolution states that the regularly scheduled April town council meeting is cancelled. Between now and the regularly scheduled May meeting of the town council, Chad Miner, the council president, may schedule a meeting if he deems that the meeting would not constitute a risk to the council, town employees or the general public.
Conley expressed concern related to her assistant’s pay if town hall hours were reduced.
“I don’t want her to go without pay because of a choice that I’m making,” Conley said. “So if I reduce the hours I don’t want her paycheck to be 20 hours when she’s used to a 40-hour paycheck.”
Council President Chad Miner acknowledged that it’s unclear at this point what’s going to happen with unemployment.
Miner said he believes in another week and a half to two weeks it will become more clear what we’re dealing with as far as the pandemic.
“We can keep in contact and if you need to close down we can have a conversation at that time about what to do with her (Conley’s assistant’s) pay,” Miner said. “We don’t want to leave our employees high and dry.”
Conley then asked how the council wants to address things with town employees during the virus crisis.
“If one of them were to get sick, how do you want to handle the pay? Do you want to give them extra sick time?” Conley asked. “If they’re ordered to be in quarantine, I don’t think it’s fair to have them use their vacation days.”
Council agreed to add an additional 14 sick days if a town employee needs to be quarantined. Miner said it could be potentially longer.
In addition, it was decided that during the months of March and April, all shut-off of the Silver Lake water utility due to nonpayment will be suspended.
Miner said he is not in favor of suspending late fees at this point in time, but depending on what happens during the next few weeks he would be open to the idea of suspending late fees as well.
The town hall will be closed to non-essential business. A dropbox is located on the southwest corner of the lawn for non-cash utility payments. Payments for utilities using debit or credit cards may be processed via phone.
The clerk-treasurer’s office will be operating from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Concerns or questions may be directed to the clerk-treasurer’s office at (260)-352-2120.
The Silver Lake Marshal’s office can be reached by calling (260)-352-3333 for non-emergencies. Please call 911 for emergencies.
In other news:
- Town employees are asked to make only standard maintenance and safety purchases at this time.
- The next regular meeting is tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m. May 13.