MILTON — The Borough of Milton on Thursday joined a growing list of municipalities across Central Pennsylvania to issue a Declaration of Emergency.

The declaration was signed by Mayor Ed Nelson and Borough Manager Jessie Novinger.

"This is important so that if funding becomes available for any expenses related to COVID-19, that we have the documentation in place to be eligible for those resources," Novinger said.

She noted that it's too early to determine exactly what funding the borough may be eligible for. She also said the declaration has no direct impact on activities residents can be participating in.

"We strongly suggest that people only leave their homes or property if absolutely necessary," Novinger said. "Obviously, people are of their own free will. We are doing everything here, on our part, to take precautionary measures."

She said the Milton Police Department is also being proactive, given the climate.

"The police department is sanitizing like crazy, they are washing all their uniforms and gear," Novinger said. "They are even wiping down all of their cruisers with Lysol wipes."

Chief Curt Zettlemoyer said the department is following all of the recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

"We are limiting exposure throughout the building," Zettlemoyer said. "Given the type of work we do, total elimination of contact is not practical and it's not going to happen."

He said anyone with a police matter which can be handled by phone is encouraged to contact the department at 570-742-8757, rather than requesting face-to-face contact wth an officer.

"We would recommend they do that for their well being as well as the officers," Zettlemoyer said.

The Borough of Milton's Declaration of Emergency reads:

Whereas, on or about March 19th, 2020, a medical pandemic/epidemic threatens to cause injury, damage and suffering to the persons and property of Milton Borough, Northumberland County; and

Whereas, the medical pandemic/epidemic may endanger the health, safety and welfare of a substantial number of persons residing in Milton Borough, Northumberland County, and threatens to create problems greater in scope than Milton Borough, Northumberland County may be able to resolve; and

Whereas, emergency management measures are required to reduce the severity of this disaster and to protect the health, safety and welfare of affected residents in Milton Borough, Northumberland County.

Now, therefore, the undersigned Mayor of Milton Borough, pursuant to the provisions of Section 7501 of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Services Code (35 PA C.S., Section 7501), as amended, does hereby declare the existence of a disaster emergency in Milton Borough, Northumberland County;

Further, the Milton Borough mayor in lieu of the emergency management coordinator will coordinate the activities of the emergency response, to take all appropriate action needed to alleviate the effects of this disaster, to aid the restoration of essential public services, and to take any other emergency response action deemed necessary to respond to this emergency.

Still further, the officials of Milton Borough shall act as necessary to meet the current demands of this emergency, namely: by the employment of temporary workers, by the rental of equipment, by the purchase of supplies and materials, and by entering into such contracts and agreements for the performance of public work as may be required to meet the emergency, all without regard to those time-consuming procedures and formalities normally prescribed by law, mandatory constitutional requirements expected.

The proclamation shall take effect immediately on this day Thursday, March 19, 2020.

Staff writer Kevin Mertz can be reached at 570-742-9671 or email kevin@standard-journal.com.

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