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McLean County government extends its COVID-19 emergency declaration

COUNTY BOARD 1
The McLean County Board staged a virtual meeting Thursday night.

BLOOMINGTON (WEEK) - The McLean County Board is extending its emergency declaration to last until the third week of April.

The declaration directs McLean County Emergency Management Agency Director Bob Clark to continue working under the county's emergency operations plan.

Provisions include allowing Clark to spend up to $500,000 to handle various matters linked to the pandemic crisis, but the county administrator would have to approve those expenditures if they exceed $25,000.

In a memo to the county board, McLean County State's Attorney Don Knapp attempted to ease concerns the government is yielding too much power by declaring the emergency.

Here's a portion of Knapp's memo to the county board.

"The plan does NOT give you, the County Administrator, the Sheriff nor McLean County Emergency Management Agency Coordinator the ability to...

  • To suspend or limit the sale, possession, dispensing, or transportation of alcoholic beverages, firearms, ammunition, explosive, and combustibles.
  • To restrict or regulate by rationing the use, sale or distribution of food, feed, fuel, or clothing.
  • To suspend the provisions of any regulatory statute which prescribe procedures for the conduct of business.
  • To suspend the provisions of any regulatory statute which prescribe procedures for the conduct of business.
  • To transfer the direction of personnel or functions of County employees for the purposes of performing or facilitating disaster response.
  • Take possession of or acquire full title or a lesser specified interest in any real property.
  • Take possession of or acquire title to personal property without paying “just compensation therefor”.
  • Sell, lend, rent, give or distribute all or any part of real property owned by the County."

The emergency declaration expires after the next county board meeting, scheduled for April 21 at 5:30 p.m.

Howard Packowitz

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