County Board issues disaster declaration

On the heels of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s executive order requiring all “non-essential” businesses to close and Illinoisans in general to stay home, Cass
County Board Chairman Mike Barnett signed a proclamation March 20 declaring a health disaster now exists in Cass County.
Meeting via conference call Monday night, (to which the Star-Gazette had access) the board authorized a 90-day extension of Barnett’s declaration that originally limited to seven days the provisions contained in the proclamation.
Barnett told the board he had consulted with County ESDA Director Roger Lauder, Region Six ESDA Coordinator Bob Flemming and the mayors of all five communities prior to issuing the disaster declaration.
According to the county board chairman, the proclamation allows the county to better work with municipal, state and federal agencies to bring to bear the resources necessary to better respond to the emergency, and provide a more effective emergency response to protect yhe health and safety of the county’s citizens. 
“This is something we absolutely wanted to do only as a last resort, but it became a necessity,” said County ESDA Director Roger Lauder. “We’ve got
businesses in this county that are already hurting, and by taking this action now, we may be able to help people get additional federal or state assistance (should it become available) without adding any unnecessary delay.”

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