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Fri, April 10

City of Williams declares State of Emergency, announces no business closures

The Williams City Council held a special meeting to declare a state of emergency and discuss the recent Coconino County proclamation to close and restrict certain businesses because of the COVID-19 outbreak. (Wendy Howell/WGCN)

The Williams City Council held a special meeting to declare a state of emergency and discuss the recent Coconino County proclamation to close and restrict certain businesses because of the COVID-19 outbreak. (Wendy Howell/WGCN)

The Williams City Council passed a resolution declaring a State of Emergency, and councilmembers voted to allow businesses to remain open at their discretion at a special meeting March 19.

The emergency declaration allows the city to seek additional resources and recovery assistance amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The council chose to not follow the March 18 Coconino County proclamation to close restaurants, bars, coffeehouses, libraries, fitness centers and more because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the city is incorporated, Williams is not required to follow county proclamations.

“The proclamation is just for unincorporated areas of the county,” said Williams Vice-Mayor Don Dent.

The city councilmembers discussed how they believe it should be the decision of individual business owners on whether to close.

“Following Flagstaff and Coconino County is not necessarily good for Williams,” said councilmember Frank McNelly. “That’s been proven time and time again.”

The council said the city may change direction in the future because of the fluid nature of the situation.

Mayor John Moore and councilman Mike Cowen recused themselves from the discussion and vote because of a conflict of interest as business owners.

A more comprehensive story is forthcoming and will be posted online and in the March 25 edition of the Williams News.

The council chose to not follow the March 18 Coconino County proclamation to close restaurants, bars, coffeehouses, libraries, fitness centers and more because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the city is incorporated, Williams is not required to follow county proclamations.

“The proclamation is just for unincorporated areas of the county,” said Williams Vice-Mayor Don Dent.

The city councilmembers discussed how they believe it should be the decision of individual business owners on whether to close.

“Following Flagstaff and Coconino County is not necessarily good for Williams,” said councilmember Frank McNelly. “That’s been proven time and time again.”

The council said the city may change direction in the future because of the fluid nature of the situation.

Mayor John Moore and councilman Mike Cowen recused themselves from the discussion and vote because of a conflict of interest as business owners.

A more comprehensive story is forthcoming and will be posted online and in the March 25 edition of the Williams News.

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