Town of Oriental State of Emergency expires Friday, Officials decide what’s next

Local

ORIENTAL, N.C. (WNCT) Oriental’s Mayor and board members chose to not extend the State of Emergency which expires Friday, April 30.

The following decisions were made:

  • Fishing Pier is re-opened
  • Public Docks (Town Dock#1, Town Dock #2, Dinghy dock) Under the order, traveling boaters were required to self-isolate on their vessels for up to 14 days before coming ashore. This has expired.
  • Transaction fees for taking water payments online have been reinstated. ($3.50/per transaction). Town Hall is open to walk-in traffic (one customer at a time). Cash is now accepted as payment for Water bills and permit fees.
  • Town Hall large and small conference rooms are still NOT AVAILABLE for small groups to reserve for use. Town Committees may not use the space either, other than Planning Board and Board of Adjustment, who are legally constituted and have various legal responsibilities and time schedules. [The justification is that after each use, additional contracted cleaning would be necessary. The new guidance for groups in space indicates that emergency maximum occupancy is 20% of fire capacity- in our spaces would allow 13 in the large room and 3 in the small room (where distances could not be met). The cost would likely be more than tolerable, and the liability we would take on for allowing meetings is substantial.]
  • Visitors: All property owners may travel between primary and secondary residences without being required to self-isolate. (According to the Governor’s order, leisure travel (vacation) is not essential travel, but specifically, that travel between one’s residences is authorized).
  • The Board did not address the parts put into place by the Governor’s order that prohibit late and cutoff fees until June 10. This does NOT relieve the obligation to pay for water usage. Anyone who SHOULD have been cut off for nonpayment and was not cut off for nonpayment must make arrangements to pay the outstanding balance within a 6 month period. Once the deadline passes, unless extended by the Governor, those accounts and all others will then again be subject to late fees and cutoff fees.
  • Finally, the Town officials discussed that unless or until other/additional restrictions need to be imposed for the health/safety of our residents, or an unacceptable liability to the Town, we will be only restricted by the Governor’s Orders.

For additional questions, please call Town Hall at 252-249-0555

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