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Janesville declares state of emergency

JANESVILLE (WKOW) -- A state of emergency has been declared for the city of Janesville in response to the continuing spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin and the country.

City Manager Mark Freitag made the declaration Wednesday.

The declaration will do the following:

  • Allows the city to be eligible for state and federal assistance
  • Gives the city the ability to react more quickly to changing conditions
  • Provides the city manager the authority to make purchases and sign contracts that would normally require city council prior approval
  • Allows for the modification of other internal policies during the emergency that will help to expedite the response
  • Reinforces the city manager's authority to direct employees and make urgent and time sensitive management and staff decisions

The Janesville City Council will have the ability to approve, amend, or repeal the State of Emergency declaration at an upcoming Special City Council Meeting.

"It is now time to implement a State of Emergency declaration in the City of Janesville. This is an administrative function that allows the City to acquire additional supplies, personal protective equipment, and other resources to continue to respond to COVID-19 effectively. I am confident in the City's Emergency Management Team and all City employees who continue to serve their community during this challenging time," Freitag said.

The City of Janesville activated Level Two Emergency Operations which reduces non-essential services and staffing but maintains core services including Police and Fire response, Department of Public Works functions such as sanitation, water and wastewater, and others. The Emergency Management team will also continue their duties.

Janesville's Emergency Operations Incident Commander Fire Chief Rhodes has informed the public that City services continue to run well and the Emergency Operations Center is running as it should.

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