Emergency Management Procedures
In the event of an emergency, the Town has specific guidelines for how to respond for the safety of the community.
Emergency management is governed by Chapter 8 of Title 1 of the Erie Municipal Code, State statute C.R.S. § 24-33.5-701, and the Town's emergency operations plan. By law, municipalities must have an appointed emergency manager, who is authorized to take all necessary actions during a declared local emergency. Declaring a local emergency and following the requirements in place by the law is what allows the Town to apply for and access State or Federal funding. Without the declaration or the other steps outlined in code and statute, the Town would not qualify for supportive funds.
The Town of Erie has appointed the Town Administrator as its emergency manager. The Emergency Manager's objective is to protect the public health, safety, and welfare. To do that, this person is able to enact regulations as necessary to protect life and property and preserve critical resources. Those regulations will then be ratified at the earliest practical time by the Board of Trustees.
What This Looks Like in Practice
At the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Board of Trustees declared a local emergency in order to allow for quick action to happen to protect health, safety, and welfare in the Town. This Emergency Declaration remains in effect until repealed by the Board of Trustees.
Under this Emergency Declaration, the Emergency Manager has been able to quickly:
- Authorize the Town Clerk to administratively approve temporary modifications of liquor-licensed premises
- This allowed for temporary outdoor patios for restaurants to expand services.
- Authorize waiving the local fees for liquor licenses for one year.
- This provided relief to restaurants and other liquor-licensed establishments negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Authorize the extension of the Boulder County mask mandate over the entirety of the Town.
- This allowed more consistency and clarity for all businesses and residents throughout Town in addition to providing more health safety equitably.
- Authorized multiple new internal policies to augment effectiveness of Town staff:
- Teleworking Policy
- Remote Meeting Policy
- Emergency Leave and Attendance Policy
- State of Emergency Leave Policy
The Board of Trustees ratified each of these actions at a Regular Meeting immediately following the authorization taking place.
Without the a local Emergency Declaration in place, these policies would have to wait weeks or perhaps months, to be heard at a Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees to be considered, amended, and ultimately approved.
In other emergency events such as wildfires, flooding, chemical spills, or other natural disasters, an Emergency Declaration and the Emergency Manager would have the ability to be flexible and nimble to support residents and businesses with what they need most in the moment.