ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - The City of Ardmore has declared a civil emergency and is taking steps to limit public interaction in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Mayor of Ardmore read a proclamation during the city commission meeting Monday night proclaiming the existence of a civil emergency.
Kevin Boatright, assistant city manager, said this falls in line with emergency declarations made at the national and state levels.
"Really at this time, what we're trying to do is continue to work closely with county and state health officials, to listen to them, to the recommendations they give us," Boatright said.
The city said the emergency proclamation gives the city access to state and federal funding if the need arises.
Two orders on the proclamation ban all events and gatherings of 50 people or more at city owned and operated places until April 15, such as parks, city hall and the Ardmore convention center.
The other order revokes all special events permits until April 15 that would bring 50 people or more together.
"It's to minimize the congregation of the public in our public facilities and minimize that face to face contact," Boatright said.
The city has postponed municipal court dates.
The city said it has suspended water cutoffs in the water department but bills will still accrue. Customers are encouraged to pay online or drop off their payment at a drop box on the northwest corner of city hall.
Ardmore Parks and Recreation has either postponed or canceled all events until further notice.
The Ardmore library is closed to the public but people can still pick up books they put on hold and access online material on the library's website such as e-books and audiobooks.
The city said, in the midst of the closures and changes, it wants to remind its citizens to remain good neighbors.
“We want everybody to be cognizant and try to help those that are your neighbors, especially those that are elderly," Boatright said. “If there’s something that you can do personally to try to minimize their need to try to leave and go to public area, we ask that you do that. Just try to take care of your neighbors.”
Anyone with questions about the changes is encouraged to call Ardmore city hall at 580-226-2100.