Disaster declaration witnesses

Staff photo by Albert Villegas

Officials from Wharton County and municipalities signed disaster declarations on Monday, March 16 in case the coronavirus ends up impacting our residents even more, perhaps an outbreak of the virus or its resources. To plan for this officials like Wharton Mayor Tim Barker, Wharton county Judge Phillip Spenrath, East Bernard Mayor Marvin Holub, and El Campo Mayor Randy Collins signed declarations.

On Monday, March 16, Wharton County, and the cities of East Bernard, El Campo, Wharton all declared local states of disasters in our jurisdictions. 

These declarations are required to open up funding from the state and federal governments to reimburse a percentage of expenditures that will be incurred locally. 

Mayors from each of these cities came to a meeting led by Wharton County Judge Phillip Spenrath and Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Andy Kirkland. 

Spenrath said disaster declarations also grant extraordinary powers to top elected officials so that quick decisions can be made for the good of a city or a county. 

“Disaster declarations may sound scary, but they are just tools we use to better serve the people living in our jurisdictions,” Kirkland said.

 “The events taking place right now across our nation and the world are scary. We're uncomfortable being put into situations we've never encountered. The best thing to do is to stay informed. Good information is the key to you making good decisions for you and your family. You can get good, current information at www.cdc.gov, or dshs.texas.gov. Those two websites will supply you with correct and current information.”

For more on the meeting, visit the Wharton Journal-Spectator website at www.journal-spectator.com and its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/journalspectator.

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