Coronavirus

Temple Mayor Tim Davis has issued a disaster declaration as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Davis signed the declaration Thursday evening, the city announced Friday. The declaration will help the city receive recovery assistance from the federal government.

City officials said the mayor’s disaster declaration will follow the most current orders mandated by Bell County Judge David Blackburn.

“This disaster declaration will allow the city of Temple to request disaster recovery assistance from the federal government,” Temple spokeswoman Laurie Simmons said Friday. “The local declaration incorporates by reference the most current orders, declarations and directives issues by Bell County’s Judge and Commissioners Court.”

City officials said that Temple needed to issue the declaration to receive funds, despite the county and state both issuing similar declarations. City Manager Brynn Myers said during a City Council workshop Thursday that the declaration would not be adding any new restrictions but simply following the county’s orders.

Myers said the City Council will need to hold a special session next week to extend the declaration.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order Thursday banning social gathering of 10 or more people and closing schools, nursing homes, bars, amusement facilities and retirement centers across the state.

Simmons said the city will suspend their recycling operations immediately. Recyclable items will be taken to the city’s landfill because the city can’t operate its recycling facility within the recommended health protocols.

Recycle Drop-off Center No. 2, 602 Jack Baskin Drive, will remain open to residents although an attendant won’t be present.

Simmons said the city will continue to update residents with the latest developments using the COVID-19 information page on their website at https://bit.ly/2QBO1Ki.