The entire City of Williamsburg maintenance department is currently quarantined due to COVID-19.
Mayor Roddy Harrison informed the city council about the situation during Monday’s regular monthly meeting, which was held via the Zoom video conferencing.
“If it can wait, we are putting it on hold,” Harrison said about current maintenance work and projects. “We have some back-up plans if there is an emergency.”
Harrison said that there are a total of five city employees, who are under 14-day quarantines, after two employees tested positive for COVID-19.
This includes the four employees in the maintenance department, and one water department employee, who had been over at the maintenance department.
Harrison said the five employees would be tested, and follow the state’s Healthy at Work guidelines.
The five employees are still being paid their salaries.
Harrison said city officials aren’t sure exactly where or how the employees got exposed to COVID-19.
“They got this at work I am assuming. This is through no fault of their own,” he added.
Harrison also gave the council an update on COVID-19 noting that as of Monday there were 81 actives COVID-19 cases in Whitley County.
“I still think we need to push the idea of wearing masks when we go into places,” Harrison said. “We have some cases. It has hit close to home. It is around here. It is in Williamsburg. Everything we can do; we need to do to help try to curb this thing.”
In addition, during Monday’s meeting, the council authorized Harrison to move forward with plans for the lease/purchase of a 3,850-square-foot building near Canada Brothers Auto Parts, which is across the street from city hall.
The building, which is owned by Ray Sutton, would have a five-year $1,600 per month lease, that would go towards the price to purchase the building.
City officials said the building is needed because city hall is running out of storage space.
When asked where things were being stored, City Clerk Teresa Black noted in the city council meeting room, at attic at the tourism center and her office.
Councilwoman Erica Harris suggested scanning in documents in the future in order to cut down on the amount of storage space that is needed.
Harrison said that city officials tend to keep documents longer than they are legally required to do, but it has paid off.
On Monday, there was an issue that came up with an employee, who worked at the city in 2003, but state retirement officials didn’t have a record on some of the years she worked, Harrison said.
As it turned out, the woman collected wages from the city through 2006.
If not for the city records, the woman probably wouldn’t have gotten credit towards three years of her retirement if the city didn’t still have those records, Black added.