In light of the national, state, and county declarations of emergency in response to the public health risk from the potential spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the county adopted an emergency ordinance on March 26, 2020, to provide for the continuity of government actions during this state of emergency, as is specifically permitted under state law. The ordinance was adopted again after being advertised for readoption as required by state law. A full version of the Continuity of Government Operations during Pandemic Ordinance is available at https://www.goochlandva.us/DocumentCenter/View/6883/Continuity-of-Government-Ordinance. It is posted on the “Your Government” tab of the County’s website (www.goochlandva.us), as well as under the Quick Links on the Board of Supervisors page, and on the Emergency Management page.
The ordinance allows public meetings to occur with members of the public body and members of the public participating through electronic or telephonic means.
The ordinance specifies the authority of the director of emergency management to alter or restrict the use of county buildings and facilities as needed to protect the health of the public and employees.
The ordinance acknowledges the additional powers under state law for the director of emergency management during an emergency with respect to incurring obligations, entering into contracts, and suspending procedures. In addition, the director of emergency management is granted authority to take numerous other actions as needed on a temporary basis and to have those actions thereafter be ratified by the Board of Supervisors.
The ordinance encourages county personnel to attempt to meet established deadlines and time frames but allows for the suspension of deadlines and time frames, if necessary.
In recognition of the current state of emergency and public health conditions, the Board of Supervisors on March 26th adopted an Emergency Ordinance to Allow for the Continuity of Government Operations During the Pandemic. Under Section 4 (C) of the continuity ordinance it provided the County Administrator, as director of emergency management, additional powers to take a variety of actions in the interest of the public welfare.
On April 7, the Board of Supervisors ratified actions the County Administrator had taken including:
- Cancelling the rabies clinic previously scheduled for April 4, to limit the gathering of people for a non-essential service. It had been scheduled by Board action;
- Suspended shut-offs for any county utility customer, so customers will continue to have water and sewer services even if they are unable to pay their bills in full;
- Waived the adoption fees for the Animal Shelter, to reduce the animal shelter population;
- Suspended enforcement of temporary sign restrictions, so that businesses can better reach potential customers;
- Suspended the Goochland County code sections pertaining to application and permit process for the operation of emergency medical service vehicles in the county in order to allow duly equipped, trained, and certified emergency medical service vehicles to operate upon approval by the Fire-Rescue Chief.
The last four actions were ratified and extended until the county ends its state of emergency.
Businesses, both large and small, who have questions or are in need of assistance should contact Goochland County Economic Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 556-5862.
Citizens and the general public who have questions or need assistance should contact Goochland County at (804) 556-5800 or visit www.goochlandva.us.
The Goochland community is encouraged to stay informed of Goochland County government information and operations by visiting the county’s website www.goochlandva.us, calling the county’s main phone line (804) 556-5800, and by following us on Facebook at @GoochlandCountyVA and on Twitter at @GoochlandGovtVA.