Per­ryville ex­plores abil­ity to call lo­cal state of emer­gency

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By JANE BELLMYER

jbellmyer@ce­cil­whig.com

— Town of­fi­cials are ex­plor­ing ways to keep res­i­dents and prop­erty safe in case of a lo­cal emer­gency, which may not be big enough to get the state in­volved.

While Mary­land’s gov­er­nor can de­clare a state of emer­gency — and did so statewide for the blizzard in Jan­uary, the flood­ing in El­li­cott City in Au­gust and the riots in Bal­ti­more in April 2015 — Per­ryville’s elected of­fi­cials want the author­ity to do like­wise should it need to within its own bor­ders.

The State of Civil Emer­gency could be used for such ac­tions as cur­fews or evac­u­a­tions, said Denise Breder, town ad­min­is­tra­tor.

“It could be or­der­ing peo­ple to close down if needed,” she said. “We al­ready have an emer­gency plan. We want to be as pre­pared as we can be.”

While thank­ful that the civil un­rest seen in larger cities has not vis­ited Ce­cil County, Breder said the mayor and com­mis­sion­ers want to be ready just in case.

“It’s not so much about

PER­RYVILLE

funds, but the lo­cal re­sources,” Breder said, adding only a dec­la­ra­tion from the gov­er­nor or the pres­i­dent would sig­nal the pos­si­bil­ity of re­im­burse­ments.

Towns have only re­cently been re­ceiv­ing word from the Mary­land Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency of the amount of re­im­burse­ment each will re­ceive for the cost of shov­el­ing snow and keep­ing staff on over­time dur­ing the Jan. 22-23 storm that dropped sev­eral feet of snow on Ce­cil County.

In that same vein, the board may also be con­sid­er­ing es­tab­lish­ing an of­fi­cial line of suc­ces­sion. Com­mis­sioner Alan Fox — who con­ducted the Tues­day night work­shop in the ab­sence of Mayor Jim Eber­hardt — noted he had the role sim­ply be­cause of his ten­ure on the elected board.

“He’s ab­so­lutely right,” Breder said Thursday. “We do use the se­nior mem­ber.”

Other towns such as Ris­ing Sun and Port De­posit have a board mem­ber who car­ries the ad­di­tional ti­tle of deputy mayor. That per­son acts in that post should the mayor be un­avail­able.

“We may need to look into a sys­tem,” Breder said.

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