After three long months, the city of Rosenberg has lifted its disaster declaration.
But Mayor Bill Benton wants citizens to know this does not mean the threat of COVID-19 is gone.
At the Rosenberg City Council meeting Tuesday, council members unanimously voted to cancel the declaration of disaster.
On March 18, Benton signed a disaster declaration in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The declaration was extended six times at the request of city staff. According to Communications Director Tanya Kveton, extending the declaration allowed the city to seek assistance, aid and resources from other governmental entities such as the county, state and federal government should the need arise.
“We have been able to confirm with Fort Bend County, under the CARES Act, the local disaster declaration by the city is not required (to receive CARES funds),” City Manager John Maresh told council.
“At this point, we don’t anticipate emergency purchases we have to make.”
Fort Bend County has extended its disaster declaration through June 10.
“It seems like all the benefits (of a disaster declaration) have gone away,” City Attorney Brandon Morris added. “The only thing that would go away if the city lets the disaster declaration lapse is the bus incoming into the city.”
On March 20, Benton signed an order restricting access and ingress to the city via commercial bus lines. Bus line riders could travel through the city, but were not allowed to disembark within the corporate limits.
With the disaster declaration lifted, people are now allowed to come to or leave the city by bus.
“I have no problem with that going away,” Benton said before making a motion to cancel the declaration of disaster. The motion was seconded by council member Jacob Balderas and passed unanimously.
“That being said, this does not mean that the COVID situation has gone away and we can take our masks off now,” Benton said. “That would not be a good idea.
“While we’re out of a disaster declaration, we are not out of risk of infection.”
The next regular Rosenberg City Council meeting will be held June 16 at City Hall, 2110 Fourth St.