County, City Offices Close Except By Appointment, Emergency Plan Activated, Game Rooms Closed

Marion County Judge Leward LaFleur

Published: Mar. 20, 2020 at 6:42 p.m. CDT

From Staff Reports

JEFFERSON – Marion County Judge Leward LaFleur announced Friday county offices will remain closed except by appointment for at least two weeks.

“This will be in effect until April 3,” LaFleur said. “We will still be here in the offices and will be working by appointment only. Please call the Marion County office number and get an appointment for the department you wish to see”

LaFleur noted elected officials may vary their policy, so residents need to call the specific office in which they wish to do business.

Only the person taking care of business will be allowed to enter.

“Please no children,” LaFleur said.

Citing Gov. Greg Abbott’s call to limit gatherings to less than 10 people, LaFleur ordered all entertainment facilities including game rooms in the county closed.

LaFleur pointed out Abbott’s order did not include churches, but urged citizens to observe CDC guidelines for social distancing and handwashing.

The City of Jefferson announced it has suspended in-person water bill payments. No disconnects will be done during the emergency, but customers will still owe the bill.

Marion County Emergency Management Plan

“This declaration of a local state of disaster activates the Marion County Emergency Plan, pursuant to §418.018(6) of the Texas Government Code,” LaFleur proclaimed in Thursday’s disaster declaration order.

Copies of the current Marion County and City of Jefferson Emergency Management Plan activated by County Judge LaFleur Thursday were not available at either the Courthouse or City Hall on Friday.

Telephone calls and emails from the Jimp to Emergency Management Coordinator Pct. 1 Constable David Capps, who is reported to have the only copy, were not returned. 

According to the 47-page 2004 Emergency Management Plan obtained by the Jimp from the City of Jefferson, the plan assigned roles to members of city and county government.

The plan calls for the county judge and city mayor to provide broad guidelines with the assistance of the emergency management coordinator. Department heads would then carry out those policies.

The plan also includes a listing of volunteer resources that can be leveraged, such as the Red Cross, and the parts they can play in meeting a disaster.

City and county employees are also called upon to track expenditures.

Key to the management plan is the activation of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Although Judge LaFleur spoke Friday, he made no mention of the Center going live.

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