Franklin declares state of emergency because of coronavirus

Franklin City Council has placed five amendments to the city charter for voters to consider in the Nov. 7 general election. ED RICHTER/STAFF Franklin City Building
Franklin City Council has placed five amendments to the city charter for voters to consider in the Nov. 7 general election. ED RICHTER/STAFF Franklin City Building

The city of Franklin has issued an emergency proclamation in an effort to protect people from the coronavirus, COVID-19.

Mayor Brent Centers and City Manager Sonny Lewis said “a state of emergency exists in the City of Franklin and hereby invoke and declare those provisions of the Ohio Revised Code which are applicable to the emergency and have caused the issuance of this proclamation to be in full force and effect in the City of Franklin for the exercise of all necessary emergency authority for protection of the lives and property of the people of Franklin and the continuation of local government with a minimum of interruption.”

In the proclamation, Centers said COVID-19 endangers the lives of the citizens of Franklin, creating an emergency to life and public safety and disrupting commerce. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that can result in serious illness or death and can be easily spread from person to person.

Explore MORE: Middletown police add sanitation guidelines, safety measures for coronavirus concern

The proclamation also refers to all appropriate laws, charter provisions, statutes, ordinances and resolutions, and particularly to the Emergency Management provisions contained in Ohio Revised Code Section 5502.

Centers directed all city offices and employees “to exercise the utmost diligence in the discharge of duties required of them for the duration of the emergency and in execution of emergency laws, regulations, and directives - state and local. He ordered all city operating forces to direct their communications, requests and new operations directly to the city manager.

He directed all citizens to comply with necessary emergency measures, to cooperate with public officials and in executing emergency operational plans, and to obey and comply with the lawful direction of properly identified officers.

The order took effect Wednesday and shall remain in full force and effect until the emergency no longer exists as determined by the city manager in consultation with the mayor.

Explore MORE: Warren County votes not to declare COVID-19 emergency

In an effort to reduce the exposure of both the public and our staff to the coronavirus, the city is taking precautionary steps until further notice.

Those immediate steps include no public access to the City Building located at 1 Benjamin Franklin Way or the Public Works Building located at 202 Baxter Drive, and limited access to the police department. All departments will be available via email or telephone.

Development/Building/Zoning/Property Maintenance: For permit related questions or submissions, contact bz@franklinohio.org or 937-746-9921.

Finance Department: Utility (water and trash) payments by check or money order can placed in drop box located in the parking lot of the municipal building or mailed to 1 Benjamin Franklin Way, Franklin, Ohio 45005. Additionally, payments can be made via on-line payments at www.FranklinOhio.org. To turn services on or off (non-emergency), call 937-746-9921.

Income tax preparation assistance may be available by calling 937-746-9921 during normal business hours. Documents must be received in the tax office via US mail. Contact the tax office at tax@franklinohio.org.

Any other finance questions can be sent to finance@franklinohio.org.

Fire Department: All public education classes, fire inspections, and tours are suspended. High risk/high hazard inspections to be reviewed by Fire Administration. Family members will not accompany patients to the hospital unless determined to be critical to the transport. For questions contact 937-746-4542.

For Emergencies call 9-1-1. If you are experiencing flu like symptoms, please notify the dispatcher so our crews can properly protect themselves.

Municipal Court: Contact 937-746-2858.

Police Department: Public tours and fingerprinting services are suspended. For questions call 937-746-2882.If there is an Emergency, call 9-1-1.

For general questions or more detailed information about each department, please visit our website at www.FranklinOhio.org or call 937-746-9921.