The City of Elgin is beginning the process to slowly return to its normal operations while implementing practices to limit city staff’s exposure to the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The Elgin City Council has conducted its last two special meetings via video conference and streamed the meeting live on YouTube. Its first online meeting was on April 23, and the most recent meeting was last week on May 12. Both videos can be found on the City of Elgin - Texas channel on YouTube.
During last week’s meeting, city manager Thomas Mattis gave the council an update on the city’s “gentle nudge back towards normal operations.” He said the City of Elgin is taking steps to move towards a modified version of the threat level three outlined in the city’s COVID-19 readiness plan. Elgin’s plan outlines four threat readiness levels, with threat level four being “normal conditions” and threat level one being “maximum readiness.” The city entered level two, the second-highest level of readiness in the plan, during their last in-person meeting on March 17.
The details of the City of Elgin’s operations under threat level three can be found online at www.elgintx.com/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Item/1941?fileID=6401.
The city will begin bringing city employees back to work, but will not yet open facilities to the public, Mattis said.
“We’re not going to get in a hurry, but at the same time, we want to get on a healthy path towards returning our operations to normal,” he said.
Mattis said the city is taking “every reasonable precaution” to ensure a safe work environment for employees. Not one city employee has lost a day of pay during the pandemic, he added.
Mattis also provided an update on the Elgin Economic Development Corporation (EDC) COVID-19 emergency grant program. During their April 21 meeting, the Elgin EDC approved this grant program, which provides working capital for local businesses to help with the impacts of COVID-19, and the Elgin City Council approved the program at their previous meeting on April 23. The Elgin EDC set aside $50,000 for grants in the amount of $2,000 per business.
Emergency grants have been given to the following businesses:
- Stracks Friendlys Auto Repair LLC
- Remember Me Tattoos
- ATX Jerky LLC
- Wise Productions, LLC, DBA: The Owl Wine Bar & Home Goods Store
- Jack’s Werkspace
- Lathers Hair and Nail Salon
- Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites
- Chemn Cafe, LLC
- The Clever Tiger
- Giant Printing Inc.
- Rivera’s Hair Salon
- Body + Shine Wellness
- Lighthouse Professional Counseling, PLLC
- Second Wind Elgin
- The Moore Law Office
- Candy Nails
- 12 Star Massage
- A3M Holdings LLC (dba Great Clips)
Mattis said the city continues to see development activity.
“We’ve seen some obvious slowdowns in a couple of areas,” he said, “but by and large, projects that we’ve been working on for the last few months haven’t slowed up very much.”
Amy Miller, who is now serving as the city’s public information officer, gave an update on the city’s efforts to provide information about COVID-19. She said Elgin’s business community has been seeking information on the virus in order to serve the community while staying safe. The non-profit community has also been active, she added, and have been working together to share resources and help each other.
“All of those entities are dealing with new needs, but they are also seeing a lot of support from the community in new volunteers and in donations,” Miller said. “There are some really great stories of the support throughout the business community and the nonprofit community as everyone is dealing with the various impacts of COVID-19.”
Elgin Police Chief Patrick South provided some more detailed information about the COVID-19 cases in Elgin. At the time of the meeting last Tuesday evening, Bastrop County had 116 cases, and the Texas Department of State Health Services reported 73 cases were active at that time. He said 53 households in the county have had cases. At that time, Elgin had 45 cases with 22 affected households.
View the April 23 meeting here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IgSucWnprY
View the May 12 meeting here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emd2_kYihTY