Bozeman, Gallatin County commissioners each hold emergency meetings

Bozeman, Gallatin Co. declare state of emergency
Posted at 10:01 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 00:01:41-04

GALLATIN COUNTY — The Bozeman City Commission met for an Emergency Commission meeting on Wednesday.

Commissioners unanimously passed two ordinances that Mayor Chris Mehl said were largely procedural, but of high importance.

“We’re gonna commit to working together which we’ve planned to do for generations when there’s a crisis like this,” said Bozeman mayor Chris Mehl.

“Second we’re cooperating so that we are eligible for state and federal aid. The Health Department is scaling up employees for example, we can get that reimbursed that’s really important.”

A second ordinance allows the City Manager to approve contracts and spending immediately, without having to wade through the normal red tape.

The Gallatin County Commission also declared a State of Emergency in a separate meeting.

“When we do declare an emergency, it’s a recognition of the situation. It allows us to enable our emergency management and people that maybe are picking up additional duties, it gives them the authority to maybe take those on,” said Patrick Lonergan, chief of emergency management and fire for Gallatin County.

Like the City’s state of emergency, the declaration accounts for budgeting and cost recuperation.

“It gives notice to the state that this is affecting our community and we may very well go to the state saying we’ve exceeded our capacity and they should be ready to assist us if need be,” said Lonergan.