CLINTON — The Fulton City Council passed an ordinance Monday to allow Fulton Mayor Mike Ottens to declare a state of emergency for the city of Fulton if an emergency exists.
The council approved the ordinance which says that whenever an emergency exists, the mayor is authorized to declare the existence of a local state of emergency. The emergency is to be declared by a written declaration of the mayor under oath setting forth the facts that constitute the emergency, describing the nature of the emergency and declaring that a local state of emergency exists in accordance with the definitions set forth in the section.
The declaration must be filed with the municipal clerk as soon as practical after issuance.
The ordinance classifies an emergency as a riot or unlawful assembly characterized by the use of actual force or violence or any threat to use force if accompanied by immediate power to execute by three or more person acting together without authority of law.
It also classifies an emergency as any natural disaster, epidemic or manmade calamity resulting in or threatening the death or injury of persons or the destruction of property to such an extent that extraordinary measures must be taken to protect the public health, safety and welfare. A manmade calamity may include an outbreak of disease, flood, conflagration, cyclone, tornado, earthquake, explosion or eminent threat of any of the events within corporate limits of the city.
The ordinance says that after proclamation of a local state of emergency, the mayor may order, as he deems reasonable and advisable, a general curfew that applies to certain areas of the city or to the city as a whole. The curfew can be applicable during certain hours of the day or night as the mayor deems necessary in the interest of public safety and welfare.
The ordinance says the mayor may take multiple actions by executive order, taking all actions reasonably necessary to respond to the emergency, approve previously appropriated expenditures of the city for the purposes of continuing the operations of the municipality and to approve new spending by the city during the existence of the local state of emergency if it extends beyond the current fiscal year and a new budget has not been approved.
The ordinance also allows the mayor to order the closing of all retail liquor stores where the consumption of intoxicating liquor and beer is permitted, order the discontinuance of the sale of alcoholic liquor by any wholesaler or retailer, order the discontinuance of selling, distributing or giving away gasoline or other liquid flammable or combustible products in any container other than a gasoline tank properly affixed to a motor vehicle and order the discontinuance of selling, distributing, dispensing or giving away any firearms or ammunition of any character.
The authorized declaration will be effective for a period of up to 30 days or until the adjournment of the next regular or special meeting of the city council, whichever comes first. The declaration can be terminated sooner by mayoral proclamation or the mayor’s interim emergency successor.
When the mayor issues an emergency proclamation, the city clerk is to notify news media in the city and to post the proclamation at city hall, the police station, the post office and in the area of any curfew.
A person violating the provisions of the section or executive orders is guilty of an offense against the city and is to be punished as provided in the code of Fulton.