By Faye Gaston

The Union Springs City Council held its June 15, 2020, meeting VIA phone conference, facilitated by City Attorney Elizabeth Smithart. Mayor Saint T. Thomas, Jr. presided with all council members present.

Mayor Thomas requested a roll call vote to consider the adoption of Ordinance #460 to "require" wearing masks/coverings in public during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and Recovery.

The vote was unanimous in favor of considering the ordinance. It was voted unanimously to adopt the ordinance, effective June 17, 2020. City Clerk, Presetta Walker, would ensure that each business located in the City of Union Springs would "receive this notice and Ordinance #460 to support and assist with implementing wearing masks/coverings in public for everyone's health".

Mayor Thomas said that if masks are not worn, a $25.00 fine will be assigned.

He said that statistics show Montgomery, Alabama has the highest COVID-19 cases in Alabama, and that Union Springs cases are on the rise. Councilmen Roderick Clark, Stan Cooks, and Attorney Smithart encouraged citizens to wear masks in public. Councilman Brian Agnew encouraged citizens to pray for Union Springs and our country as well.

Kim Graham, Union Springs Herald newspaper publisher, announced that masks are sold at the Herald and the Union Springs Pharmacy.

She added that bandanas are challenging to find. Mayor Thomas said that "numerous" City employees have been infected with COVID-19.

Resolution No. 2020-11 was adopted unanimously that is related to COVID-19 Emergency Sick Leave and Benefits for Full-Time City Employees at 80 hours sick leave for eight-hour shift employees and 120 hours sick leave for 12-hour shift employees.

The sick leave will remain in the employees' sick leave balance with or without COVID-19 or until the sick leave is utilized.

The part-time city employees will be eligible to receive sick leave for the average number of hours they work over a two-week period for COVID-19 qualifying events.

The sick leave will expire on December 31, 2020. The vote was unanimous to adopt Resolution No. 2020-12 relating to COVID-19 for a monthly supplemental pay of $400.00 to full-time essential workers and a monthly supplemental pay of $200.00 to part-time essential workers for the City of Union Springs.

Mayor Thomas stated that the supplemental pay provided would be submitted to the State of Alabama's (CARES Act) for full reimbursement to the City of Union Springs.

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