BRANSON, Mo.– Springfield Mayor Ken McClure ordered that all dine-in bars and restaurants be closed to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
The community of Branson is wondering why their local businesses are still open.
Branson Mayor Edd Akers says he does not have the authority to order businesses here to close as of right now.
Even in emergencies, he must meet with the board of aldermen, and an ordinance must be passed before any action is taken.
Akers issued an emergency proclamation last night (3/17/2020). What this does is task the city manager to respond quickly and gives him the ability to ask for help from other entities for emergencies like the coronavirus outbreak.
It ensures that Branson will receive a more rapid emergency response. This could be a recoupment of funds from state and federal emergency programs.
The proclamation also says it will have no effects on business operations at this time.
Mayor Akers says he is taking every precaution he can.
Akers says, “it’s a unique situation. We have a lot of people coming here thinking that we should be open, that they want us to be open. They’ve not heard any report of a virus here, and that’s true. But we know it’s coming, we know it is going to happen. So we are trying to prepare for it as rapidly as we can. And I think what we’re doing is responsible based on our form of government.”
The regularly scheduled meeting of the board of aldermen has been moved from Tuesday (3/24/2020) to Thursday night (3/19/2020) at 6 p.m.
The community can attend the meeting or watch the live stream of the meeting at www.bransonmo.gov for health and safety concerns.
The meeting was moved so that the Branson Mayor and the board of aldermen can discuss steps needed to keep the community safe from COVID-19.