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These are difficult times with the Governor’s orders due to the risk of COVID 19. To stay at home and social distancing is tough to do. Many of the businesses we frequented are closed or have reduced services to take-out and delivery. Some have closed their doors until further notice. Parks, campsites, and some recreational areas have been closed.

Some suggested ways to stay active and support your mental and physical health include:

Play outside in your yard.

Maintain your normal routines at home and do enjoyable activities.

Connect with family and friends over the phone or social media.

Eat well and get adequate rest.

Exercise at home.

I am sure there are many more activities to consider if we get creative. The City of Powers is doing all it can to comply with the rules and guidelines during this crisis.  We have placed hand washing stations at our market and City Hall. The City of Powers is fortunate in some respects in that it is small and remote with few businesses.  However, there are no medical facilities or doctors and only two EMTS. Powers also has a significant number of elderly and individuals with medical conditions. Please be vigilant, stay safe and stay home unless you must make a trip.

Taking a longer view of the impacts of COVID 19, the shut down of many facilities, businesses and travel I have many concerns. The stimulus packages, funding and other assistance to state and local government, local businesses etc. may help larger cities, counties and states but may leave less populated areas to fend for themselves. This issue has been raised by the National League of Cities and others. Unless changes or additional funding packages are forthcoming, the smaller communities may be left out. In addition to the immediate economic impacts of this shutdown there are impacts local government won’t see until later. Late fees, license fees, taxes and many other costs associated with conducting government business have been waived, delayed or reduced. Small cities for instance, receive pass through revenue/funding from the State, County and Federal Government. If fees, taxes and other costs of living for conducting government business are not paid there will be a significant drop in revenue/funding passed through to local government. 

This could be devastating to small local governments that don’t have large reserves to weather this potential loss. I’m not sure what the loss will be in closing all parks and some recreation areas and eliminating tourism, but I believe it will be significant. Liquor licenses, sales, property taxes and many other fees may be paid late or not at all due to closures and business losses.

I’m not an alarmist but the potential impact to local government needs to be considered as the budget season closes in.

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