Purcellville Council Rescinds Town State of Emergency

The Town of Purcellville’s state of emergency will come to an end at midnight May 28, coinciding with the easing of distancing and capacity restrictions in Virginia.

The Town Council on Tuesday night voted unanimously to end the state of emergency, which Town Manager David Mekarski declared March 16, 2020, and the council voted to ratify March 24, 2020. The council later, on April 8 last year, adopted an ordinance establishing a set of rules under which the town should operate during the state of emergency.

Under the language of that ordinance, the town staff has six months to identify any actions the town took during the emergency that will require recertification under normal operating rules.

“Once you adopt this we are right back to the way it was before,” Town Attorney Sally Hankins told council members.

Councilman Joel Grewe, who initiated the action item Tuesday night, said the state of emergency decreased the transparency of government operations during the past 14 months.

“The necessary special powers that we granted the town … those have come to their logical conclusion,” he said.

According to the resolution to end the state of emergency, the percent of positive COVID-19 cases in Virginia was 2.9% on May 21. In Loudoun, the percent was down to 2.5%, a record low since the outbreak of the pandemic.

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