Town offices closed in Mount Desert; emergency plan activated 

 MOUNT DESERT — All town offices are closed to the public indefinitely because of the nationwide COVID-19 pandemic.  

However, some services will still be available by telephone or online. 

The Board of Selectmen voted Monday to activate the town’s emergency operations plan, which outlines steps that can be taken to ensure the continuity of essential municipal functions and the protection of public health and safety. 

The selectmen scheduled a special meeting for Thursday morning to consider specific steps that might be taken. 

Fire Chief Mike Bender, who is the town’s emergency management director, said in a March 12 memo to Town Manager Durlin Lunt, “We want to maintain a safe workplace and encourage or adopt practices protecting the health of employees, customers, visitors or others. 

“It is important for our community to know that we will be taking the necessary precautions to best limit the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible, if a local outbreak should occur. We also must assure our employees that we are ready to implement strategies to protect [them] from COVID-19, while ensuring continuity of operations throughout the town.” 

The Legislature on Tuesday passed a bill allowing municipalities to postpone annual town meetings in order to comply with public health officials’ recommendation that large public gatherings be avoided. 

Mount Desert’s town charter stipulates that no business can be conducted at a town meeting if fewer than 50 registered voters are present.  

This year’s open-floor town meeting is scheduled for May 5. Lunt said no decision has been made on whether to postpone it, noting that May 5 is more than six weeks away. 

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]
Dick Broom

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