Vallecitos Board adopts a resolution proclaiming the existence of a local emergency.
At a regular meeting on May 6, 2020, Vallecitos' Board adopted Resolution No. 1567, Resolution of the Board of Directors of the Vallecitos Water District Proclaiming Existence of a Local Emergency. This enactment supports the District’s potential recovery of costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The continued spread of COVID-19 will require critical infrastructure to address the medical care of large numbers of residents at the same time, including requesting mutual aid when such mutual aid is necessary. The declaration of a local emergency will allow neighboring local jurisdictions and the State to provide mutual aid to ensure the District has sufficient resources to address the emergency conditions related to the spread of COVID-19. Further, declaring a local emergency may assist the District with obtaining State and Federal resources or reimbursement funds, as they become needed and available. In particular, declaring a local emergency would allow for mutual aid to help control the emergency and allows the District to promulgate orders and regulations to protect life and property, if needed in the future.
Governor Newsom’s state of emergency declaration provides that the State shall provide assistance to local governments that have demonstrated extraordinary or disproportionate impacts from COVID-19 under the authority of the California Disaster Assistance Act. As such, local agencies are not required to proclaim a local emergency to recover emergency funding since the Governor has already issued a state emergency proclamation. However, declaring a local emergency would send a clear signal to the State that the District will need access to these resources. Further, declaring a local emergency also protects local officials and employees from liability when exercising or performing, or failing to exercise or perform, a discretionary function or duty on the part of the District in carrying out the provisions of California Emergency Services Act (“CESA”). The privileges and immunities from liability apply to public officers, agents and employees when those persons are performing any of their functions or duties extra-territorially pursuant to CESA. Accordingly, due to the increase of reported cases associated with COVID-19, there is an imminent and proximate threat of introduction of COVID-19 within the District’s service area, which warrants a declaration of local emergency.
For all of the foregoing reasons, the Board adopted this resolution declaring a local emergency to protect and preserve the public health and safety of District customers and property.