Mayor Jason Levesque and City Manager Peter Crichton, with the support of the Auburn City Council, have issued a “Proclamation of Emergency” throughout the City of Auburn.
The proclamation supports emergency declarations issued by both President Donald Trump and Maine Governor Janet Mills, who expanded the State of Maine proclamation on March 31.
“The threat of COVID-19 is alarmingly real, and we want to do everything we can to protect the people of Auburn,” said Mayor Jason Levesque. “I implore everyone to follow the Governor’s ‘Stay Healthy at Home’ order, and know that together, we can all get through this.”
Auburn’s state of emergency will remain in effect until rescinded by the Mayor and City Manager. Assistant City Manager Phil Crowell has been designated the City’s Emergency Management Director.
“Auburn’s city government fully recognizes this very real public health emergency we are facing, and we are making the tough decisions necessary to respond,” said Peter Crichton, Auburn City Manager. “I want our residents and businesses to know that our team is working around the clock to protect this community.”
Auburn’s emergency declaration comes in response to the growing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the State of Maine and the risk of “community spread,” which seriously impacts the life, health and safety of the public. It orders that “all Auburn residents and businesses will adhere to the National and State of Maine Emergency Declarations.”
Per the declaration, all Auburn residents, in compliance with the “stay at home order” issued by Governor Janet Mills, will not congregate in Auburn parks and open spaces. Similarly, the use of playground equipment and group play activities are prohibited. The use of walking trails - with appropriate social distancing - is strongly encouraged.
Recently, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court issued a Revised Emergency Order in which the Court ordered that cases involving “Forcible Entry and Detainer” (evictions, landlord/tenant) will not be heard or scheduled by any Maine court before May 1, 2020. Considering this, Auburn’s order appeals to all owners of residential and commercial rental properties, requesting that they rescind or suspend terminations of leases and/or tenancies. Landlords are encouraged not undertake or process any evictions for non-payment of commercial or residential rent (during the term of the proclamation) if the tenant is able to show an inability to pay rent due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We all share the responsibility of keeping our community safe, our businesses strong, and our residents secure in their homes. I have faith in the people of Auburn, and I know that we will emerge from this situation stronger and more unified than ever before,” said Crichton.
While voluntary compliance is the goal, Auburn’s order will be enforced by law enforcement as necessary. Violations are a Class E crime subject to up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Additionally, compliance may also be enforced by government officials who regulate licenses, permits or any other authorization to operate a business or occupy a building.
"The people of Auburn are resilient, and they care deeply for one another. This proclamation is intended to help our residents and our staff to stay safe, healthy, and adhere to the Governor's order," said Levesque. "We need to work together to make sure COVID-19 doesn’t overwhelm our incredible community. This is a serious situation, and I’m asking everyone to stay home and do your part. When in doubt, PLEASE don’t go out."
To connect with the City of Auburn, visit: www.auburnmaine.gov.