Winthrop Makes Emergency Declaration; Town Office Closed

Town Manager Jeffrey Kobrock, in coordination with Town Council Chair Sarah Fuller, issued an emergency proclamation today to enable the town’s Emergency Management Ordinance to immediately address the threat caused by Novel Coronavirius-19 (COVID-19).  This proclamation allows for the Emergency Management Agency to meet and take action to protect the public’s health and safety. This proclamation is not reason for alarm – it is a tool to enable efficient decision making, resource procurement, and rapid communication with the public throughout this evolving situation.

In accordance with the Ordinance and Plan, the Town’s Emergency Management Agency is operational, meeting regularly to assess the situation, and keeping essential services functioning. New steps taken include a closure of the town office to the public, beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Town Office personnel are working and processing necessary registrations, payments, and other required administrative duties. Below is a list of operations that are being moved to online/mail or by appointment only:

1) Motor Vehicle – (Renewals only) - Online (Rapid Renewal) or by mail. By Appointment (New only)

2) IF&W - Boats – Mail, online (Renewals only); By Appointment (New only)

                 ATV/Sleds - Mail, online (Renewals only); By Appointment (New only)

                 Sports licenses – Mail, online (Renewals or New)

3) Vitals - Certified Certificates (Mail only); Marriage License (By Appointment only)

4) Dogs - By mail only

5) Taxes – Online, Mail, or Drop Box

6) Elections - Voter Registration (By Appointment only)

7) Business Licenses - By mail only

Scheduled town business meetings are being decided on a case-by-case basis. The Planning Board meeting for March 25 is postponed until April 8, 2020; The Town Council is still scheduled to meet on April 6. Agendas will be kept to the minimum essential items for discussion and votes. Additional adjustments may be made to the schedule as the situation changes.

Winthrop Schools are closed until March 29; this may be extended as conditions warrant. There is no remote instruction or meal service at this time.

The Bailey Public Library is also closed until March 29 as well. Patrons are asked to hold any lending items; fines will be suspended during this period.

Winthrop Public Utilities District office is also closed to the public until March 30; payments can be mailed or dropped in the slot in the office door.

Winthrop Plays Outside and Winthrop Y Recreational Activities have also been postponed; updates will be posted as they are available once group gatherings are again advisable.

The town advises everyone to follow the minimum guidelines for hand washing, social distancing, and cleaning, per the Maine CDC’s website. Businesses should also follow these guidelines both on cleaning, customer interactions, and gatherings to limit group functions/proximity. Non-essential travel should be postponed to limit exposure and transmission if possible.

Members of the Winthrop community can sign-up to receive updates on the new town website under the section marked “Winthrop Alerts.” This new email notification system will provide updates as they are available, as well as on the Town’s Facebook page and those of the emergency departments (EMS/Ambulance, Police, Fire).

Questions for school-related activities and polices should be directed to Superintendent Dr. Cornelia Brown: 377-2296 x2001.

Questions for municipal-related activities should be directed to Town Manager Jeffrey Kobrock, 207.377.7200 ext 423.