Belmont Approves Declaration of Emergency

Photo: Belmont’s declaration of emergency.

The town of Belmont has joined the state of Massachusetts and the United States of America in issuing a formal declaration of emergency “to protect the health and welfare of the people of Belmont” during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

“There’s not some dramatic new information that we have become aware of,” said Tom Caputo, Select Board chair at its March 27 meeting held via video conference. “I think this is more of an opportunity for the town to acknowledge the situation that we’re in.”

Caputo said the Belmont Emergency Management Agency first raised a declaration earlier in the month as being beneficial in communicating to the community the urgency of the town’s response to the virus.

“It makes a statement that Belmont understands that we are in a pretty severe emergency at this time,” said the Select Board’s Adam Dash.

The EMA also speculated the possibility that in the event funding or other resources were made available by the state or federal government, those communities that issued an emergency “might accrue benefits to the town,” said Caputo.

“I don’t see any downside to it, particularly that it makes us eligible for special funding that might become available,” said member Roy Epstein.

Read the declaration here.

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