Oak Ridge North extends local disaster declaration indefinitely

The Oak Ridge North City Council met for a special session March 23. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Oak Ridge North City Council met for a special session March 23. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Oak Ridge North City Council met for a special session March 23. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)

Oak Ridge North’s local disaster declaration was extended indefinitely at a specially called City Council meeting March 23.

The declaration was first issued by Mayor Paul Bond on March 18 in response to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak, then amended March 19 before it was unanimously extended by council members March 23. Council may vote to terminate the declaration at any time.

The amended declaration activated the city's emergency management plan; authorized further spending on aid under that plan; set a $1,000 fine for violators of the declaration; and established gathering, occupancy and business restrictions aligned with the guidelines set by Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough on March 19.

Before approving the declaration resolution, council members briefly discussed the need for the extension and the benefits of maintaining the declaration. City Manager Heather Neeley and City Attorney Chris Nichols each said disaster declarations are often required to receive state or federal aid, and the move could end up helping the city’s businesses and residents in the future.

“By the city declaring a disaster, it’s ensuring that anything that has a prerequisite that a disaster be declared, that everybody in the city is subject to that declaration,” Nichols said. “It doesn’t guarantee that any one particular business or organization is going to get anything, but it clears the first hurdle for them to at least be eligible to apply.”


Bond also noted that the main goal of the extension, and his initial declaration, was to protect citizens and adhere to county and federal guidance regarding health and gathering practices.

“Let’s remember the most important aspect of the declaration is to mitigate the spread of the virus,” he said.

After voting to extend the disaster declaration, no further business was discussed at the March 23 session. Council is expected to meet next in early April but may elect to hold a meeting by phone or video conference in place of a regular meeting at City Hall.
By Ben Thompson
Ben joined Community Impact Newspaper in January 2019 and is a reporter for The Woodlands edition.


MOST RECENT

As of 11:30 a.m. on March 2, eight areas across Harris County remained under boil water notice affecting about 2,300 residents. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Thousands in unincorporated Harris County remain under boil notices

As of 11:30 a.m. on March 2, eight areas across Harris County remained under boil water notice affecting about 2,300 residents.

The statewide mask mandate will end March 10. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough, local officials weigh in on end of state mask mandate

Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough thanked the governor for planning to lift state mandates March 10.

The Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market is returning in person for its spring iteration. (Courtesy Jennifer Greene/HoustonBallet)
Houston Nutcracker Market to make in-person return this spring

Of the 150 merchants on the roster, nearly 50 will be making their spring debut in 2021.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced March 2 that mask mandates and business capacity restrictions will be lifted in Texas. (Courtesy Office of the Texas Governor)
Gov. Greg Abbott lifts statewide mask mandate, business restrictions in Texas

With vaccine distribution increasing, Gov. Greg Abbott said "people and businesses don't need the state telling them how to operate." Some local officials are pushing back, saying the relaxed restrictions are coming too early.

A team of All Nations and Journey school students recently competed inn the VEX IQ robotics challenge co-hosted by Clemson University. (Courtesy All Nations Community School)
Oak Ridge North approves 2-year permit extensions for All Nations, Journey schools

City Council renewed specific-use permits for two Robinson Road schools housed in the Sojourn Baptist Church building during a special session March 1.

Most of the electric grid in Texas is managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which is not linked to other interconnected national electrical systems. (Courtesy Electric Reliability Council of Texas)
Leaving the Texas power grid 'not likely to be an option' for Harris County, official says

Just two weeks after severe winter weather dropped Harris County temperatures below freezing for three consecutive days, which led to widespread power outages, loss of water and the deaths of at least 50 county residents, Harris County Commissioners Court called for major reform at the state level regarding the Texas power grid and related energy policies.

Hank's Crab Shack gets and sells several hundred pounds of crawfish daily, especially during the peak of crawfish season. (Morgan Theophil/Community Impact Newspaper)
Hank's Crab Shack serving Katy; 16 Spring-Klein business updates and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

(Courtesy Top Sushi)
Top Sushi The Woodlands opens in Metropark Square

The sushi restaurant is the sixth for the company in the Greater Houston area.

Houston City Hall in rainbow lighting
Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce celebrates five years of service

The organization is open to all and serves members throughout the Greater Houston area.

Montgomery County is set to receive its largest first-dose allocation during the week of March 1. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Montgomery County set to receive largest vaccine allocation yet in first week of March

Nearly 20,000 vaccine doses were allocated to the county's two vaccine hubs and several additional providers for the week of March 1.

A coronavirus vaccine is given at Memorial Hermann's mass vaccine clinic Feb. 26. (Andrew Christman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Memorial Hermann closes out 2nd round of vaccines with 7,000 distributed among 2 clinics

The clinic will continue operations through 5:30 p.m. Feb. 27.