Local emergency declarations extended by both town and county


By Chris Mannara
Staff Writer

Both the Town of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County have extended their respective local emergency declarations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners extended its Declaration of Local Disaster on May 5.

“This is just to help us get reimbursed for our expenses,” Commissioner Steve Wadley said. “It makes no statement on how long we want the emergency to last.”

The Declaration of Local Disaster is now extended to June 9.

Also on May 5, the Pagosa Springs Town Council ratified and extended its Declaration of a Local Disaster Emergency until June 2.

Mayor Don Volger signed the original local disaster declaration on March 16, which was then ratified and extended by town council at its meeting on March 19. That declaration expired on May 1, according to Town Manager Andrea Phillips.

“The purpose of a local disaster declaration is that it allows to have a basis for applying to FEMA and other funding agencies to recapture some of the expenditures that we have had related to responding to the virus,” Phillips said. 

The town’s response has not been similar to Archuleta County’s or San Juan Basin Public Health’s, but the town has purchased additional personal protective equipment for staff, and printed signage and fliers, Phillips explained.

“It’s basically ratifying the mayor’s signature and extending our local disaster declaration through June 2,” Phillips said, adding that council can decide to extend it at another meeting.

The motion to ratify and extend the town’s Declaration of a Local Disaster Emergency was approved unanimously by council.