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ANDERSON — Madison County’s commissioners formalized the local disaster emergency declaration on Monday.

The declaration urges county residents to limit travel for only essential reasons such as work, to purchase food and medical supplies.

County Attorney Jonathan Hughes said the county will enforce the order issued Monday by Gov. Eric Holcomb for Indiana residents to stay home.

“Anyone traveling for nonessential purposes in violation of this order will be held to have violated this ordinance,” the declaration reads.

Hughes said businesses can continue to operate if they provide curbside or delivery services and should close the interior of their stores to the public.

Violation of the emergency order by an individual or business may be fined up to $2,500 for each violation. Each day would be considered a separate violation.

Hughes said the county commissioners are working in conjunction with the Madison County Health Department and Board of Health.

The commissioners adopted a resolution extending to all county employees eight sick days and designated Kelly Gaskill, as president of the Board of Commissioners, to approve all claims and contracts.

Commissioner John Richwine voted no on the resolution wanting Auditor Rick Gardner to email all claims to all three commissioners for consideration.

“I’m not sure I want to give up my voice,” Richwine said.

Gaskill said she would share the information pertaining to claims and contracts with Richwine and Commissioner Mike Phipps.

Hughes said county elected officials and department heads have to identify the essential employees who need to be at work.

He said many county employees are currently working at home, but that the Madison County Government Center remains open with members of the public encouraged to make appointments with the respective county offices to do business in person.

He said employees working at home should work their regular work hours.

“We have largely moved to people working at home,” Hughes said. “The courts led the way.”

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.

Senior Reporter covering Anderson and Madison County government, politics and auto racing for The Herald Bulletin. Has been working as a journalist in central Indiana since 1977.

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