The City of Knox is reducing its workforce to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The city council Tuesday approved a measure to reduce the workforce until April 6 at 11:59 p.m., mirroring the state’s stay-at-home order.
Mayor Dennis Estok said employees will still get paid and will remain on-call during that time. “We will have people still working,” Estok told council members. “They’re just going to split the time up. Water plant, sewer plant, street department will still have some there, but not the whole crew. They will take turns alternating.”
He explained that every department head has worked out a plan. Council members also authorized the mayor to extend the workforce reduction, if the governor were to lengthen the stay-at-home order. “We have a responsibility to protect our citizens, which we’re doing,” Estok said, “but we also have a responsibility to protect our employees because they are valuable.”
Estok had already issued an executive order closing city buildings to the public through April 30, although he said Tuesday that could be shortened if the threat of COVID-19 passes.
The mayor also told council members that regular garbage and recycling pickup are, so far, expected to continue, but Waste Management will suspend pickup of large, bulk items. He encouraged any business owners who aren’t sure if they’re allowed to stay open during the stay-at-home order to check the list of essential businesses on the state’s website.