The Harpswell Board of Selectmen votes to terminate the state of civil emergency in the town, effective immediately, during a meeting at the town office on June 24. From left: David I. Chipman, Kevin Johnson and Jane Covey. (J.W. OLIVER PHOTO)
After a year, three months, six days, and about five hours, the state of civil emergency in Harpswell is officially over as of June 24.
The Harpswell Board of Selectmen voted 3-0 to terminate the state of emergency, effective immediately. The town had declared the emergency at 2:25 p.m. on March 18, 2020, due to the public health threat of COVID-19.
“I don’t think we honestly knew what we were dealing with at that time, but we knew it was a serious situation and we knew we needed to make sure the public understood that and that we began to take steps to educate people and make sure they knew as much as possible about COVID-19 and what they could do to protect themselves, their families, etc.,” Town Administrator Kristi K. Eiane said.
The declaration of a civil state of emergency gives the board of selectmen authority to “promulgate such regulations as it deems necessary to protect life and property and to preserve critical resources,” according to the town’s 2007 emergency management ordinance.