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Hammock with Gov. Kay Ivey, who issued a state of emergency for Alabama on Friday

Mayor breaks down COVID-19

By Michael Butler

The nation, state and city are all taking precautionary measures regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic is now sweeping the country and has reached Elmore County.

Tallassee mayor Johnny Hammock spent some of last week in the nation's capital and began seeing reactions to the coronavirus first hand.

"When I flew back, Reagan International Airport was a ghost town. People had masks on," Hammock said. "We had a meeting Friday with the Elmore County Emergency Management Agency. They told us Friday that they thought they had some cases in Elmore County. One has been confirmed."

Hammock said one of his main concerns is the utility services provided by the city.

"At our water filter plant, I'm wondering if one gets it and spreads it around how are we going to run the plant. I just had a meeting with the sewer and gas guys. I told them to try to limit your contact with large groups. Keep your hands washed and sanitized. Try not to touch your face. Everything that I've been reading to help prevent this I'm telling my utility guys. We only have a certain number of them."

Those essential services need manpower to operate, Hammock noted.

"If it wipes out those guys, we're going to be in trouble. I'm going to be calling on other municipalites to see if they can lend me some guys if that happens. I'm sure they're worried about the same thing."

Tallassee produces water not just for the city but also Friendship, Wall Street and the Eclectic area.

"It's probably close to 20,000 people that run off of that filter plant."

Hammock is dedicating time this week to be prepared for what the future might hold with COVID-19. As of Monday, the Senior Center is closed but meals will still be delivered. The Tallassee Recreation Center is closed as well.

With school out in Tallassee until April 6, Tallassee Parks and Recreation Department director Tammy Merrett said it was important that her department follow suit.

"When kids are out of school, they head straight to the basketball court," she noted. "We'll have 50 plus kids there when it's no school. The point of keeping them apart is to keep them apart. If they school doesn't want them together, we should adhere to that."