In response to the call for social distancing and to emphasize the importance of following proper health and safety protocols, the Prosper Town Council took the unprecedented step of holding their March 24 Council meeting on Zoom.com, a video streaming service.
Set up by the staff to ensure that the Town’s business would continue in spite of the meeting restrictions put in place by various governmental entities, residents and other interested parties could actively or passively participate by logging onto the Zoom website at no charge. Viewers with the appropriate equipment were able to make comments and ask questions. The Town’s virtual meeting met all requirements of the Open Meetings Act and complied with requirements imposed by Governor Greg Abbott.
While the Prosper Town Council cyber meeting followed an abbreviated agenda, several locally important rulings were decided.
Among these was the extension of the Town’s Declaration of State of Disaster until May 27, 2020. The extension means that the steps taken to confront the disease will remain in place until that date unless the Council issues a change to the declaration. As a review, the Town’s current closures and cancellations include:
- The Town’s Emergency Operations Center has been partially activated, and conditions are being constantly monitored by emergency personnel.
- All Town-sponsored programs, activities, and classes are suspended through April 3.
- The Prosper Community Library and the 407 Rec Center are closed through April 3.
- Prosper Municipal Court is delaying all Court proceedings until May 1.
- All Town playground equipment and outdoor workout facilities are closed.
- All sports fields are closed.
- All closures and cancellations will be reassessed and modified as conditions change.
- Town Council and Planning & Zoning Commission meetings will continue to be held virtually; non-essential Board and Commission meetings are suspended until further notice.
- All other Town offices will remain open during normal operating hours.
Secondly, the Council has voted to postpone the municipal elections, originally scheduled for May 2, until Nov. 3, the date of federal elections. The Nov. 3 election ballot will feature two Council places, one uncontested and one in which the incumbent is being challenged by one opponent.
The Council also voted to refund or waive certain fees through June 30. Some building permit fees will be refunded, specifically where the work has not yet begun and where the project is indefinitely delayed. Health inspection and alcohol permit fees for restaurants are being waived as well, reflecting the financial difficulties that eating establishments are currently facing.
Town officials plan to continue the use of the Zoom process for meetings while the restrictions are in place.