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City Hall weathers changing times

Dunkirk’s City Hall is seeing much less traffic at this point. OBSERVER Photo by Jo Ward.

Just as the nation is going through a constant influx of change, so is the city of Dunkirk. As COVID-19 continues its sweep of the state, the shockwaves of a positive case in the city hit home Monday and brought with it ever evolving changes at Dunkirk City Hall.

“We’re on a skeleton crew, we currently are still open, but that may change probably by the end of the week,” Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas told the OBSERVER this week. “We’ll still be able to provide residents with services, but as far as them coming in, that may change. We’re going to change the way that we’re operating until further notice. I’ll have more detailed information coming out as soon as we have it all mapped out.”

Rosas went on to share that city hall has been excessively busy in the last week or so and that this whole experience has been a learning experience for him. “I’m very proud of our team here at the city. We’ve adapted, we’ve learned and we’re working together to get through this thing and I’m very proud of that,” he stated.

When asked how things are changing in the city now that a positive case has been discovered, Rosas added that he believes many people weren’t adhering to the recommendations of the health department until now. “I think that they’ll be following closer now that we’ve had a person in the city that tested positive,” Rosas said. “I think now it’s being taken a little more seriously. We have to again, abide by those restrictions; this is for the benefit of the whole community.”

Concern laced Rosas’ voice when asked of the large number of sick in the state currently, his response is that the numbers will, in his opinion, continue to grow as the weeks drag on. “I think that right now several have the virus and don’t even know it,” Rosas said. “So I think that if people continue to follow the recommendations then we’re going to be fine. I’ve been in contact with just about anybody and everybody. We’ve been doing conference calls with the state and at the county level with supervisors and mayors from around the area. I’ve been in contact with the county executive and the governor’s people as well. Believe it or not it’s all been very helpful. It’s been a team effort and I can’t say enough about how good it is as a mayor to feel that we have the support at all levels of government here in our community.”

Rosas would like to remind residents of the city and county alike to just follow the recommendations from the department of health. And if anyone has any inquiries to contact the Chautauqua County Health Department at 753-4312, as they’re the best point of contact.

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