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A city-wide curfew which went into effect April 3, will remain in place until further notice, Roanoke Rapids City Manager Joseph Scherer confirmed this morning.

The lifting of the curfew is something Scherer said he would have to discuss with city council.

In his report to council at its meeting Tuesday night, the city manager said, “Generally speaking, the way we have been doing business with our administration will remain the same. Note that the stay at home order remains in place. The gathering limits and social distancing requirements still keep our facilities closed to the public to meet these requirements.”

Council met Tuesday using the Zoom application format to conform with public gathering and social distancing requirements.

Scherer said the city is looking at expenditure reductions for the remainder of this fiscal year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The city manager said last month the pandemic is expected to impact the budget for the 2020/21 fiscal year.

This morning he said he should have a better idea on budget projections by council’s next meeting.

Meanwhile, Scherer discussed two bills signed by Governor Roy Cooper which represent a $1.6 billion pandemic relief package. “In addition to $1.57 billion in federal CARES Act funding under the General Assembly's direction, the package includes a $1 billion accounting of additional federal aid that has come directly to the state and local agencies, which includes funding for public schools, higher education and child care grants.”

He noted a special thanks to state Representative Michael Wray, who co-chaired the economic support working group of the House Select Committee on COVID-19, which he said, “was instrumental in pushing forward resources to support economic recovery.”

Among other items, the package extends driver's license and tag expiration deadlines, waives interest payments on state income and business taxes that were normally due in April, directs hundreds of millions of dollars on public schools, vaccine and treatment research, coronavirus testing and contact tracing, and replenishes the NC Rapid Recovery Loan Program.

Features of local interest in the relief package include:

$125 million to expand the Rapid Recovery Loan Program sponsored by the Golden LEAF Foundation for small business loan assistance.

$65 million earmarked for grants to rural hospitals and those in poorer counties around the state, including funding to cover lost revenues from elective procedures.

$150 million for counties ineligible to receive direct funding from the CARES Act. Each county receives a base funding of $250,000, with the remainder distributed on a per capita basis. “Funds can be allocated to municipalities if a necessary expenditure exists and is consistent with federal guidance on COVID-19 relief. Please note that cities do not receive any aid directly but are allocated by the county. Also note that the bulk of the aid will be allocated on a per capita basis.”