Henderson prepares to open doors

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During this time of the coronavirus pandemic, city offices and businesses were forced to shut their doors, and families were ordered to stay at home.
Henderson Mayor Bobby King applauds the Henderson Police Department in their efforts in still serving the city in the midst of the virus.
“They have really stepped up and did a great job during this time,” he said.
The local pastors also have received compliments in regards to how they have continued to have services after the Stay-at-Home Order.
“The churches have been very innovative with how they are having services, and I’m happy with them.”
Now that Governor Bill Lee announced on Monday, April 20, he will not extend the Stay-at-Home Order past April 30, Henderson offices, businesses and even churches can expect to reopen soon.
King stated that the city will follow the state’s guidelines.
He said that Henderson City Hall’s Utilities lobby and administration lobby will open back up starting Monday, April 27, but other floors and areas of city hall will remain closed.
Gene Record Memorial Park will open up its walking trail this Friday, April 24.
As of churches, King anticipates they will open back up soon, and believes everyone will continue to use safe practices if they attend services.
“When they are open back up, I’m sure they will be innovative with their social distancing. I really commend our pastors,” he said.
Residents of Henderson have been cooperative during the pandemic and Stay-at-home order according to King. He said the Henderson Police Department has not issued one citation and that the small town businesses within the city have been so cooperative in the time that they deserve the opportunity to open back up.
“We haven’t stopped anybody,” he said. We are really pleased with everyone and how they have worked with us to comply with the governor’s orders.”
Some cities have been taking hard hits financially from COVID-19, but Mayor King said the city should be in good shape.
Ever since the Great Recession of 2008, Mayor King and the Board of Aldermen have been running a conservative budget which has helped the city be more prepared for situations like this.
Since then, 72 percent of the city’s debt has been retired. In 2009, the city’s debt was 9.6 million and it has dropped to 2.7 million today.
Mayor King stated that due to the virus, all major expenditures will be put off until December.
Four aldermen (Buel Maness, Johny Farris, Keith Smith and Michael Phelps) were on the board with him at the time of the Great Recession, and he said having that team still is helpful.
The city is above the national average on how many months that a city is expected to function without any revenue coming in according to King. The national average is 3 months and he said Henderson could function for about 5 months.
“We feel like we are prepared to handle this,” he said.