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Town Consultant: Nashville Under Excellent Leadership During Coronavirus Pandemic

Dax Norton

Nashville Municipal Consultant Dax Norton (Joe Hren, WFIU/WTIU News)

Nashville Municipal Consultant Dax Norton joins us through social media to talk about the town's response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the impact on the economy, and where Brown County residents can go for help.

On this week’s installment of Ask The Mayor, Nashville's Norton addresses these issues and more. Listen to the full conversation with Indiana Newsdesk anchor Joe Hren by clicking on the play button above, or read some of the questions and answers below. A portion of this segment airs 6:45 and 8:45 a.m. Wednesday on WFIU.

This conversation has been edited for clarity and conciseness.

Hren: Let’s just start with Nashville and the residents, visitors if there are any, what’s the status there?

Norton: Town Council has given Council President Jane Gore some executive powers that state statute allows and she's made some executive orders. March 12 she closed the town hall building to the public, yesterday she closed it completely, sent employees home in an executive order, and I believe she sent a letter out to the public and to the press today explaining what that means and who her essential employees are. And thanked all residents in Nashville and Brown County for following the orders and urging them to continue to do so.

Hren: What about transportation, supplies, food - are there any issues?

Norton: From what I've heard, no. Obviously some of those supplies that are always limited, that seem to be limited through this crisis are limited everywhere. But things seem to be being shipped to Nashville, just as they are anywhere else.

Hren: How is Brown County's Task Force – Community Organizations Active in Disaster operating?

Norton: So that started that started through the Emergency Management. It's kind of like a subcommittee of the emergency management and various leadership from across various groups, Visitors Bureau, the town, non for profits, the Community Foundation, schools, the public safety organizations are all involved and there's, great, very good leadership on that organization are doing an excellent job. So Brown County is lucky and Nashville is lucky that they have leaders that they do.

There is a hotline 812-988-0001 https://www.facebook.com/BrownCountyCOAD they've set up that if anyone needs anything they urge you to call, leave a message, leave your number, and they'll find what they need to do to get you the resources.

Hren: What are people needing the most help with?

Norton: Some people did call in that they were ill. I did get that impression. And then your typical things of somebody may need help with a food delivery, whether that be supplies, like toilet paper, which is a big word right now, Kleenex, face masks.

Hren: Is there coronavirus testing in Brown County?

Norton: Well, there was a presentation from the council last week that there were no testing. There was no testing locally in Brown County. I do not know if that's changed. Everything's kind of shifted over to the emergency management. And like I said, they've done a great job.

Hren: What’s the contingency plan if there’s an outbreak there for getting medical treatment?

Norton: I think that group is having those discussions of where would you go. But the county has a very good preparedness plan, that it's very good in being driven, facilitated by very good, very good people. Brown County not only does it have a wealth of resources and community support, but it's surrounded by a wealth of additional resources and community support.

Hren: Nashville is more of a small town, but not typical because of all the tourists. This will have a big impact, I assume everyone is worried, what are you telling them?

Norton: Jane Ellis is a great leader. She's the director of CVB. She has some great ideas. And the CVB website is a great resource and great place to go. She mentioned one idea of like drive through concerts, or artists setups where you drive through and stay in your car. The creativity of Nashville and Brown County is like none other. And I think that creativity and passion to see forward to the other side of this will help the community through this.

Hren: What's your message to Nashville residents right now?

Norton: Jane Gore, town council president, and the rest of town council's first priority is the health and safety of the residents. That's probably said everywhere but that's their first priority. Second would be the economic impacts to Nashville as we get through this, and how long term are those economic impacts? How do we get people back on their feet? So those are the two main priorities that we're looking at right now. Obviously, right now, first is please stay inside as much as you can and adhere to social distancing. And stay as healthy as you can. The town council will provide the services that they typically will provide and maybe go even above and beyond if they have to.

For the latest news and resources about COVID-19, bookmark our Coronavirus In Indiana page here

This is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. However, we recommend checking the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Indiana State Department of Health for the most recent numbers of COVID-19 cases.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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