Wilmington city council votes to extend state of emergency until Friday

Leaders want to reopen in conjunction with Governor Roy Cooper

Wilmington state of emergency extends to Friday

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Wilmington city council voted Tuesday night to extend its current state of emergency until Friday, May 22.

This declaration is set to expire at 5 p.m. on Friday as the state prepares to possibly enter phase 2 of North Carolina’s recovery laid out by Governor Roy Cooper.

“Our council has been cautious, they have had to make some tough votes to make sure that we have protected our citizens," said Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo.

There are more than 125,000 citizens in Wilmington and Mayor Saffo says a portion of that population has underlying health conditions.

“We have concerns. We want to reopen the economy as quickly as possible, but we’re being hit with this thing like everybody else. We’re having to readjust our budgets and we’re really having to hold the lines on many things. We really need to be spending money fixing our roads and infrastructure,” Saffo said.

Leaders say they want to reopen as safely as possible, but they have concerns about drawing more people to the area after they lift more restrictions.

“With the beaches now opening and Memorial Day coming, we know we have a lot of people that are going to be moving in and coming into the area. So we want to reopen, but we want to do it cautiously, and we want to do (it) in conjunction with the governor,” Saffo said.

This Friday, city leaders will talk further to finalize the upcoming budget.

Copyright 2020 WECT. All rights reserved.