Mayor Buz Craft said while many municipalities are suffering financial problems, made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic, that Vidalia’s finances are sound.
His comments came during the regular meeting of the Vidalia Board of Aldermen Tuesday night that was broadcast live on Facebook.
The mayor said many towns, particularly college towns such as Ruston, have made major layoffs.
“I can assure our employees and residents that we are financially sound,” he said. “There are no plans to lay anybody off.”
Additionally, Town Accountant Debra Moak reported that a hydro royalty check amounting to $5 million will be received on May 1.
“We’re ready for anything that comes our way right now,” Craft said.
Moak said sales tax, convention center and utility receipts are lower due to the pandemic.
On another matter, Craft said the Mississippi crested at 57.4 feet on Tuesday and is expected to drop to 47.3 feet in 28 days barring any additional rainfall.
Concerning the pandemic, Craft said during his weekly update on the virus that residents should not be complacent.
He said the case numbers released by the state are “half of actual” numbers.
“We’re in the middle of the upswing and the surge of the Covid-19 and need to be very diligent and not complacent,” he said. “It’s worse than we know.”
He said April 17 is the time when cases are expected to peak.
“Stay home,” he said, and asked that all observe the guidelines on social distancing.
Craft said he went to the store this past weekend to get house supplies when he encountered one person with two teens who were “running all over the store,” and one ran into him twice.
“There is a stay at home order until April 30,” he said.
The mayor advised that the virus could be transmitted through “small respiratory droplets,” which is not the same as a sneeze or a cough. Those droplets, he said, appear as a fog on a mirror from one’s breath.