Mayor Jimmy Black: State of Our City

by Mayor Jimmy Black & Deane Marks

In a podcast interview Friday, March 20th at the Dewitt Era-Enterprise office, DeWitt City Mayor, Jimmy Black, sat down with Deane Marks to give an update on the state of our city.  The Mayor said, “When it comes to the Coronavirus, I think it is important for everyone to remain calm. As of now, there are no reported cases of Coronavirus in Arkansas County, but that could change. The virus is south of us in Jefferson County, Desha County, Lincoln County, Grant County. It’s not north of us yet, but I would imagine we will get some cases of it.  The best way to keep the virus from spreading is to stay away from each other, basically.”

If you think you have the virus, contact your physician, set up an appointment, and they will come out to your car and swab your cheek. You cannot go to the local health department to get a test. Black encouraged citizens to check the Arkansas Department of Health website as the situation evolves daily. 

Addressing the recent run on grocery stores, Mayor Black said, “Right now they are a little behind. Their distribution centers are located away from here and they have to truck everything in which takes time. There are some shortages in paper products mostly, but if we all remain calm and not panic, there will be enough for everybody.  We must be reasonable and try not to buy things that we don’t need.” 

The Mayor went on to address the recent demand for bottled water. He said, “I know people are buying bottled water in bulk, but I have spoken with Allen Chapman, our City Water Director, and he assures me there is no way for the Coronavirus to contaminate our water supply.” DeWitt’s water has sterilizing chemicals and is heavily monitored by the water department, so there is not any danger in anything like contamination happening. 

Black went on to say the State does not plan to shut down the industry in our town.  “Our businesses here in town, Belleville makes boots for the service, Industrial Iron also hires a lot of people in our region and this is their busy time of year and they just can't shut down.  Right now, the plan is to monitor employees the best we can, implement social distancing in our factories, and sanitize and sterilize working areas daily.”

Black said he has recommended to the larger businesses in town to test their employees' temperatures before going into work and to send them home if their temperature is over 100.4 degrees.

Black says we will get through all this. It’s going to be a little dramatic for a while, and we will learn from it. Black said he believes there will be a new vaccine out soon and we will be able to get back to normal life.