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SUGAR MOUNTAIN — The Village of Sugar Mountain announced on March 25 that it has declared a state of emergency within the municipality due to the ramifications of the COVID-19 virus pandemic, according to a media release of the resolution by the town.

The resolution signed by Sugar Mountain Mayor Gunther Jochl marked the latest municipality to make such a declaration, following a declaration of a State of Emergency by Avery County Commissioners on March 20 and by the town of Banner Elk, in step with the declaration of a State of Emergency for North Carolina by Governor Roy Cooper issued on March 10.

Included in the resolution are sections that note that “it is necessary that the Village of Sugar Mountain declare a State of Emergency to address this public health crisis and its associated effects.”

Furthermore, the resolution signed by Jochl and attested by Clerk Tammy Floyd instructs “... all Village of Sugar Mountain law enforcement officers and employees and all other emergency management personnel subject to our control” to “cooperate in the enforcement and implementation of the provisions of this Declaration, all applicable local ordinances, state and federal laws, and the Village of Sugar Mountain Emergency Operations Plan.”

The resolution concludes that the mayor orders the resolution declaration “be disseminated to news media and outlets to bring its contents to the attention of the general public,” and that “in connection with the actions of the Board of Commissioners of Avery County, the Town of Banner Elk, the Town of Beech Mountain, and other municipalities in Avery County, it is strongly encouraged that the Short Term rental of properties, being for a period of less than thirty days, be suspended by property owners and property managers within the corporate limits of Sugar Mountain, except as is necessary to provide housing for emergency personnel, those engaged in essential and necessary travel, or those displaced as a result of the virus. This request includes all properties rented for periods of less than thirty days, including Air BnB, VRBO, timeshares, condominiums, bed and breakfasts, and similar rentals.”

The state of emergency declaration will remain in effect in the village until further notice.

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