Hornell Common Council Talks Coronavirus at Last Night’s Meeting



March 16th, 2020

HORNELL, NY – Last night the Hornell Common Council met to discuss coronavirus updates and precautions as well as discuss multiple resolutions on their agenda. Bryan O’Donovan of St. James spoke via conference call to the council and reported the hospital has closed the majority of entrances in most buildings, taken temp eratures of all staff and sending home employees who display any symptoms. Precautions are being taken in a county with 0 reported cases because St. James does not want to infect staff.

O’Donovan reports the hospital is in lock-step with the University of Rochester’s week and a half implementation preparation process. It was confirmed at the meeting by O’Donovan that people have been tested in Hornell. The St. James Facilities opened at the normal time of 8am today. Mayor John Buckley commented that despite the chaos and confusion amidst coronavirus “it could be a whole lost worse…” in terms of the timing this outbreak happened.

St James CEO Bryan O’Donovan

Superintendent Palotti of Hornell City Schools updated the Council on how schools and classes will function as schools shut down from today to April 12th as mandated by New York State.

Students can connect to material and submit work online during the dismissal via Google Drive. Chromebooks will be available for students with no personal computer access to take out.

While students are dismissed, schools will be cleaned based on CDC guidelines.

Hornell School Superintendent Jeremy Palotti remarked that when it comes to a date of return for students, Hornell City School Districts are awaiting “directions from the state” before declaring a time to anticipate classes resume after schools were directed to be closed across the state tomorrow. Parents will get access to pick up their childrens’ belongings and work 8am to 3pm today.


Police Chief Ted Murray addressed the council on the issue of all county buildings being closed as a result of the state of emergency. Hornell City Court is to be closed until early May and as a result, many with tickets cannot pay them causing a backup for that office. Grand jury cases were also canceled today and Murray noted this may go against state laws.

Also discussed was the possibility of implementing a possible curfew for those under eighteen to follow in the upcoming weeks of the school dismissal. Years ago, a curfew was in place but later repealed due to unconstitutionality. Mayor Buckley says he contacted the City Attorney to talk to him about implementing a temporary curfew in light of the state of emergency.

The Council voted to approve resolutions to approve Federal Cash Management Policy, Stipulation of Settlement, Authorizing Mayor Buckley to Purchase an Ambulance, Ratifying the WWTPO Contract, Lease Authorizing Resolution for the City to Lease Two Dodge Durangos, Drawing Checks, Official Depositories and declaring the Hornell Spectator the Common Council’s Official Newspaper for 2020-2021.

The Council Concluded its meeting with a closed executive session.

-Sonya Ellison