By Jessica Mathews /

A State of Emergency order has been officially lifted in Green Oak Township.

The board met in person last Wednesday and adopted a resolution resolving its local State of Emergency order related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the pandemic and social distancing, the Open Meetings Act was amended via Public Act 228 to allow public bodies to hold remote or electronic meetings under certain circumstances. It laid out different time periods when different rules applied for when electronic meetings and remote attendance are permitted.

The local order had originally been in effect until March but was later extended out to August. Governor Gretchen Whitmer lifted orders on gatherings and facial coverings on June 22nd. As such, it was determined the local order could be lifted and the resolution reflecting was adopted to take effect July 8th.

However, it was not without some hesitation according to Supervisor Mark St. Charles who told WHMI there are pros and cons. He’s comfortable with everybody being vaccinated but said you don’t know if everybody has been vaccinated and there’s a lot of concerns, especially with the new variants coming out and he’s hoping everyone didn’t rush too early to do this and it’s not too soon but they’ll find out.

St. Charles added that when the Governor lifted restrictions, he was having a problem trying to justify the continued electronic meetings, and the board and planning commission felt the same way. He said they’ve been back pretty much full use at the township hall with social distancing and masks and have taken a lot of precautions, adding that their cleaning staff has done a great job disinfecting and cleaning everything.

Trustee Dan Rainko commented that it was great to see everyone again at the meeting and noted that despite the pandemic, there have been terrific things going on at the township hall and a lot of be proud of.