City of Wakefield makes changes amid COVID-19 pandemic

The City of Wakefield held an emergency city council meeting on March 19 at the Wakefield Civic Center. The only item on the agenda was action on measures to mitigate COVID-19.

Discussion included whether to keep Gardner Public Library open, how to get supplies to home-bound people.

Discussion took place about what to do at the library based on a suggestion from council member Scott Hansen. While other area libraries were closing, at the time of the meeting, Wakefield’s remained open but limited to 10 patrons at a time.

“Probably the safe things is just to shut it down,” Ross Hansen said.

There was also discussion about having younger people delivering Meals on Wheels to help protect vulnerable populations. Council member Val Bard said she would reach out to Wakefield’s ministerium about how to help people who can’t go out with acquiring supplies like personal hygiene products.

Passed unanimously during the meeting was Wakefield’s official City response to COVID-19 as follows:

1) Mayor could declare a state of emergency that would allow the city, if necessary to access funds, implement mutual aid and request assistance from the a governors emergency fund.

2) City office to close to the public but remain open until further notice. Starting Monday march 23, 2020.

3) City staff maintain and continue to answer phones during regular business hours

4) After hours phone service still available by calling 402-287-2080.

5) Utility bills may be placed into the drop box, pay on-line or set up auto pay.

6) City council may hold emergency meetings and take actions as per governors executive order no 20-03. Videoconferencing or by telephone as required.

7) Use of city parks, ballfields games and practices are prohibited until further notice.

8) City building permit inspections will be limited.

9) Additional measures may be put into place at any time based on national and local health official recommendations

10) Starting Monday, March 23 city council is closing the library to patrons inside the library-employees continue to work and provide resources as requested by phone or appointments.

The Wayne Herald

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