Local city governments continue to serve the public during COVID-19 crisis

he COVID-19 situation continues to evolve in Missouri. As of press time, there were 183 confirmed cases in the state, the bulk of which are in St. Louis and Kansas City, but 17 are in Greene County. Also, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department reported the first death in the county from COVID-19 took place during the weekend of March 20; the deceased was a woman in her 80s.
As the situation continues to change, the city government in Ash Grove, Willard and Republic are taking steps to continue functioning while also trying to prevent the virus from infecting city workers or residents.

Ash Grove...
In Ash Grove, the lobby to City Hall was closed on Tuesday, March 17, and all municipal court in-person proceedings were suspended until April 16. According to the city’s website, customers wishing to pay their utility bills may mail their payments, pay online, pay over the phone or use the drop box outside of City Hall. Emergency services (i.e. police, fire) continue to function as usual.
Also, on March 17, Mayor Les Gardner signed a proclamation declaring a state of emergency, according to the city’s local emergency operation plan. The proclamation remains in effect for 30 days, unless it’s either withdrawn or suspended.
Gardner also signed a proclamation prohibiting public gathering of 10 or more people, excluding “educational institutions, daycare facilities and business operations” in city limits during the state of emergency.

According to the website for the city of Republic, the municipal court and community center are closed until at least April 3. City Hall, the police and fire departments and outdoor recreation facilities currently remain open, but the Republic City Council live streamed their meeting on Tuesday, March 24 instead of gathering in person at city hall.
Residents who wish to make utility payments are encouraged to do so online, at the dropbox outside city hall, or over the phone. New residents wishing to create an account for utilities can do so online. More information is available on the city website at www.republicmo.com; go to the website and click on the “Coronavirus Update” tab to learn more.

The city of Willard is posting information for city residents on the COVID-19 webpage on the city’s website. The page contains a list of events which are either canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus. It also lists accommodations which are being made at city hall to protect both city workers and members of the public.
Among those, city personnel are now available by appointment only, and Willard residents are asked to pay their utility bills online, over the phone, by mail or at the dropbox outside of city hall. In-person processes, like opening or closing an account, are now being converted into virtual options.
The Willard Municipal Court is also closed; it will resume operations on Monday, April 7, unless circumstances warrant the court remain closed.
For more information, to make an appointment to meet with a member of city personnel, or for assistance or special accommodations, call Willard City Hall at (417)742-3033. For more information about Municipal Court, call Jessica Truitt at (417)742-5306.
More information is available at www.cityofwillard.org/covid-19-information.html.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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