A decision to limit public access to city facilities was made during an emergency Willow Springs City Council meeting held this week.
Starting Friday, the lobbies of the the Willow Springs City Hall and police department will be closed, though staff will still be available to answer phone calls and payments may still be made.
City Administrator Beverly Hicks recommended the closures during Sunday afternoon’s meeting. as a proactive measure to help protect the public and city employees from contracting the COVID-19 disease.
The public is asked to use the drop box in front of city hall to make payments or go online to www.willowspringsmo.com to pay fines or bills.
The Willow Spring Police Department also announced that it will only respond to routine medical calls, unless requested by emergency medical personnel. Officials say the police will still patrol and respond to emergency calls, but ask that people meet with officers outdoors and maintain a distance of 6 to 10 feet.
Also during Sunday’s council meeting, city officials and the aldermen discussed the details of contingency plans mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Among the topics discussed regarding Willow Springs’ 35 city employees, it was suggested to limit travel and adjust sick leave procedures. Hicks recommended, based on actions made by other municipalities, that the travel limit be based on a 50 mile radius.
Hicks also also raised concerns about whether services could be maintained if too many employees need to take off sick or self-quarantine.
According to the city’s preparedness plan, employees will have to be conscious of their health and anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms must contact a supervisor and stay at home. The plan advises to follow the city’s sick leave policy, though other exceptions and policies may be enacted by the city council.
Hicks told the council that purchasing personal protective equipment for city employees has been difficult.
“I’m looking into the future; a few months from now we may not have what we need,” Hicks told the aldermen. She also emphasized that spending should be kept to essential purchases only for the time being.
“We need to keep accounts payable as low as possible. That way, we can keep the vital departments going,” she said.
According to Hicks, the city will follow state and federal guidance and policies when it comes to dealing with the pandemic.
For more information citizens may call city hall at 417-469-2107 or follow @cityofwillowsprings on Facebook.