Montrose, CO — The City of Montrose has escalated its response to the COVID-19 pandemic to Tier 4 effective immediately. This is a proactive measure to slow the potential spread, impacts, and damage of COVID-19.
According to Montrose County Public Health, at this time there is one confirmed case of COVID-19 in the City of Montrose. The National Guard is in Montrose today collecting COVID-19 (coronavirus) testing data at the Montrose County Event Center. One-hundred county residents were carefully selected for testing based on various risk factors, symptoms, and state requirements for data collection. See MontroseCounty.net/COVID19 for more information.
The following city closures and restrictions will be in place for the public beginning March 24, at 7 a.m., and will extend through the duration of the COVID-19 emergency period:
• All city buildings will be closed to public access.
• Essential city services including water, sewer, trash/recycling, and law enforcement will continue.
• The Police Department will be closed to the public, but officers will be on duty and responding to calls with an altered response structure.
• City Council will meet virtually as scheduled. Meetings are open to the public via live virtual participation. The public may join the meeting via the link provided and interact with the City Council in the same manner as if the meeting were in person. Phone-in options will also be available for those who don’t have online access. Virtual meetings will be recorded and posted on the city’s YouTube channel as soon as possible. Information regarding meetings will be posted online, on social media, and can also be received by signing up for email notifications at CityofMontrose.org/NotifyMe.
• City parks will remain open, but all public restrooms, shelters, and equipment are closed for the duration of the emergency period. Maintenance staff may be working, but are not expected to interact with the public during this time.
• Many city staff will be working from home and continuing city business as much as possible. Contact information for each department can be found at CityofMontrose.org/COVID19 under “Operational Adjustments and Contact Information.”
• City Clerk - All staff will work from home and continue to provide service electronically, except for necessary election work, which will be carried out under the guidance of the City Clerk and in accordance with the 6’ social distancing rules.
• Building and Planning Services - All staff will work from home and continue to provide service electronically or over the phone to customers. “In-person" inspections or site visits will be conducted on a very limited and controlled basis. Inspection and site review that can be done via photo, drive-by or video is encouraged.
• Utility Billing - The city encourages online bill payment or via credit card over the phone. Payment arrangements can be made over the phone using birthdate and full legal name as a "signature" for any agreements. The city has suspended water utility shutoffs for delinquent customers while working with them to make future payment arrangements.
• Visitor services are on hold and unavailable during this time, other than through the city’s VisitMontrose website or over the phone.
• Human Resources - All hiring and interviewing will be done using virtual means via the city’s Zoom system or Google Hangouts.
• Street Maintenance - Street maintenance staff will work from home via an "on-call" routine. They will respond to urgent projects such as major patches and street repairs, or large potholes that are deemed to be a public safety hazard.
• Utilities - All water distribution and sewer collection staff will work from home via an "on-call" routine whereby they will respond to urgent projects such as line breaks, line locates, etc.
• Waste Water Treatment Plant- Employees will maintain continuity of operations by working as individuals on separate shifts with strict sanitation processes in place.
• Green Waste drop off site will remain open to the public at the temporary Park Avenue location, but with limited hours. Staff members may be assigned on a very limited and individual basis at the direction of the Public Works manager to maintain cleanliness and safety of the site.
• Engineering - All staff will work from home and provide engineering support to customers via electronic and virtual means. Staff will not attend in-person meetings or site visits during this time.
• Planning Commission/Historic Preservation Commission/DART Committees - Every effort will be made to continue with public and internal meetings as necessary to keep city programs and services moving forward. These will be done in a virtual/electronic manner only. The use of Google Hangouts or Zoom will be required to hold any of these meetings for the next 30 days.
• Municipal Court - Court staff members will work from home and continue to carry out court-related services at the direction of the municipal judge.
• All cases will be continued for eight (8) weeks from their original date and time to appear in the Montrose Municipal Court. For example, if the appearance date in court was for April 2, 2020, at 8:30 a.m., the NEW court date would be May 28, 2020, at 8:30 a.m.
• Most Municipal Court cases can be handled PRIOR to their scheduled court date and time by contacting the court at firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone at 970 240-1428 and/ or fax at 970-252-4728. By taking these steps, individuals can avoid the need to physically appear in court on the delayed court date described above.
• Animal Shelter & Animal Control Services - The Animal Shelter will remain closed to the public and no adoptions will be offered until further notice. Shelter staff will continue to work as individuals to care for the animals and to maintain sanitary conditions at the shelter. No disruption will occur related to “care of the animals”.
• Black Canyon Golf Course business operations are closed to the public, but walking-only, self-service golfing will be allowed. Maintenance staff will be working on the course, but are not expected to interact with the public during this time.
The City Council is meeting tomorrow to consider providing immediate assistance to Montrose small businesses who have been negatively affected by mandated closures. This meeting will be held virtually and can be accessed at the following link: https://zoom.us/s/634127881. Participants are encouraged to join via video, but a phone option is available as well.
The city is also working with community partners and non-profit groups to help support organizations that serve residents in need.
More information about these efforts is available at CityofMontrose.org/COVID19
The City of Montrose is continuing to closely monitor direction from Montrose County Public Health and state and federal agencies and will follow their guidance for the health and safety of the Montrose community and city staff.
A copy of the city’s emergency disaster declaration can be viewed here.
Important local COVID-19 public information:
• Follow the City of Montrose and Montrose County on social media for immediate information updates
• Montrose County Public Health COVID-19 hotline: 970-252-4545
• Montrose County Public Health website: www.MontroseCounty.net/COVID19
• Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment: www.colorado.gov/cdphe/2019-novel-coronavirus
• Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 website: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
• For public meeting notices: www.CityofMontrose.org/NotifyMe
For more city news visit CityofMontrose.org.