Council Memo

Discussion Regarding Updates Pertaining to COVID-19.


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Recommended Action: This item is for discussion only. No formal action will be taken.


Item Summary


Update from Mayor Mengarelli regarding various issues in the community surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic


Meeting History

Mar 24, 2020 3:00 PM  City Council Voting Meeting
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Mayor Mengarelli provided an update regarding COVID-19, all information regarding city services during the pandemic are available on the city website for review.

General Updates:

* All BCC meetings are cancelled until further notice

* The Police Department lobby is closed to the public

* All Fire Stations are closed to the public

* The Public Works lobby is closed to visitors, please call 777-1230 for assistance

* We feel it is Important that the city continues all essential services so you will not see interruptions regarding utility billing, community development, wastewater/water, or trash pickup

* The library is offering curbside pickup option

* Recreation Services has waived all parking and usage fees at trails and parks, city parks, trails and lakes are open however playgrounds and public restrooms have been closed

* Community Development has shifted to an electronic system for permit and plans submissions

* Courtesy Notary Services have been suspended

* Airport Services continue

* City Hall is open to the public but many services are available online

Joe Baynes Recreation Services Director addressed the need to close the bathrooms and playgrounds for the safety of our staff and the public in addition to issues with maintaining cleaning supplies. He stated that Prescott Valley and Prescott National Forest are taking the same actions. It is our goal to be part of the solution during all of this.

Michael Lamar City Manager commented that it is not just for safety as staff has had people ripping hand sanitizer off the walls and stealing toilet paper and paper towels, this kind of behavior is a big reason why the restrooms have had to be closed.

Mayor Mengarelli commented that he encourages people to get outside but continue to maintain social distancing.

Mayor Pro Tem Orr asked if we will be placing porta potties anywhere.

Mr. Baynes stated that staff is looking into that and they will be placed in some locations. Additionally, signage will be placed at the parks.

Mayor Mengarelli encouraged people to please continue to support our small businesses by utilizing curbside pickup, getting gift certificates and utilizing to-go services from the local bars.

Councilman Goode read a statement from Bill Beard Pima County Supervisory Candidate and stated that he feels relaxing our code restrictions during this time would be very important for our local business owners :

"Business owners especially require certainty in order to provide not just a product or service but to plan operations like how many employees to schedule and when. In an effort to allow for businesses to operate effectively during the current state of emergency, I call for an immediate suspension and relaxation of the existing sign codes and related rules governing the advertising of businesses. The businesses that have decided to remain open by offering only take out or drive through service must have the ability to advertise so that they can remain in business. The existing restrictions under the various codes should be immediately removed or greatly reduced to allow these businesses to weather the storm. Allow these businesses to advertise for the remainder of this current crisis with banners or street signage that would let the public know they are still operating. I also suggest that these rules remain suspended until such time as the current crisis is declared over and to extend for a period of at least 90 days afterward. Leaders are required to also provide as much certainty as possible in these uncertain times. Waiving fes and regulations will go a long way to providing that certainty."

Mayor Mengarelli said that was a great suggestion and something we could look at on a future agenda. He also thanked Public Works for their efforts in providing signage for businesses.

Councilwoman Scholl stated that APS is waiving their late fees and offering flexibility on bills.

Mr. Lamar commented that discussions around signage could be brought forward at the next meeting as well.

Councilman Blair commented that we also need to look into what the options are for Council to take on more responsibility when in an emergency situation as we are now and the other advisory boards are not meeting.

Mayor Mengarelli echoed Councilman Blair’s comments and commented that he is working very closely with the County and there will be an incident command center put together for the EOC and a multi-agency group will be working together to help determine policies and priorities for the incident command post.

Mayor - working closely with the County and will be putting together an incident command point out of their EOC on Commerce Drive and it is a multiagency group, helping to determine policies and priorities of the incident command post.

This item was for discussion only. No formal action was taken.