St. George sets the date to reopen City Hall’s doors

St. George City Hall, St. George, Utah, June 16, 2017 | File photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — St. George city officials have set a tentative date to reopen government offices.

St. George City Hall, St. George, Utah, June 6, 2019 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

For now, the target date to reopen City Hall fully is May 26. Currently, it has been open by appointment only with drive-thru services open.

“We are still trying to serve the public the best we can given the circumstances,” said City Manager Adam Lenhard. “We are anxious and ready to getting back to having all of our employees back in the office and (allowing) the public back in our building.”

The reopening date could be postponed until June 1, Lenhard added.

“We’ve looked at May 26 as a soft opening,’ he said. “And, by June 1 we are ready to go.”

To prepare, the city has asked department leadership to develop plans for the transition from telecommuters and a skeleton staff at City Hall to the return to city buildings.

“We will work towards that,” Lenhard said.

The Support Services Department has been preparing for the reopening with new signage and reminding the public to maintain social-distancing protocols.

Dannielle Larkin was joined by family and friends during her City Council swearing-in ceremony. St. George, Utah, Jan. 6, 2020 | Photo by David Louis, St. George News

Councilwoman Dannielle Larkin said she has received emails from people on both sides of supporting reopening asking what kind of sanitation will be provided.

Marc Mortensen, support services director, said his department has been working closely with Lenhard on an upgrade that includes the purchase of touchless amenities in public-facing bathrooms. Items include towel and soap dispensers. The city will also provide hand sanitizers in every city building, along with one-time wipes to open doors.

“On the floors, there will be decals that (provide) spacing especially waiting in line for a counter,” Mortensen said.

Other protection measures include a continual deep cleaning of city facilities each day that will use fogging machines, where appropriate, and employing disinfectant “best practices” throughout city buildings including the St. George Recreation Center.

Inside the St. George Regional Airport, St. George, Utah, Sept. 25, 2019 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“At the airport, after every flight, we will use the (fogging) machines which are very effective,” Mortensen said. “You can be assured we are implementing all of the best practices for keeping surfaces as clean as possible.”

Along with other businesses that have installed plexiglass shields separating patrons and staff, the city has followed suit at its public counters.

“We do want to give people confidence when they come to our facilities or other businesses that (everyone) is taking precautions,” said St. George Mayor Jon Pike.

As an augmentation, city officials say they will maintain virtual meetings with the public who are concerned with COVID-19 infection.

“This has been good for us to learn some lessons,” Pike said.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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