INDEPENDENCE — The city of Independence released new information March 20 about its response to COVID-19.

The city will continue to follow Gov. Kate Brown’s direction and Oregon Health Authority guidance.

The public is requested to conduct as much city business as possible over the phone, internet or email in lieu of coming into the building. Most city business can be conducted this way.

The city website is updated as any new information as it happens.

Facility information

City Hall:

Open on a limited basis. The front counter will be closed from noon to 1 p.m. for lunch. The second and third floor city hall front counter activities have been relocated to the police department counter.

Many city services can be conducted either over the phone or via email. City Hall is expected to close to all services in the future. There will be a drop-off area allocated if there is a full closure. Any material received will not be opened for a minimum of 48 hours.

Municipal Court arraignments have been postponed to May. Information from the court for each case will be sent to individuals. If you have any questions or concerns about upcoming court matters such as arraignments, trials, traffic safety diversion or payments, email the court clerk at court@ci.indedependence.or.us The court clerk will respond as soon as possible.

Public Meetings: The March 24 City Council meeting remains scheduled. Visit the city website calendar for information regarding other public meetings schedules.

The city will provide teleconferencing options for council and will open Council Chambers for public comments.

Check with the city’s website for information.

The city will be applying social distancing recommendations and limiting public gatherings to no more than 25 attendees.

Independence Police Department: The Police Department is open. The PD encourages the public to call in to report non-emergencies or when seeking general information from an officer, rather than coming into the building in person. We are also asking our officers to take non-emergency reports over the phone rather than conducting home visits, if possible. The non-emergency telephone number is 503-838-1214.

We are referring sex offender registrations to the State of Oregon sex offender registration unit and not completing them at City Hall.

We are discontinuing public fingerprinting services.

Library: The Independence Public Library remains closed until May 4 at the earliest.

• The library meeting room is closed.

• All programs are cancelled.

• Online services, such as eResources, Library2Go books and digital books, and the video-streaming resources Kanopy will still be available to patrons wherever they have internet access. Please check the library’s Facebook page and library website for more information or call 503-838-1811.

Parks: Parks are open. Park visitors are encouraged to follow directions from public health agencies about social distancing and personal hygiene safety. Please follow all park rules.

Applications for park reservations are currently suspended until further notice.

WiFi: WiFi is available at the library (parking lot) and Riverview Park.

Independence Heritage Museum: Closed until further notice.

Event Center at City Hall: Closed.

Utility Billing: There will be no further late charges, door-hanger notices or water shutoffs through the end of April. We encourage you to use digital tools to manage your utility billing account using our online site Xpress Bill Pay. Visit xpressbillpay.com. With the 24/7 access to your account you’ll have a safe, secure and convenient way to view your balance and make a payment. Please also consider paperless billing.

To receive your bill electronically, contact the city.

For support with your account, contact the city at 503-838-1212 or Xpress at 1-800-766-2350.

City Staff: Some staff will be teleworking, working alternating shifts, or a combination of both. It is the city's intent to continue to provide services to residents while keeping their employees as healthy as possible.

City staff is constantly in contact with both local and state public health authorities and adjusting our practices as direction changes.

The city’s website contains the latest updates.

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