Martinsville – In light of the announcement made this afternoon by Governor Eric Holcomb, Martinsville Mayor Kenny Costin has announced that starting Tuesday, March 24, 2020, City Hall and all other city buildings will be closed to the general public for at least the next two weeks.
Mayor Costin stated, “City Emergency services of the police and fire departments will remain active and ready to serve the public.” However, the mayor pointed out, their administrative offices will be closed to the general public. “If someone needs assistance, they should call 911,” said Mayor Costin. There is also a call box to reach the police dispatch center located in the foyer of city hall, which is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Additionally, the Water Maintenance Office; Water Treatment Office; Building Inspector’s Office; and Street Department Office will be closed to the general public. However, employees will be continuing to serve the city through these departments. The transfer station and trash pick-up will continue normal operations.
The Water Utility Office is closed to the public. Payments may be made at the office using the drive-up window located on the north side of the building. Customers may also make payments online through the city’s web site or by mail. Customers are reminded that their payments are still due by the date posted on the bill.
The city clerk-treasurer’s office is also closed to the general public.
As announced last week, Judge Mark Peden has suspended Martinsville City Court until further notice. With city hall now being closed, those needing to pay fines may do so by going to paygov.us or by calling 1-866- 480-8552. Court personnel are working to reschedule cases that were to come before the court.
According to the order issued by the governor, unless you work for an essential business or are doing an essential activity, you must stay home.
An essential business includes:
• Stores that sell groceries and medicine.
• Food and beverage manufacturers.
• Charitable and social services.
• Religious entities (provided they adhere to social distancing)
• News Media.
• Gas stations and businesses needed for transport.
• Banks and other financial and insurance institutions.
• Hardware and supply stores.
• Critical trades: plumbers, electricians, etc.
• Mail services.
• Educational institutions that can use social distancing.
• Laundry services.
• Restaurants (no dine-in).
• Businesses providing supplies for you to work from home.
• Transportation: airlines, taxis, etc.
• Home-based care and services.
• Shelters for adults and children.
• Day cares.
• Professional services including legal, accounting, etc.
• Manufacturing for critical products (food, medicine, etc.)
• Trash disposal services.
• Hotels and motels.
A “Stay at home” order essentially allows people to continue performing tasks essential to the health and safety of family and pets. That means you can get food, care for a loved one, access necessary healthcare and enjoy outdoor activities (as long as you practice social distancing).
Even though you are permitted to participate in outdoor activities, that does not mean getting a group together to play a sport, such as basketball, or baseball. Therefore, we are essentially closing all our city park’s basketball courts, playgrounds and shelter houses in an effort to discourage such activities. The trails and walking paths will, however, continue to be open to the public as long as social distancing is observed. This closure will remain in effect through the length of the governor’s “stay at home” order.
Residents are asked to not flush non-biodegradable products into the city sewer systems. Many products have been flushed into the system in recent days, and this is causing back-up in the system.
“As we work together to fight the spread of the virus, we need to continue basic hygiene practices,” said the mayor. Washing hands for 20 seconds with hot water and hand soap is one of the most effective methods to fight the virus.
Mayor Costin is encouraging every Martinsville resident to follow the governor’s directive to stay home for the next 14 days and only make the necessary trips out for medicines, food or emergencies.