We continue to evaluate the rapidly changing landscape of COVID-19 and implement strategies to minimize the risk of spreading the disease. In order to implement some of these changes it was necessary to declare a State of Emergency within the City even though Johnson and Miami Counties have also declared emergencies. I have signed that declaration today and write to you now to outline our current efforts to protect residents, city staff, and visitors to our community. The action taken today is supplemental to the recent actions taken by Johnson and Miami Counties, meaning that the orders contained in those declarations remain in full force and effect.
The following actions are being undertaken:
City Facilities Closed to the Public
Effective at 5 p.m. today, March 19, 2020, all city facilities are closed to the public. City staff will still be working and be available by telephone. Please contact City Hall staff at (913) 592-3664, Public Works Staff at (913) 592-3317 or for after-hours utility emergencies at (913) 247-3521, and the Police Department’s non-emergency number at (913) 782-0720 (all emergency calls should be made by dialing 911).
City parks remain open! However, playground equipment is fenced off and closed to the public. We encourage you to utilize our six parks in other creative ways such as kite flying, dog walking or running!
While it is too early to know what impact the current situation will have on Aquatic Center operations, we understand that families may be reluctant to purchase annual passes. We are extending the discount period for annual passes to May 31, 2020, by which point we should have a clearer understanding of what the season may look like. We continue to schedule telephone interviews with applicants interested in working at the Aquatic Center in an effort to have adequate staffing levels for opening day. We will keep you updated on Aquatic Center operations, including passes and swim lessons, as we learn more.
Local Business Impacts
With the closure of bars and restaurants by order of Johnson and Miami Counties, we remind you that many of our local providers are open for carryout. We encourage you to solicit these businesses as you are able in an effort to support these businesses and their employees. Other businesses may be affected as well – please shop local whenever possible.
School Breakfast and Lunch
We are working with USD 230 as well as State and Federal officials to be able to serve as a “grab-and-go” meal station at City facilities in addition to School District locations.
Watch for emails from the school district regarding meal availability and know that your Schools and City are working together to make sure meals are available for our community’s youth.
City Council Meetings
Presently, the Governing Body will continue to meet as scheduled Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 7 p.m. Items that are not urgent have been moved to future agendas to ensure adequate time to address ongoing business needs while also minimizing the amount of time in the meeting.
We are working on how best to ensure public access while minimizing the risk of potential exposure. More information will follow.
We are waiving late fees and utility shut-offs for at least the next 30 days for those families experiencing financial issues. Your word that you need help is enough to receive this benefit – if we do not receive your payment, we will assume that you need help and are happy to work with you.
Information about Municipal Court can be found on the City’s website.
The Spring Hill Chamber of Commerce has put together an online resource guide residents and businesses. It includes a variety of resources including a page to connect parents to child-care providers, the latest information on COVID-19, resources for workers telecommuting for the first time, and so much more.
To access, simply visit the Chamber’s website and select “Community Resources” at the top of the screen.
We will continue to provide as much information, as well as resources, on our social media platforms and the City’s website.
We keep hearing about how these are extraordinary times and I could not agree more. It is in extraordinary times that the ordinary becomes essential … so please, let’s continue to check on our elderly friends and neighbors, those in our community who may have mobility issues, or those for whom food insecurity is daily reality. There are families throughout Spring Hill that have begun working to provide necessities to those in need so be encouraged to reach out if you are in need, be encouraged to help out if you are not.
Stay tuned to the City’s social media outlets and website for additional information. Sign up for text alerts through our website. If you know of families without access to these resources, please share the information with them as you can.
We are joining the Spring Hill Chamber of Commerce and USD 230 in the #TogetherSpringHill campaign. YOU are the reason that Spring Hill is the community of choice for so many new residents.
I wish each and every one of you good health – we will weather the issues ahead of us like we always have … together.
Steven M. Ellis