City departments take precautions during COVID-19 outbreak
By Liz Moomey
SALISBURY — The city plans to continue its operations, but departments have made changes to ensure employees stay safe and the city abides by federal, state and Rowan County Health Department recommendations.
The city is encouraging residents to conduct business online or by mail and telephone. The city is looking to “platooning” for its employees in which they will report to work on alternating days or work remotely.
The following are suggestions by city staff for customers and ways operations have changed.
Customer Service Center
• Pay by phone at 704-638-5300 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Debit and credit cards are accepted.
• Pay online at www.salisburync.gov/pay. Create an online account with your account number or pay as a guest. Debit, credit cards and bank account information are accepted.
• Pay by mail. Send your check or money order payment with your remittance form on the bill to: City of Salisbury, P.O. Box 740600, Atlanta, GA 30374
• Pay by drive through or the drop box in the rear Customer Service Center parking lot.
• Pay by drop box at five other locations: Salisbury Fire Station 3, 1600 W. Innes St., Salisbury; China Grove Town Hall, 308 E. Centerview St., China Grove; Rockwell Town Office, 2020 E. Main St., Rockwell; Granite Quarry Town Office, 143 N. Salisbury Ave., Granite Quarry; Spencer City Office, 600 S. Salisbury Ave., Spencer
• Promoting the use of alternatives to face-to-face interactions. On Monday, the shop did not see a dramatic difference in the number of walk-in customers. Staff will discourage office visits unless an appointment is made. Social distancing will be practiced at meetings.
• Except in emergency situations, code enforcement officers have scaled back face-to-face interactions as a part of issuing nuisance notice of violations.
• Canceled board/commission meetings and events through the end of March.
• Regular and thorough cleaning of public and customer areas.
• The Planning Services Division can work remotely. Code service officers would have a difficult time operating from home, but they spend the majority of their time in the field. Development services could operate from home and are working on setting up software to work remotely.
• Interviews for maintenance workers held via telephone.
• Grounds crews are cleaning playgrounds daily.
• Mowing will have delays to account for time spent for cleanings.
• Will add verbiage to signature on emails. “To help aid preventative measures of spreading COVID-19, we strongly encourage all visitors to utilize online or phone services as an alternative to face-to- face interactions.”
• Blue Cross Blue Shield is waiving testing costs for COVID-19 for staff.
• HR will postpone recruitment and new employment orientation for 30 days.
Parks and Recreation
• All indoor facilities closed and all program on hold until further notice.
• No face-to-face interactions, online and phone registrations.
• Staff on standby to take children of essential city staff to minimize city service interruption, if needed later.
• Postponed continuing education training for employees (and outside water/wastewater operators) that were to be held in several of the city’s facilities.
• Canceled all travel;
• Postponed safety meetings and any staff meeting consisting of more than 10 employees.
• Changed a long-standing policy and stopped overlap during shift change, where 12-hour shift operators used to spend 15-30 minutes together at shift changes.
• The majority of SRU’s functions cannot be performed from home. If the situation continues to worsen, there are several laptops that can be given out to a few employees (engineering and administration) who can perform some tasks from home.
• Encouraging riders to only travel when necessary.
• Increased disinfecting buses, phones, two-way radio, door knobs, etc.
• Conference calls with drivers for staff meetings instead of meeting in person.
• Checking in with other systems in the region to see if they are adjusting routes or schedules.
• No employees are currently working from home.
Downtown Salisbury Inc.
• Visitor foot traffic has slowed down at City Hall.
• In-person meetings are now teleconference meetings.
• Local restaurants, primarily in the downtown area, will be allowed a maximum of four parking spaces to operate curbside or takeout service.
• Majority of staff is working remotely and will come into the office as needed for appropriate projects. The director will remain in the office.
By Liz Moomey firstname.lastname@example.org SALISBURY — The city council on Tuesday approved an ordinance to temporarily suspend Salisbury-Rowan Utilities service... read more