The closures are planned to last through April 30
VANCOUVER — Guidance from public health experts recommends taking additional social-distancing steps to support efforts against the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
With the continued spread of COVID-19 throughout the region, the city of Vancouver is closing all city facilities to the public as of March 17. The closures are planned to last through April 30 and include City Hall, Water Resources Education Center, Utility Customer Services, Firstenburg and Marshall recreation centers and the Luepke Center.
The city is looking at changes to the Navigation Center for the homeless to reflect public health interest and still serve Vancouver’s vulnerable, unhoused population. Public use of community meetings rooms at Vancouver fire stations has also been suspended at this time.
City Council meetings will continue to be held at City Hall twice a month, with teleconference options available. Information about public attendance at future meetings will be released later this week.
The decision to close city facilities comes after City Manager Eric Holmes issued a Declaration of Civil Emergency on Friday in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The city has activated its Emergency Operations Center to continue to coordinate resources and leadership will continue to meet daily to plan for providing essential services while ensuring the safety of the public and employees.
Many city employees will begin working remotely and essential services, including police, fire, EMS, water, sewer and transportation services, will continue.
The city is offering both online and phone options to access a variety of services during the closure of city buildings:
- Utility bill payments: Utility payments can be made via credit card or check online at www.cityofvancouver.us/atyourservice, by phone at (360) 487-7999 or by check only via a locked payment drop box at 2323 General Anderson Avenue and behind City Hall (415 W. 6th Street). The city has temporarily suspended water shutoffs and is asking customers experiencing hardships to call for payment arrangements. Customers can also start/stop city utility services online at www.cityofvancouver.us/atyourservice.
- Permit services: Land use, building and permit applications are available online at www.cityofvancouver.us/eplans or phone (360) 487-7800.
- Building inspections: Building inspections will continue for new construction projects only. Inspections requested for occupied structures may be postponed or conducted using remote technology, such as video or photos, at the inspector’s discretion. Inspection scheduling available online at https://www.cityofvancouver.us/ced/page/schedule-inspection
- Code compliance concerns: Available online at www.cityofvancouver.us/codecompliance or call (360) 487-7810.
- Parking: To pay, appeal a parking ticket, renew a parking permit or make a parking complaint visit www.cityofvancouver.us/parking.
- Facility rentals: Private rentals scheduled to take place during the closure are canceled and will be fully refunded. For rental questions or to reschedule your event for a later date, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Luepke Senior Center: Meals on Wheels People has discontinued congregate meal service until further notice and to-go meals will no longer be available in the Luepke Center lobby. To inquire about meal delivery, call (503) 736-6325
- Firstenburg and Marshall Community Center: Customer service support for both Firstenburg and Marshall community centers will continue to be available by phone during regular business hours; Firstenburg: (360) 487-7001, Marshall: (360) 487-7100
- Special events: All Vancouver Parks and Recreation special events and permitted events through April 30 are canceled. The city will work with event organizers to reschedule events where possible
- Volunteer programs: All Parks and Recreation supported, one-time volunteer events are suspended until further notice.
Updates on the city’s response are available at www.cityofvancouver.us/coronavirus as well as the city’s social media channels. Information on canceled or postponed meetings and events can be found at www.cityofvaouver.us/calendar.
Information provided by city of Vancouver.