City Manager Steve Stuart issues formal Declaration of Emergency in Ridgefield

City adopts further operational steps to assure continuing service and the safety of residents and staff

RIDGEFIELD — In order to rapidly respond to the developing novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, Ridgefield City Manager Steve Stuart today issued a formal Declaration of Emergency and adopted further operational steps to assure continuing service and the safety of residents and city staff. 

These actions follow operational changes announced last Friday in Ridgefield which were enacted in coordination and consultation with Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA), Clark County Public Health, Clark County, and the cities within Clark County, 

The declaration will be reviewed by the Ridgefield City Council at their regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thu., March 26. The declaration gives the city the flexibility and authority to respond quickly to changing needs with access to federal, state and local emergency resources and funds. Any emergency orders and actions taken under the declaration are anticipated to be done in coordination with a regional response. 

Clark County, cities in Clark County, and the state of Washington have also made similar declarations of emergency. The city of Ridgefield is also partially activating its Emergency Operations Center to better coordinate its response efforts locally and is participating in a Joint Information Center established by the Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA). Effective Wed., March 18, the city will implement the following changes to its operations and services as preventative measure to limit the spread of COVID-19 among employees and the community: 

City facilities

City Hall, city offices at the RACC and the Police Department lobby will be closed to the public, with access by appointment only. Online services will remain available and phones will be answered during normal business hours. Employees are being encouraged to work remotely when possible, provided it does not interfere with vital operations. 

City services

City services will be modified as follows: 

• All public events and park reservations will be cancelled. 

• Public parks will remain open, and while sheltering in place, social distancing if residents use the parks is still recommended, Public Works will also regularly sanitize City playground equipment and public benches. 

• There will be no late fees assessed for water bills until further notice, and there will be no water shutoff during this timeframe. Utility payments can be made online at www.ridgefieldwa.us, by phone (360)887-3557, by mail, or in person through the drop box at City Hall. Start/Stop/Move Utility services are also available by phone. 

City public meetings

All non-essential public meetings will be cancelled. City Council meetings will continue but may change to virtual meetings. 

City businesses

Due to the statewide restrictions on business operations, the city will be working with local businesses to understand those restrictions and communicate with residents about which businesses and services are still available. These measures will be in effect until the threat of COVID-19 to public health and safety has abated, as determined through continued local, regional, statewide, and national evaluation. 

For more information about the city’s response to COVID-19, visit www.ridgefieldwa.us/coronavirus

Information provided by city of Ridgefield.

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