Protecting and serving: Coronavirus shutters City Hall’s doors; Services will continue

By Per Peterson

To stay in compliance with Gov. Tim Walz’s “Stay at Home” Executive Order, the City of Tracy closed City Hall to the public after the working day last Friday. The closure will continue until the State lifts the “Stay at Home” order.

“It’s going to be an interesting new world, trying to figure out how to navigate this,” City Administrator Erik Hansen said last Friday. “I know it’s weird for people, and it’s weird for me, too. We’re just trying to figure out how to navigate our way through this. People need to know we’re open — we’re just open in a different way.”

Hansen said the City has been working on a plan that will allow it to continue to provide services to Tracy residents. He said everyone will still be able to access City employees, and take care of their bills and other needs.

“Staff that is normally in our office is going to be working at home,” he said. “If you call the city number, they’re going to be able to answer the phone and help you. A lot of stuff can be done online — you can get a permit online, you can do things like pay your bill online. We certainly encourage people to do things online as much as possible.”

Office calls will be forwarded to the City Hall employees during regular business hours, Hansen said. The phone number to City Hall is 629-5528.

“If for some reason they’re not there, just like normal, you can leave a message and they’ll return your call,” Hansen said. “You should be able to access services, you just won’t be able to walk into our offices.”

Hansen said all shut-offs on water bills and late payment fees have been suspended. The $5 fee to pay by credit card has also been waived for the time being.

“People can pay their bills online or via the drop box, or they can mail it in,” he said. “We can take a credit card over the phone. Everything will be the same, you just won’t be able to walk into the office and do it. There will be people here working — I’ll be here, custodial staff will be here, police will be here, of course, and at different times, I’ll have people come in to process our payroll or do some other things.”

• The Tracy Public Library will be closed until further notice, as will the Multi-Purpose Center, which closed earlier this month; Meals on Wheels will continue as usual. Also, the municipal liquor store will remain open. All emergency services will remain fully operational, but DMV services will remain closed, as they are across the state.