The city shut down all of its buildings and facilities in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Work has gone on,” said Blaine Communications Manager Ben Hayle. “Staff have either been working remotely, or some staff have continued to report to the buildings, depending on their job and the ability to work remotely or not.”
City Hall is the first Blaine building to re-open. Those interested in making an appointment can do so online here. Hayle said guests will receive text and phone call verification and instruction leading up to the appointment. Once they enter city hall, there is a greeter in the lobby to assist them, and all appointments will take place at socially-distant table seating that is cleaned between each guest.
“We’re also going to continue all the remote ways we do business, because we know there are plenty of people who want to continue accessing city services remotely,” said Hayle.
He also said city meetings will continue to be largely conducted in a virtual setting, with some elements going hybrid by allowing people to make public comments at city hall starting sometime in July.
“We’ve continued to issue permits. We’ve had several commercial and residential projects go through the planning and zoning process,” he said.
Blaine city leaders want to take as many precautions about exposure and traffic at city hall because emergency responders also work in the building.