ADMINISTRATIVE OPERATIONAL MODIFICATIONS
By order of Mayor Adam Couch, all City facilities will be closed to the general public effective March 17, 2020. Our City Hall staff will still be in the office or available in a remote capacity during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. By taking such measures, it is our hope that we will limit our staff’s potential exposure and to be able to sustain normal operations with only minor modifications, to continue to service our residents and customers during this time. City Hall can be reached by phone at 816-230-5577 or through our City Facebook page. In addition, we will use our automated phone messaging system as needed. We will have signage relaying this same information on the front door of City Hall. Through the end of March, all public City meetings have been cancelled or will be modified to be held virtually. Notices will be provided accordingly.
POLICE DEPARTMENT MODIFICATIONS
Public safety continues to be our number one priority. The Odessa Police Department is staffing each shift the same as we do during normal operations. In an effort to keep our officers healthy, we will work to limit their person to person contact on non-emergency issues that may arise. We may require police reports to be filed over the phone on incidents that are not an imminent threat to public safety. Until further notice, the front door of the Police Department will remain locked. Signage will be clearly posted on the front door of the Police Department indicating in the event of an emergency to call 911 and will further note to reach Police Department staff regarding a non-emergent issue by calling 816-633-7575. An assessment will be conducted on the nature of the request or need, and for extenuating circumstances only will anyone be allowed into the lobby of the Police Department. Again our goal is to minimize the potential health risks associated with our officers exposures to COVID-19 to keep the department fully staffed.
We recognize the importance in preventing COVID-19 involves regular and frequent hand washing and proper cleaning of surfaces. In response to this need, the City of Odessa will not assess penalties or disconnect any utilities through the month of April. We ask that you keep your payments current and communicate with us if circumstances arise where you may become delinquent on your account. In addition, with the closure of City Hall to the public, we will temporarily waive the credit card convenience fee on all payments until further notice. This will allow customers the option to pay over the phone or on our website by credit or debit card FREE of charge. This modification to our system operations should be effective by noon on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. If you are unable to make a credit/debit card payment, please use either of the two secure payment drop boxes that the City offers. One is located at the front of City Hall. The drive-up drop box is in the alley behind City Hall.
Keeping active, daily doses of fresh air, and some Vitamin D are essential in remaining healthy both physically and mentally during times of uncertainty. We are doing all that we can to aid in the efforts to "flatten the curve" of the novel Coronavirus COVID-19. While Dyer Park will remain open, the shelters, restrooms, basketball courts, and playgrounds are closed. The CDC reports that it may be possible for the virus to spread through contact with a contaminated surface. Please adhere to social distancing guidelines, keep six (6) feet from others while taking a walk or a bike ride to get thirty minutes of activity per day. Studies show that simply stretching and deep breathing (which can be done outside from your own backyard) can provide significant health benefits and lower blood pressure and stress.
PARKS AND RECREATION
Our Parks and Rec office is also closed to the general public until further notice. Staff members will be in the office or available in a remote capacity by calling 816-633-8324 during normal business hours. Spring soccer season has been cancelled. Full refunds will be issued to all participants or they may use the credit toward another park and rec activity.
Effective March 17, 2020, we will not be taking new reservations for the use of the Community Building. This will continue through April 30, 2020. This date will be assessed weekly as this evolving situation can change rapidly. City staff will be contacting those with current rental reservations to handle accordingly.
The community input and visioning sessions for Downtown Odessa infrastructure improvements through the "My Community Matters" Grant with Missouri Main Street have been postponed.
The Community Wide Clean up event scheduled for Saturday, March 21, 2020, has been postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date.