City Operations During COVID-19

Municipal Campus

City Hall is closed through May 31, 2020 per Governor Jay Inslee’s "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" Proclamation. Most services can still be provided to the public as staff works remotely. A staff directory, including email addresses, can be found here

Suspended Services 

  • Passport services are suspended through May 31, 2020. Many passport renewals, including name changes, can be done through the mail, and do not require you to visit a passport acceptance facility. Please visit the U.S. Department of State website for applications and additional information.
  • Fingerprinting services. 
  • Concealed Pistol Licenses - first time applicants. 
  • Public tours of our facilities.
  • Construction inspections (unless deemed essential).

Public Meetings 

  • Per the Governor’s Proclamation 20-28 issued March 24th (amended May 4, 2020): all meetings subject to the OPMA must remain open to the public through remote means ONLY (not in-person).     
  • Actions at these meetings are limited to: (1) matters necessary and routine; or (2) necessary to respond to the outbreak and current public health emergency.
  • All such meetings should follow these guidelines through May 31, 2020.

Requesting Public Records

In accordance with Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 20-28 issued March 24th (extended May 4, 2020) regarding Public Disclosure Requests:

  • The requirement to provide an initial response within 5 business days has been suspended through May 11, 2020. 
  • All in-person records request submission/records inspection/copying of records has been suspended through May 31, 2020. 
  • Electronic production of records is strongly encouraged; and staff will work with requestors accordingly.
  • Payment for fees related to records requests can be made by check or money order either by mail or drop box at Monroe City Hall. If requestors do not have the ability to pay by check/money order, please contact Police Records (email: pdrecords@ci.monroe.wa.us; phone: 360-794-6300) to make arrangements for payment by credit card.

Please see the City’s Requesting Records web page for additional information.

Parks and Recreation

The health and safety of our community is our top concern, and we are doing our part to help contain the spread of this virus. We are making daily assessments based on Public Health’s guidance, and we will do our best to communicate any changes in our operations as quickly as possible.

Monroe Park Facilities Reopening Plan

BACKGROUND 

Parks and recreation facilities, programs and services throughout Washington have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  In response to our state’s March 2020 “Stay Home – Stay Healthy Order” and public health agency guidelines, park facilities in Monroe with either high-touch surfaces or that promote public gathering including: park restrooms, parking lots, sports courts, athletic fields, play structures, picnic shelters, skate park and Wiggly Field dog park were temporarily closed.  Park facility reservations and special events have been cancelled on a rolling basis.

Effective May 5, 2020, Governor Inslee implemented a 4-phase “Safe Start” reopening plan to the Stay Home – Stay Healthy Order and moved our county to Phase 1.  That day park staff reopened limited parking for day use hiking and fishing access at Al Borlin, Lewis Street, Sky River, and Lake Tye Parks.  Under the current Order under Phase 1, only members of the same household may travel and recreate together.  Physical distancing is still required, keeping six feet between individuals outside of immediate households.  Our level of park facility re-openings and facilities that remain closed is consistent with most parks and recreation jurisdictions throughout our state including Snohomish County. 

Our City staff have been participating in twice-weekly calls with Washington Recreation and Park Association (WRPA) directors throughout our state and Oregon to discuss the response and action plans as they pertain to facility closures and program offerings.

MOVING FORWARD 

The most pressing question for parks and recreation is how and when to move forward.  WRPA parks and recreation directors are currently working together with representatives from the Governor’s Office to interpret the 4-phase Safe Start Reopening Plan and guidelines coming from federal, state and local public health agencies in order to plan and prepare for future park facility re-openings.  Based upon this coordinated examination of the state’s reopening plan and public health agency guidelines, the following is the safe reopening plan of Monroe park facilities, programs and events that were temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic as our county is moved through each Safe Start phase:

Phase 2 Re-Openings: tennis courts, basketball courts, skate park, dog park, restrooms, covered shelters (up to gathering limit 

Phase 3 Re-Openings: playgrounds, sports fields for organized use, covered shelters (up to gathering limit), special events (up to gathering limit)

Phase 4 Re-Openings: special events

Public Works 

The city’s field personnel are working alternative schedules to maintain the city’s water, sewer, storm and roadway systems. They will continue to follow recommended COVID-19 health and safety protocols in the conduct of their daily work (hand washing, social distancing, etc.). 

We are monitoring the rapidly changing situation and will continue to assess how to safely provide critical and essential services by our field personnel. 

Community Development

Based on current State and Federal guidance, and the City’s response to COVID-19, portions of our operations have been modified to accommodate our staff and the community. 

Permit Processing and Review:

Staff is working remotely to review and intake permit applications, and process permits electronically. Our Planners and Plans Examiners are also working both remotely and in the office to provide normal levels of service to the public. If you have a permit currently in the review process, you should be hearing from our staff just like before. Staff will be available by phone and email during normal business hours of 8am to 5pm Monday - Friday. If you have questions or would like to speak with a staff member, please call our Permit Center line at 360-863-4501 or email building@monroewa.gov / landuse@monroewa.gov

Inspections: 

As directed by the Governor’s updated guidance on construction in the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order issued Wednesday, March 25, the City of Monroe will cease all construction related inspections for structures not considered to be an essential activity. Recent guidance by the Governor stated “In general, commercial and residential construction is not authorized under the Proclamation because construction is not considered to be an essential activity.” If the residential construction meets the exceptions provided by the Governor (e.g. publicly financed low-income housing or emergencies) the City will still conduct residential construction inspections. The City will also continue to inspect commercial construction identified as essential in the Governor’s proclamation.   The City will reassess the situation after May 4, 2020. If you have questions please email inspections@monroewa.gov.

Information about the Governor’s updated guidance on construction in the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order and the guidance memo can be found here.

COVID-19 Water Utility Response

The City of Monroe highly values the safety and health of our residents, businesses, customers, and staff.  As a provider of essential utility services, the City is working to assist our customers as coronavirus impacts the region.

The City of Monroe is taking the following steps to help our residential and business customers who might be worried about paying their bills:

  • The City will not shut off water services for the months of March or April.
  • The City is encouraging everyone to either pay their bills on-line or use the drop box located just outside the City Hall’s front door.  Over the phone credit card fees are currently being waived for utility payments.
  • The City will work with customers who may fall behind on their utility bills to set up a payment plan.  (Payment plans during March will not count toward the aggregate allowed per account).  For further information, please call 360-794-7400.  Please leave a message with your name, contact information, and account number if available.

The following organizations may be available to provide assistance:
Sky Valley Food Bank 360-794-7959
Take the Next Step 360-794-1022
St. Vincent DePaul 425-355-3505
Volunteers of America 425-259-3192