By Mark Whitfield, Interim City Manager
Presently, while there are no known cases of COVID-19, the City of Milford is taking steps in coordination with the State and Federal Emergency Declarations, to provide for the continuity of City operations in light of the world-wide pandemic. First and foremost, our primary focus is on the health and safety of the citizens of Milford. The City is moving forward with an abundance of caution and taking the following measures:
- All City buildings will be closed to the general public until further notice. This action is being taken to maximize the security of the health and safety of our employees, as well as the public. City employees, in the event of a pandemic, will be needed to continue to provide City utilities and services to Milford residents and businesses. One-on-one meetings may be scheduled with the appropriate staff member, provided the visitor shows no signs of illness and has not travelled outside the USA within the last month.
- Utility payments will be accepted at the drive-up window at the side of the Customer Service office located at 119 South Walnut St. Additionally, payments are accepted by drop box at City Hall, by mail, and online. Now would be a good time to sign up for online automatic payment of utilities.
- All late fees/penalties for utility bills will be waived until at least May 1, 2020.
- Utility shut offs and munition sales have been suspended until at least May 1, 2020. There will be those who will be financially impacted due to a pandemic, and we are taking this measure to provide short term financial relief for those who may be impacted. For more specific details, please visit the Customer Service webpage at https://www.cityofmilford.com/126/Customer-ServiceTax-Utility-Billing
- All spring Parks & Recreation programs are cancelled until after April 17, 2020. City parks and the Riverwalk will remain open; however, we advise patrons to practice social distancing while in the parks.
- Building permits, licenses, and land use applications are being accepted electronically and by mail. Building inspections will continue as normal however rental inspections are cancelled until further notice. For more specific details, please visit the Planning & Economic Development webpage at https://www.cityofmilford.com/360/Planning-Economic-Development
- All special event permits for festivals, parades, and other public gatherings are rescinded and revoked until at least May 1, 2020.
- The status of the City Election and already scheduled public meetings/hearings is undetermined at this time and additional information will be forthcoming. City staff is in the process of establishing online meeting accommodations so that City business may continue as much as possible. This is a permitted accommodation approved under the Governor’s Declaration; however, several matters need to be resolved to ensure all public comments can be accepted by those wishing to participate.
The actions being taken are an effort to mitigate and slow down the spread of the virus in order to have adequate healthcare facilities available for those who will be in need of them. Most people may experience anything from a minor cold to mild flu like symptoms, however those with compromised immune systems and/or respiratory conditions may be severely impacted and necessitate hospitalization. From what we learned from European countries affected by the virus, slowing the spread will help mitigate a potential flood of victims needing hospitalization simultaneously.
If you have questions about COVID-19 or your exposure risk, contact the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at (866) 408-1899, or 711 for individuals who are hearing impaired, from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, or email DPHCall@delaware.gov. For the latest on Delaware’s response, please visit de.gov/coronavirus.