Municipal business resumed last week for the City of Plaquemine as the state moved into Phase One of reopening the state during the coronavirus pandemic.

All city offices reopened for regular hours beginning Monday, May 18, with all employees reporting back to work. City hours are Monday-Thursday from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. The City will continue to conduct fever checks of anyone entering City buildings and will continue additional sanitation. Employees in City Hall and those in direct contact with the public will be required to wear masks and practice social distancing; and everyone entering City Hall is asked to wear a mask. Public access to other city buildings will be very limited.

Mayor Edwin Reeves presided Tuesday over the first staff meeting since the reopening, with sights on another big step forward.

Plans are underway for the first public meeting of the Board of Selectmen at City Hall in more than two months. The meeting is set for Tuesday, June 9.

It does not mean an end to pandemic-related precautions.

“We’re measuring the room to see how we will seat the selectmen to keep them six feet apart,” Reeves said.

The city has also tackled some unexpected businesses on the rapid rainfall May 14 that flooded several streets.

Seven inches of rain fell during a couple hours of the afternoon, which slowed down and – in some cases – halted traffic.

“We’ve gone throughout the city with the pump truck to check all the storm drains, and they all looked clean,” Reeves said. “The problem with the storm was how much rain we got in such a short time.”

Also, city workers are near completion of the restroom facilities at parks in the city, he said.

They will remain busy afterward when they begin work on a faulty wall on the east side of the old City Hall.

“That’s been on my agenda since I took office,” Reeves said.

OTHER BUSINESS

Residents and others with city business are encouraged to call city departments rather than going to City offices. Contact numbers for all departments can be found on the city website: www.plaquemine.org

The City will continue to waive the on-line fee for payment of utility bills until further notice, and encourages residents to pay their bills in one of these ways:

by mail via check or money order, by dropping payment in one of the secure drop boxes located at City Hall, on-line at www.plaquemine.org via phone @ 1-866-228-5680

All City parks will remain closed until June 15 because Gov. Edwards Phase One re-opening does not allow the opening of playgrounds, and also because the Police Department does not have the staff to post an officer at each park to monitor social distancing. The COPAC football field is closed, but the walking track remains open for walking/jogging, provided social distancing is practiced.

“We are happy to begin the Phase 1 re-opening of our City, but we must continue to be vigilant in protecting ourselves and our neighbors,” said Mayor Reeves. “The fact is that the Plaquemine area still has a very high rate of cases per capita. As citizens begin to get out more in the coming weeks, I urge you to continue to practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently, and avoid large groups.”