The city of Independence will begin to reopen some buildings and facilities on June 1. Others, such as the farmers market venue, remain closed until at least July 1.
City Hall on Maple Avenue, the lobby of police headquarters on Memorial Drive, and the Utilities Center at 23rd Street and R.D. Mike Road will be open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning June 1. Guests and staff will be required to have a temperature check and basic health screening prior to entering. People found to have a fever or other symptoms of COVID-19 will be asked to complete business online or via phone calls or digital meetings.
Social distancing will be required, and there will be floor markers for lines. Employees and visitors are encouraged but not required to wear masks in city facilities unless working directly with a customer and not behind a permanent window.
Mayor Eileen Weir said the first reopening phase will last at least four weeks, and reopening will be done in four phases. The last one, with city facilities open four days a week and no restrictions with parks and recreation venues, won’t happen until at least Sept. 1, based on data concerning COVID-19 cases, contact tracing and personal protective equipment.
“This first phase will show us if our measures to manage the virus in our area are truly effective,” Weir said in a release, adding that she urges citizens to continue limiting most activities outside of home to essential activities.
The Regional Animal Shelter on 23rd Street will be open for adoptions by appointment only, one guest or family at a time. To set up an appointment, call 816-325-7207. Municipal Court in-person court dates will resume June 2. People who want to pay for municipal tickets or speak to Municipal Court staff will have access to every other window in City Hall.
For utility bill payments, the city will continue to suspend shut-offs, late fees and credit card processing fees until further notice. Customer service windows at the Utilities Center will be open to the public, as well as the drive-thru. For information on assistance programs and resources in our area, go online to: cslc19.org/help.
The Sermon Community Center, Truman Memorial Building, Palmer Center, National Frontier Trails Museum, the Uptown Market – site of twice-a-week farmers markers – the Vaile Mansion and the Bingham-Waggoner Estate will remain closed until July 1. Playgrounds, basketball courts, and ball fields will remain closed through phase one.
Also reopening June 1:
• Tennis and pickleball courts (singles play only).
• The skate park at Hill Park.
• The Community Ice Rink at Cable-Dahmer Arena, with modified operations to be announced.
• Park shelters, including rentals. Patrons are encouraged to bring their own cleaning supplies and follow gathering guidelines – generally 10 or fewer people.