Starting May 26, Melissa City Hall, 3411 Barker Ave., will unlock the front entry doors from 1-4 p.m. daily to allow residents with valid purposes to enter and conduct business.


First floor offices include Utility Billing, Development Services and Municipal Court, where officials expect the highest concentration of customer interaction to occur.


"While we believe that caution is still expressly required, we also see where some portions of City Hall can be safely opened as long as visitors practice the highest level of adherence to guidelines from health professionals," says City Manager Jason Little. "We will always maintain the health and safety of our residents and of our employees as a high priority."


The Melissa City Council will meet in regular session starting at 6 p.m. that evening, allowing visitors and attendees to view their deliberations in person. However, visitors will be asked to maintain appropriate distance when choosing seats.


The Melissa Public Library will remain closed, but will place a public access computer in the lobby area directly in front of its entrance for individuals who may need to peruse the library’s lending catalogue.


The computer may be used to make selections and send a note to librarians requesting material in line with the curbside service currently in place. Curbside service will be expanded beginning May 26 to include morning pickups from 10 a.m.-noon. The 3-5 p.m. pickup time frame will remain.


"Casual entry into employee work spaces by visitors is not authorized," added Little. "While inside City Hall, we expect all visitors to follow the advice and directions from the CDC regarding the efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus."


Directions from the CDC include keeping a distance of at least six feet between individuals and refraining from any physical contact. The wearing of protective face coverings is optional, as are gloves and other personal protective equipment. Parents of small children are asked to maintain strict control to avoid inadvertent contact.


Hand sanitizing dispensers will be provided, and visitors are asked to make use of them as appropriate. Signs reminding visitors of the distancing requirement will be posted throughout the area. During the open-door period, appointments are not required, but residents who wish to speak with specific City employees should contact them in advance.


The restrooms on the first floor will be open for use by visitors, but users should be mindful that distancing requirements remain in effect even in that confined space.


While parks are accessible, there is a 10-person group limit. Playgrounds are sanitized periodically, but the splash pad will remain closed in compliance with the latest statewide order.