City of New Prague to close facilities, cancel upcoming activities and public meetings to be conducted by telephone/electronic

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NEW PRAGUE, MN.- Following the March 16, 2020 Emergency Executive Order 20-04 from Governor Walz and recent recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, the City of New Prague will be making operational changes to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

LOCAL EMERGENCY
On March 16, 2020, Mayor Charles L. Nickolay signed a local emergency declaration related to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. The declaration of an emergency invokes the City’s emergency operations/management plan and pandemic response plans and allows cities to provide emergency assistance without complying with time-consuming procedures and formalities that are generally required before.

The New Prague City Council also ratified the Mayor’s declaration at its March 16th Council meeting. Any resident interested in watching this action is encouraged to do so on the City’s website (Council meetings) at www.ci.new-prague.mn.us.

CLOSURES
The New Prague City Hall/Police Department, Golf Club and Fire Station will be closed to “public access” beginning 8:00am Wednesday, March 18, 2020 until further notice. At this time, these facilities will be closed to public access during regular business hours, but the public is encouraged to conduct as much business as possible via telephone, email or the website. Scott County has closed the New Prague Public Library to the public effective the end of business on Tuesday, March 17th. The New Prague Fitness and Aquatics Center was previously closed by the New Prague Area Schools starting on Monday, March 16th.

CANCELLATIONS
All non-essential city activities, programs and events will be canceled until further notice. This includes:
 All reservations and meeting uses scheduled at City Hall and the Golf Club
 Weekly Rotary luncheons and the Chamber of Commerce March BINGO activity at the Golf Club
 Only new construction (Non-occupied) and exterior permit types are being conducted at this time with the Building Inspections Department
 All events, classes, programs and outreach at the Library and all access to meeting rooms
 Utility bills will need to be mailed to the City or placed in the drop box located south of City Hall in the Parking Lot
 New Utility accounts or cancellation of accounts will need to be handled over the telephone or by email with the Utility Staff
 New Prague Fireman’s Dance at the Legion Ballroom (April 4th)
 Park Board Advisory Board Meeting (April 14th)

A full list is available on the city website, www.ci.new-prague.mn.us.

The city will continue to evaluate and determine if further closures, cancellations and postponements are needed. We will be continually reassessing the situation regarding reopening facilities and hosting future activities.

PUBLIC MEETINGS TO BE CONDUCTED BY TELEPHONE/ELECTRONIC
Until further notice, all meetings of City bodies governed by MN Statutes, Chapter 13D, including but not limited to City Council meetings, and meetings of all boards and commissions of the City including the Planning Commission, Golf Board, New Prague Utilities Commission, Economic Development Authority (EDA), and the Park Board shall be conducted by telephone or other electronic means. All such meetings will comply with the requirements in MN Statutes Section 13D.021. Please watch for the posted meeting agendas on how to access these meetings.

MORE INFORMATION
We understand these changes are a significant inconvenience for many of our residents. We are taking these precautions out of an abundance of caution to minimize the risk of spreading the illness among our residents, guests and employees. This is a rapidly changing situation, and the city is committed to following the recommendations of the Governor, the Minnesota Department of Health and the CDC. You can find additional information on the city website at www.ci.new-prague.mn.us.

CONTACT:

Michael J. Johnson, City Administrator
952-758-4401 | mjohnson@ci.new-prague.mn.us

James Gareis, Chief of Police/Emergency Management Director
952-758-2791 | jgareis@ci.new-prague.mn.us

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