View All Posts

Mar 20

Mayor’s Update on COVID-19 in Gig Harbor - March 20, 2020

Posted on March 20, 2020 at 6:30 PM by Joshua Stecker

This is Mayor Kuhn. Our city hall is closed to the public however we are still working inside and are happy to be reached by phone and email, and city inspections will continue. The main phone number to City Hall is: (253) 851-8136. Our normal hours of operation are 8 to 5 Monday through Friday. We will assess this closure on or about April 2nd, make a decision on whether to extend or suspend the closure and announce that decision on Friday, April 3.


We are very concerned for our community with the COVID-19 Virus. Our main objective is to keep the city operating and serve our citizens and community. I am very proud of our staff who are standing by us during this time.


The situation changes daily, and our goal is to support all of our staff, citizens, community and the needs that the city provides. First is to make sure our employees are safe so they can work to provide essential needs which we have done. Ex. Water, sewer, roads, police and the various obligations our citizens need.


We are concerned for your well-being and want to limit your contact with others. However, our parks are open, and it is good to get out and take walks, ride bikes or get out on the water. Please limit your contact with others. You should avoid contact closer than six feet.


Presently many of our essential stores are open for you to get food and needed items. Many restaurants are still allowing food to go.  See our other page for information for senior citizens, childcare and foodbanks. We are building the ship as we sail it. Our community is working together to get through this. We all must stay positive and try to be helpful to others and be strong through this time.


City council meetings will be held.  Staff is working on setting up the means by which council members can call in to participate if they so choose rather than attending in person.  We will provide a livestream for members of our community to hear the meeting and, if possible, provide a mechanism by which they can participate with public comment via sending emails to a dedicated staff person who will then provide that information to Mayor Kuhn and council.


There are many resources available and ways you can help out:


Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has announced that drive-thru testing is beginning for healthcare workers and first responders. This is an important first step in getting faster test results to help us fight this disease.


The City is also collecting a list of community resources in the Gig Harbor Gigabyte. The Gigabyte is an e-newsletter that will be sent out weekly with updates on resources for residents during the current outbreak. You can sign up to receive the Gigabyte here.


Please reach out to me with your concerns and I will try my best to help.


Mayor Kuhn


Here are more updates:


For up-to-date information on COVID-19 and steps you can take to protect yourself and your family, please visit Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.


For more information regarding COVID-19 in Washington State, please visit the following sources:


While the Civic Center is closed to the public, the City of Gig Harbor is actively working to make sure we are still providing all essential services:


POLICE

The Police Department continues to operate 24/7. Our officers have been instructed to handle routine calls by telephone when appropriate and may ask that you speak with them outside if they arrive at your location.


Our dispatch agency, South Sound 911, may ask you some screening questions about potential COVID-19 threats when our officers are responding. Be aware that these questions are for the safety of our officers and the public. These screening questions will not delay any police response.


We have suspended the processing of NEW Concealed Pistol License (CPL) applications but can process your CPL RENEWAL by calling our administrative offices (253-851-2236 option 2) during business hours.


We continue to respond to every call and have no restrictions on making arrests. Shoplifting has been a concern expressed by our businesses, but we will continue to respond to all criminal acts and hold people accountable. Jail restrictions dictate that we simply cite and release more misdemeanor offenders, but all suspects will face their day in court.


Our officers remain committed to keeping Gig Harbor a safe and low-crime community.


COURT

Gig Harbor Municipal Court met with city officials on Monday, March 16, 2020 to discuss the court’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning March 16, 2020, modifications to court operations are as follows:


  • Jury trials are suspended through April 2020.
  • If you are scheduled to appear for a criminal proceeding between March 16 and April 3, your hearing will be continued 60 days, with some exceptions. A summons will be sent to the address on file. Failure to appear will result in a bench warrant for your arrest.
  • In-custody cases and other emergency matters will be heard weekly as scheduled.
  • Jurors summoned between March 16 and April 30 are excused from service.
  • Contested civil infractions are continued to the month of May or thereafter. You will receive notification of the new date in the mail.
  • Mitigated civil infractions will be converted to hearings-by-mail only.
  • Court staff will be available via telephone (253) 851-7808 or via email court@cityofgigharbor.net
    during normal business hours.

The Municipal Court will monitor the situation and re-evaluate court operations on April 3, 2020. The city website will be updated as new information becomes available.


For additional information contact Stacy Colberg, Court Administrator (253) 853-7619.


PUBLIC WORKS 

Despite the massive changes that are occurring in our region due to the Covid-19 response, the City Of Gig Harbor‘s water and sewer utilities are functioning as normal.


The City’s drinking water continues to be safe and reliable. The City’s wastewater system continues to pump and treat sewer. While we are taking precautions to maintain the health of our staff, we are fully staffed and operating as usual.


COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

The City Community Development Department is committed to providing development review and inspection services during this unprecedented time, unless otherwise instructed by Health Officials or the Governor.


Please be aware of the following changes regarding how we are conducting business:


  1. In-person meetings or inquiries: City Hall is closed to the public until April 6, 2020 (at a minimum). All inquiries and meetings will need to occur via phone or email. The City’s main phone line is 253-851-6170, and will be staffed M-F from 8am-5pm.
  2. Planner of the Day: Planner of the Day service is available electronically by emailing andrewsc@cityofgigharbor.net or thomasm@cityofgigharbor.net
  3. Plan Submittals: Until City Hall re-opens, only electronic submittals will be accepted.
  4. Contacts:
  • For Planning Submittals, please email andrewsc@cityofgigharbor.net AND thomasm@cityofgigharbor.net.
  • For Engineering Submittals, please email sharerd@cityofgigharbor.net
  • For Building Submittals, please email mcgallianp@cityofgigharbor.net AND johnstonh@cityofgigharbor.net

**All parties requesting inspections from the City of Gig Harbor**


For the purposes of maintaining the social distancing protocols suggested by our Governor and health officials, the City of Gig Harbor is requiring additional safety measures to be followed:


No handshakes or other contact with on-site personnel.

Inspections are to be conducted alone with a minimum 6 feet of separation from all other personnel.

If there are any workers who are sick or are exhibiting any symptoms attributed to COVID-19 they may not be on-site at the same time as our inspection staff.


If any of these conditions cannot be met, our inspectors have the authority to stop the inspection and require that it be rescheduled to a time when these protocols can be followed. Thank you for your understanding and willingness to work together to create the safest work environment possible.