City of Xenia Offices to Re-Open to Public on May 11, 2020

Xenia, Ohio (May 1, 2020) – The City of Xenia is announcing its plan to re-open its facilities to the public on Monday, May 11th.

City facilities have been closed to the public since March 18 out of an abundance of caution due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in compliance with state orders. Since that time, City staff has been working on a modified schedule to allow for social distancing, but has continued to be available to the public via phone or email.

In response to Governor DeWine’s ‘Responsible Restart Ohio’ plan announced earlier this week, Xenia City Manager Brent Merriman has issued an Administrative Directive outlining the reopening plan. The City’s intent is to strike a balance between bringing all services back on-line with promoting safety for residents and staff. On Monday, May 4th, City staff will begin returning to a more regular schedule. Staff with the ability to work from home will continue to do so, but will have intermittent work time at their office spaces.

City facilities will re-open to the public on Monday, May 11th. The City Administration Building hours will be 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The building will close on Wednesdays to allow for a deep cleaning. The Justice Center will be closed on Tuesdays for deep cleaning. Facility hours for that building will be set by Xenia Police Chief Randy Person. The public is also asked to allow the first two hours of the day at both facilities (9 a.m. – 11 a.m.) to be reserved for the elderly and those vulnerable to COVID-19. “This was a suggestion made at the State level and we think it’s a good idea,” Merriman said.

When facilities are opened, they will be limited to 50% of fire code occupancy or less to allow for safe physical distancing. “We are still discussing exactly how we do that,” Merriman said. “We are very reluctant to have someone standing at the door saying who can pass and who can’t.

We may have to do that, we may not. We are exploring options for that. The key is that we want to be able to provide services in a way that keeps you, our citizens, safe, and our staff safe.”  

Protective equipment such as gloves and masks will be made available for all employees.

The State of Emergency declaration that is already in place will continue through the month of May. The declaration allows the City to be eligible for funding due to expenses related to the COVID-19 response. It also allows for flexibility in operations.

It is anticipated that Xenia City Council meetings will remain closed to the public in light of the restrictions placed on the number of people allowed at gatherings. The meetings will continue to be live-streamed on the City’s YouTube page and the public will still have the ability to submit comments or other input electronically ahead of the meeting. All lay board meetings are canceled for the month of May except for Planning & Zoning Commission and the Board of Zoning and Appeals. Any urgent business will be done by teleconference.

Finally, City special events for the month of May and June including First Friday and Neighborhood Night Out have been canceled. The annual Fishing Derby has been postponed and it is the City’s hope to reschedule it for a later time in 2020.

Contact: Christina Schaefer, Public Relations
                 107 E. Main Street Xenia, OH 45385
                 (937) 376-8904

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