CORONAVIRUS CITY UPDATES

UPDATES (click on title for full update)

UPDATED COVID-19 ORDER – CLICK HERE

City Schedule Announced for Week of June 15-19

*City Hall Lobby – Is OPEN to the public. Utility customers can still pay online at westplains.net, by phone at 256-4818, use the drop box at the front of the building, or pay at a West Plains Bank & Trust Company or Wood & Huston Bank drive-thru from the 1st of the month to the 20th of the month. Please have your statement with your payment.

*West Plains Civic Center –The pool and fitness center is now OPEN to the public with limited occupancy. The east entrance of the Center is now OPEN for walkers in the Arena from 7 am – 1 pm. The Center will be OPEN FOR INDIVIDUAL EVENTS ONLY through coordination with the Civic Center business office.

*Jimmie Carroll Sports Complex/Park Play Structures – The Sports Complex is now OPEN. Contact sports practice is now allowed with a maximum of 12 per group with 50 percent occupancy. Parks and trails are OPEN although visitors must follow social distancing. Play structures, trails and pavilions are now OPEN to the public.

*North Terra Golf Course Pro Shop – Is now OPEN to the public with a maximum of six people, including employees, in the building at one time. Golf carts will be limited to one-person per cart, and no shared equipment. League play has begun.

*Ozark Heritage Welcome Center – Is now OPEN to the public.

*Solid Waste Transfer Station – Is now OPEN to the public.

*West Plains Public Library – The Library is now OPEN to the public, with occupancy limited to 50 percent. Only one entrance/exit will be used, which is on the Broadway Avenue side, and patrons are asked to limit their time in the library to 30 minutes. The Library will continue with the pick-up/book return process, and reservations can be made online or by phone at 256-4775.

*West Plains Transit – Transit has transitioned back to short routes, and is now using the transit bus to help customers socially distance six feet apart. Customers can still call 256-1241 if they need a ride.

*West Plains Police Department – Maintaining normal operations.

*West Plains Fire Department – Maintaining normal operations.

The City of West Plains strongly encourages residents to follow social distancing requirements even outdoors.

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City Schedule Announced for Week of June 8-12

*City Hall Lobby – Is OPEN to the public. Utility customers can still pay online at westplains.net, by phone at 256-4818, use the drop box at the front of the building, or pay at a West Plains Bank & Trust Company or Wood & Huston Bank drive-thru from the 1st of the month to the 20th of the month. Please have your statement with your payment.

*West Plains Civic Center –The pool and fitness center is now OPEN to the public with limited occupancy. The Center will be OPEN FOR INDIVIDUAL EVENTS ONLY through coordination with the Civic Center business office.

*Jimmie Carroll Sports Complex/Park Play Structures – The Sports Complex is now OPEN, but gym floors are limited to skill practice only with six-foot social distancing requirements. Parks and trails are OPEN although visitors must follow social distancing. Play structures, such as playground equipment, are now OPEN to the public.

*North Terra Golf Course Pro Shop – Is now OPEN to the public with a maximum of six people, including employees, in the building at one time. Golf carts will be limited to one-person per cart, and no shared equipment. League play has begun.

*Ozark Heritage Welcome Center – Will remain CLOSED to the public.

*Solid Waste Transfer Station – Is now OPEN to the public.

*West Plains Public Library – The building will remain CLOSED to the public, but will continue with the pick-up/book return process from 10 am- 5 pm Monday-Friday. No reservations for pickups will be made on Saturday. Reservations can be made online or by phone at 256-4775. A limit of 10 items/customer will be allowed, and materials will be placed in the front hallway of the Library once the customer arrives for pick up. Doors will only be unlocked for customers arriving to pick up their materials in the hallway.

*West Plains Transit – It has transitioned back to short routes, and is now using the transit bus to help customers socially distance six feet apart. Customers can still call 256-1241 if they need a ride.

*West Plains Police Department – Maintaining normal operations.

*West Plains Fire Department – Maintaining normal operations.

The City of West Plains strongly encourages residents to stay at their place of residence unless performing essential activities for their household, and follow social distancing requirements even outdoors.

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City Schedule Announced for Week of June 1-5

*City Hall Lobby – Is OPEN to the public. Utility customers can still pay online at westplains.net, by phone at 256-4818, use the drop box at the front of the building, or pay at a West Plains Bank & Trust Company or Wood & Huston Bank drive-thru from the 1st of the month to the 20th of the month. Please have your statement with your payment.

*West Plains Civic Center –The pool and fitness center is now OPEN to the public with limited occupancy. The Center will be OPEN FOR INDIVIDUAL EVENTS ONLY through coordination with the Civic Center business office.

*Jimmie Carroll Sports Complex/Park Play Structures – The Sports Complex is now OPEN, but gym floors are limited to skill practice only with six-foot social distancing requirements. Parks and trails are OPEN although visitors must follow social distancing. Play structures, such as playground equipment, are now OPEN to the public. Baseball fields are OPEN but restricted to team practices only, no shared equipment is allowed, and observers must bring their own seating and stay off bleachers. No scrimmages between teams are allowed, and players/coaches must bring their own hand sanitizer.

*North Terra Golf Course Pro Shop – Is now OPEN to the public with a maximum of six people, including employees, in the building at one time. Golf carts will be limited to one-person per cart, and no shared equipment. League play has begun.

*Ozark Heritage Welcome Center – Will remain CLOSED to the public.

*Solid Waste Transfer Station – Is now OPEN to the public.

*West Plains Public Library – The building will remain CLOSED to the public, but will continue with the pick-up/book return process from 10 am- 5 pm Monday-Friday. No reservations for pickups will be made on Saturday. Reservations can be made online or by phone at 256-4775. A limit of 10 items/customer will be allowed, and materials will be placed in the front hallway of the Library once the customer arrives for pick up. Doors will only be unlocked for customers arriving to pick up their materials in the hallway.

*West Plains Transit – It has transitioned back to short routes, and is now using the transit bus to help customers socially distance six feet apart. Customers can still call 256-1241 if they need a ride.

*West Plains Police Department – Maintaining normal operations.

*West Plains Fire Department – Maintaining normal operations.

The City of West Plains strongly encourages residents to stay at their place of residence unless performing essential activities for their household, and follow social distancing requirements even outdoors.

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City Schedule Announced for Week of May 26-29

*City Hall Lobby – Is OPEN to the public. Utility customers can still pay online at westplains.net, by phone at 256-4818, use the drop box at the front of the building, or pay at a West Plains Bank & Trust Company or Wood & Huston Bank drive-thru from the 1st of the month to the 20th of the month. Please have your statement with your payment.

*West Plains Civic Center –The pool and fitness center is now OPEN to the public with limited occupancy. The remainder of the building is CLOSED to the public.

*Jimmie Carroll Sports Complex/Park Play Structures – The Sports Complex remains CLOSED to the public. Parks and trails are OPEN although visitors must follow social distancing. Play structures, such as playground equipment, remain CLOSED to the public. Baseball fields are OPEN but restricted to team practices only, no shared equipment is allowed, and observers must bring their own seating and stay off bleachers. No scrimmages between teams are allowed, and players/coaches must bring their own hand sanitizer.

*North Terra Golf Course Pro Shop – Is now OPEN to the public with a maximum of six people, including employees, in the building at one time. Golf carts will be limited to one-person per cart, and no shared equipment. League play has begun.

*Ozark Heritage Welcome Center – Will remain CLOSED to the public.

*Solid Waste Transfer Station – Is now OPEN to the public.

*West Plains Public Library – The building will remain CLOSED to the public, but will continue with the pick-up/book return process from 10 am- 5 pm Monday-Friday. No reservations for pickups will be made on Saturday. Reservations can be made online or by phone at 256-4775. A limit of 10 items/customer will be allowed, and materials will be placed in the front hallway of the Library once the customer arrives for pick up. Doors will only be unlocked for customers arriving to pick up their materials in the hallway.

*West Plains Transit – It has transitioned back to short routes, and is now using the transit bus to help customers socially distance six feet apart. Customers can still call 256-1241 if they need a ride.

*West Plains Police Department – Maintaining normal operations.

*West Plains Fire Department – Maintaining normal operations.

The City of West Plains strongly encourages residents to stay at their place of residence unless performing essential activities for their household, and follow social distancing requirements even outdoors.

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City Schedule Announced for Week of May 18-22

*City Hall Lobby – Will OPEN to the public Monday, May 18. Utility customers can still pay online at westplains.net, by phone at 256-4818, use the drop box at the front of the building, or pay at a West Plains Bank & Trust Company or Wood & Huston Bank drive-thru from the 1st of the month to the 20th of the month. Please have your statement with your payment.

*West Plains Civic Center –The pool and fitness center will be OPEN with limited occupancy beginning May 18. The remainder of the building will be closed to the public.

*Jimmie Carroll Sports Complex/Park Play Structures – The Sports Complex remains CLOSED to the public. Parks and trails are OPEN although visitors must follow social distancing. Play structures, such as playground equipment, remain CLOSED to the public. Baseball fields are OPEN but restricted to team practices only, no shared equipment is allowed, and observers must bring their own seating and stay off bleachers. No scrimmages between teams are allowed, and players/coaches must bring their own hand sanitizer.

*North Terra Golf Course Pro Shop – Is now OPEN to the public with a maximum of six people, including employees, in the building at one time. Golf carts will be limited to one-person per cart, and no shared equipment. League play begins May 18.

*Ozark Heritage Welcome Center – Will remain CLOSED to the public.

*Solid Waste Transfer Station – Is now OPEN to the public.

*West Plains Public Library – The building will remain CLOSED to the public, but will continue with the pick-up/book return process from 10 am- 5 pm Monday-Friday. No reservations for pickups will be made on Saturday. Reservations can be made online or by phone at 256-4775. A limit of 10 items/customer will be allowed, and materials will be placed in the front hallway of the Library once the customer arrives for pick up. Doors will only be unlocked for customers arriving to pick up their materials in the hallway.

*West Plains Transit – It has transitioned back to short routes, and is now using the transit bus to help customers socially distance six feet apart. Customers can still call 256-1241 if they need a ride.

*West Plains Police Department – Maintaining normal operations.

*West Plains Fire Department – Maintaining normal operations.

The City of West Plains strongly encourages residents to stay at their place of residence unless performing essential activities for their household, and follow social distancing requirements even outdoors.

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Civic Center Pool, Fitness Center to Reopen Monday, May 18

The West Plains Civic Center has decided to reopen the building in stages to ensure social distancing is enforceable and controlled, although restrictions will be in place to limit occupancy.

The first stage will begin with a reopening of the Pool and Fitness Center on Monday, May 18.  Entry to the building will only be permitted through the exterior Fitness Center Doors on the west side of the building.  Fitness Center staff members will take temperatures of those coming to use the facilities. The locker rooms, pool, and fitness center areas will be the only parts of the building open to the public during this stage.

Open swim hours for the public will be Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.-9 a.m., and in the evenings from 4 p.m.-7 p.m.  The fitness center will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. The Civic Center will remain closed on the weekends. Occupancy will be limited to a maximum of 35 people in the pool area and 10 in the fitness center.  These numbers include building staff and lifeguards.

Staff will work diligently throughout the day to ensure disinfecting practices are performed.  Sanitation wipe stations will be available throughout the pool, locker room areas, and fitness center stations.  The Civic Center has installed foot door openers on the backs of all restroom and locker room doors to help reduce the number of hands that touch the door handles between cleanings, with hand sanitizing stations outside the restrooms also available.  Signage has been posted around the building reminding customers and employees of proper handwashing and hygiene activities.  During Stage 1, all other exterior doors will be closed to the public.

The Civic Center is currently working on Stage 2 of its plan, which includes reopening other areas of the building for smaller events. Those details will be available at a later date.

“The very nature of this pandemic is very fluid, and we’ve had to be very flexible while working through our timeline,” said Civic Center Business Manager Eryn Walters, who pointed out that the Civic Center averages approximately 150,000 people through the building each year.  “It is the upmost goal of the Civic Center to ensure the safety of our employees and our customers, so we will continually ask for everyone’s patience through this process as we work to get back to our normal operating schedule.”

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Ordinance Gives Guidance to Businesses Reopening May 4

The West Plains City Council has approved an Ordinance that provides some guidance to help safeguard employees and the general public following the expiration of the Stay at Home Order.

Council approved Bill 4659 that goes into effect at 12:01 am May 4, and will continue through 11:59 pm Sunday, May 31, which “allows all businesses to operate within the City of West Plains with proper safeguards.” Those safeguards include:

*Mandatory six-foot social distancing for all businesses.

*Employees for restaurants, bars, and retail food establishments are required to wear protective masks or work behind a protective barrier.

*Seating at food/dining establishments will be limited to 10-related individuals per table, and a six-foot separation between tables.

*Bars and restaurants will remove bar stools and bar seating to prevent large-group gatherings.

*Self-serve dining, such as food bars, buffets and salad bars, will be allowed if the food is distributed from a dedicated service or if there is a means of ensuring customers are no less than six feet apart at self-serve stations.

*Employees for close contact, personal service businesses such as tattoo parlors, massage therapy, barbershops, and hairdressers are required to wear protective masks, with lobbies or waiting rooms limited to no more than three individuals.

*Thorough sanitation must be done between customers, and hand-sanitizing stations available for employees and customers.

The City of West Plains is essentially following Governor Mike Parson and the state’s “Show Me Strong Recovery Plan”, which allows all businesses and services to re-open with social distancing restrictions. The Ordinance also strongly encourages residents to stay at their place of residence unless performing essential activities for their household, and follow social distancing requirements even outdoors.

The complete Ordinance 4659 can be read HERE.

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City Schedule Announced for Week of May 4-8

With the health and safety of its employees and the general public remaining paramount, the City of West Plains will keep most of its public buildings closed once the current Stay at Home Order expires May 4.

However, the City will slowly reopen some of its services while still strictly enforcing the social distancing requirements of six feet.

Here is the schedule for City of West Plains’ buildings and services for the week of May 4-8:

*City Hall Lobby – Will Remain CLOSED to the Public. Utility customers can pay online at westplains.net, by phone at 256-4818, use the drop box at the front of the building, or pay at a West Plains Bank & Trust Company or Wood & Huston Bank drive-thru from the 1st of the month to the 20th of the month. Please have your statement with your payment.

*West Plains Civic Center – Will Remain CLOSED to the Public.

*Jimmie Carroll Sports Complex/Park Play Structures – Will remain CLOSED to the public, although parks and trails are open for walking.

*North Terra Golf Course Pro Shop – Will reopen May 4 with a maximum of six people, including employees, in the building at one time. Golf carts will be limited to one-person per cart.

*Ozark Heritage Welcome Center – Will remain CLOSED to the public.

*Solid Waste Transfer Station – Will reopen May 4, although recycling will remain closed this week.

*West Plains Public Library – Will implement a pick-up/book return process beginning May 4, and available from 10 am- 5 pm Monday-Friday. No reservations for pickups will be made on Saturday. Reservations can be made online or by phone at 256-4775. A limit of 10 items/customer will be allowed, and materials will be placed in the front hallway of the Library once the customer arrives for pick up. Doors will remain locked to the general public this week, and only unlocked for customers arriving to pick up their materials in the hallway.

*West Plains Transit – Will transition back to short routes, and use the transit bus to help customers socially distance six feet apart. Customers can still call 256-1241 if they need a ride.

*West Plains Police Department – Maintaining normal operations.

*West Plains Fire Department – Maintaining normal operations.

The City of West Plains strongly encourages residents to stay at their place of residence unless performing essential activities for their household, and follow social distancing requirements even outdoors.

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COVID-19: City of WP Stay at Home Order Extended Through May 3; Non-Essential Businesses Can Now Open with Restrictions

West Plains Mayor Jack Pahlmann has extended the City’s Stay at Home Order through 11:59 pm Sunday, May 3, with the City’s Order now mirroring the State of Missouri’s Order in its entirety.

This Order now allows West Plains businesses considered “non-essential” to open if they comply with the social gathering and social distance requirements of the Order. This includes no more than 10 individuals (including both employees and customers) occupying a single space, staying six feet away from other people at all times, and using proper disinfectant and sanitation practices. Restaurants are only allowed to serve customers by drive-through and curbside pick-up, and the Order does not allow for dine-in options.

Mayor Pahlmann made this decision based on consultation from the Howell County Health Department, which recommended following the State’s Order.

The Order still directs all West Plains’ residents to avoid leaving their residences unless necessary and to practice social distancing when traveling outside of their homes to work and to access necessities such as food, prescriptions, and health care. People are also allowed to leave their homes to engage in outdoor activity.

Occupancy limits remain in effect, with the Order requiring retail operations to limit the number of customers in a building to 25 percent or less for businesses with less than 10,000 square feet, and 10 percent or less for locations with 10,000 square feet or more. That percentage is based on the entity’s authorized fire or building code occupancy.

Citizens and businesses are encouraged to read the complete Order by visiting westplains.net, and clicking on the green “Stay at Home Order Facts” button at the top of the landing page. The Order gives guidance on what is allowed or prohibited, as provided by the State of Missouri.

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City of WP Utility Customers Can Now Pay Over the Phone

City of West Plains utility customers can now make their payments over the phone to keep their accounts current during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Customers can call 417-256-4818 to use their debit/credit cards for payment. All a customer needs is the account number, and the house number on his/her street address.

Those paying over the phone will have the same credit card processing fees as payments online. Those fees are 2 ½ percent plus an additional $1.25, which are fees associated with the automated phone line and processing credit cards. The City wants to remind its customers that it has no control over those fees.

Customers making utility payments also have the following options:

  • Pay online by visiting www.westplains.net and clicking the “Pay Utilities Online” button at the top.
  • Use the drop box located outside in front of City Hall, 1910 Holiday Lane.
  • Pay at a West Plains Bank & Trust Company or Wood & Huston Bank drive-thru from the 1st of the month to the 20th of the month. Please have your statement with your payment.
  • Pay by regular mail by sending in payment along with the statement you receive in the mail.

The City is also offering utility assistance to those effected during the COVID 19 crisis. That information can be found on the City’s website at westplains.net under the “Utilities Assistance Guidelines” button at the top, which includes an application for citizens to receive: Waived late fees and delinquency fees, suspension of disconnect of any utility service during the period of the COVID 19 outbreak of Spring/Summer 2020, (note that suspension of disconnect does not mean utility fees will be waived or forgiven. Customers will still be responsible for paying all utility fees accrued during this time period), and special payment arrangements for any outstanding balance caused by layoff, illness, or other reason directly related to the COVID 19 outbreak.

Customers are asked to call 417-256-7176 if they need to connect or disconnect a utility service, for those needing building inspections and building permits, to request assistance from the City Clerk’s Office, or if they have any questions or problems with their City service.

The City Hall Lobby will remain closed through April 30 in compliance with the City’s Stay at Home Order.

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West Plains Transfer Station Now Open for Essential Businesses by Appointment Only

Beginning Monday, April 20, the West Plains Transfer Station will be available by appointment only for essential businesses in the community, as determined by the City of West Plains Stay at Home Order.

The Station is located at 1853 Old Airport Road, and customers wanting to dispose of unwanted trash and solid waste can call 256-6254 to schedule an appointment.

Sanitation Department Supervisor Brent Lidgard said the Station is available from 7 am to 4 pm.

COVID-19: City Buildings to Remain Closed to the Public Through April 30

With the City of West Plains extending its Stay at Home Order and at the recommendation of the CDC, the West Plains City Hall Lobby, West Plains Public Library, Jimmie Carroll Sports Complex/West Plains Parks and Recreation, West Plains Civic Center, Ozark Heritage Welcome Center, and the West Plains Senior Center will remain CLOSED to the public through April 30.

The Order now matches Missouri’s statewide Stay at Home Order, with the exception of its end date. West Plains City Council voted to extend the City’s Order by an additional six days.

The Order, which is available in its entirety on westplains.net by clicking the green “Stay at Home Order Facts” button, requires individuals to remain in their residences unless performing essential activities for their home or business, prohibits any public gatherings of ten or more people, and requires any businesses not defined as essential to cease.

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WP City Council Extends Stay at Home Order Through April 30

Following the lead of the State of Missouri and the recommendations of local, state, and national public health officials, the West Plains City Council has extended its Stay at Home Order through 11:59 pm Thursday, April 30, as the City attempts to safeguard the health and well-being of West Plains citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Order, approved unanimously by Council, now matches Missouri’s Stay at Home Order with the exception of its end date, with the City extending the order an additional six days through April 30. The Order requires individuals to remain in their residences unless performing “essential activities” for their home or business, prohibits any public gatherings of ten or more people, and requires any businesses not defined as “essential” to cease.

Citizens and businesses are encouraged to read the complete Order by visiting westplains.net, and clicking on the green “Stay at Home Order Facts” button at the top of the landing page. The Order includes definitions of essential activities and a listing of essential businesses, as provided by the State of Missouri.

Occupancy limits are now in effect, with the Order requiring retail operations to limit the number of customers in a building to 25 percent or less for businesses with less than 10,000 square feet, and 10 percent or less for locations with 10,000 square feet or more. That percentage is based on the entity’s authorized fire or building code occupancy.

Under the Order, all citizens and businesses must follow social distancing rules of at least six feet per the President’s mandate.

Businesses found to be in violation of the Order will first be contacted by a member of the City and advised they are in violation.  If the business is unable to show that they are an essential business according to guidelines from the Order and Homeland Security and continues to violate the Order, the business will be issued a warning by the West Plains Police Department.   If the business remains open in violation of the Order, the business could receive a summons from the Police Department. Punishment could be a fine or jail time.

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City of West Plains to Offer Utility Assistance Program

The City of West Plains is committed to providing reliable and affordable utility service to residents and businesses within the City of West Plains. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, the City has made a special effort to work with individuals affected by the crisis based on personal situations.

The City has developed an application for utility assistance for the COVID-19 crisis and the application allows for citizens to receive:

  • Waived late fees and delinquency fees.
  • Suspension of disconnect of any utility service during the period of the COVID019 outbreak of Spring/Summer 2020. Please note suspension of disconnect does not mean utility fees will be waived or forgiven. Customers will still be responsible for paying all utility fees accrued during this time period.
  • Special payment arrangements (based on your unique situation) for any outstanding balance caused by layoff, illness, or other reason directly related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Proof of layoff and/or illness or quarantine may be required.

For customers needing to move forward in the assistance program, please fill out the Application for Utility Bill Assistance due to COVID-19, which can be found online www.westplains.net. Sign and return the application to City Hall via mail, P.O. Box 710, West Plains, MO 65775, or drop box located outside of City Hall, 1910 Holiday Lane.

Once application is received, City staff will call and discuss your application and work with you to customize a payment plan. For further questions please contact City Hall Utilities, 256-7176 or email, cashier@westplains.net.

Click here for Application

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City-Wide Clean-Up Week Postponed to October

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and restrictions for the Sanitation Department, the annual City-Wide Spring Clean-Up week has been postponed to the week of October 5-9.

The week was originally scheduled for April 20-24. The City-Wide Yard Sale, scheduled for the weekend before clean-up, will be rescheduled for another date to be determined later.

The City of West Plains wants to remind the public the Solid Waste Transfer Station is closed to the public, until further notice, to outside customers as well. Recycling has been suspended during this time as well.

Trash routes for the City of West Plains will run as normal, although because of shift changes there may be some variations of times. The City asks all residents to have trash outside by 7 a.m.

The City of West Plains will reevaluate this situation in the coming days and weeks to determine when the Solid Waste Transfer Station and the Recycle Center will reopen. As always, we remain committed to providing the best service for our customers.

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Non-Essential Businesses Asked to Close Down During Stay at Home Order

Non-essential businesses which remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic are in violation of the City of West Plains’ Stay at Home Order, and the West Plains Police Department is warning violators of potential consequences as the City tries to safeguard public health and safety.

The Order and accompanying City Ordinance was issued by City Council March 27 to protect the community from the transmission of the deadly virus, which has now been confirmed in Howell County. The Stay at Home Order extends through 11:59 pm April 15, unless further actions are needed to extend the Order.

Businesses deemed as providing “essential” activities are allowed to remain open during the Order, but still must follow social distancing rules of at least six feet per the President’s mandate. The City of West Plains follows guidelines from Homeland Security and its Stay at Home Order on determining essential and non-essential businesses.

“It is extremely important that businesses comply with this order, for the protection and well-being of our community,” said West Plains Police Chief Stephen Monticelli.

Businesses found to be in violation of the Order will first be issued a warning, and then asked to close down if they are unable to provide the appropriate documentation showing they are essential, according to guidelines from the City’s Order and Homeland Security. If the business remains open in violation of the Order, the business could receive a summons from the Police Department. Punishment could be a fine or jail time.

Essential businesses include: Healthcare and public health services, construction, veterinary services, food/shelter/social services, mortuary, home-based care, law enforcement and first responders, hazardous materials handling and cleanup, grocery stores, food banks, convenience stores, restaurant carry-out/drive-through/delivery services, energy/electricity/petroleum/natural and propane gas, waste and wastewater, logistics and transportation of goods and people, vehicle repair and maintenance facilities, public works support, public infrastructure support and maintenance, information technology, hotels/motels, medical supply manufacturing, legal and critical financial services, lawn and landscaping, building supply, Laundromats, residential care facilities, mailing and shipping services, educational activities for distance learning, and childcare with groups of 10 or fewer.

A more thorough list is available on westplains.net under “Stay at Home Order Facts” at the top of the landing page.

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Transit Buses Only Available by Phone

Beginning Monday, April 6, the West Plains Transit system will not run its regularly-scheduled routes, and will only be available for those who call and request transportation to access essential necessities.

This is being done to help prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 virus in the community, and in compliance with the Stay at Home Order issued by West Plains City Council March 27.

Essential necessities include groceries, pharmaceuticals, cleaning supplies, and any items deemed necessary for the safety and sanitation of a home or business. Essential services include doctor’s appointments, Laundromats, and any service a healthcare provider has determined is medically necessary.

Those needing transportation can call 256-1241, and if multiple riders are in the vehicle, the driver will require social distancing of at least six feet.

This plan will be in effect through April 15. Transit officials will continue to monitor the situation, and will make determinations about whether to continue regular routes at a later date.

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Citizens, Businesses Encouraged to Read “Stay at Home Order” Information on City Website

In response to the City of West Plains’ “Stay at Home Order” issued last Friday, March 27, City of West Plains officials are encouraging its citizens and business owners to educate themselves on the Order with information currently available on the City’s website.

Callers have been inundating West Plains City Hall, which is now only open for utility payments, with questions about the Order. In particular, City employees answering the phones are being asked by business owners which companies are considered “essential”, and which are considered “non-essential” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City has provided a guideline for its citizens and business owners on its westplains.net Website, with information available under the green “Stay at Home Order Facts” button at the top. Included is a “Question About Businesses” link that the City has provided as a guideline for businesses unsure on whether to keep their doors open.

City Administrator Tom Stehn said that “we’re all in this together” and the City is working on an approach to the Order which will help businesses determine whether or not they are essential.

“Whether or not you are deemed as essential and authorized to operate is ultimately a legal question,” said Stehn. “We encourage everyone to read the Ordinance, the Stay at Home Order, and the FAQs for the citizens and businesses. After reading that information, any business that still has questions can call City Hall, and a representative from the city will be in contact with an answer as soon as possible.”

In the meantime, Stehn said all residents and businesses need to follow the six-foot social distancing rule mandated by the President, which he noted is still not being followed in all circles.

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Library, Civic Center, Sports Complex, Welcome Center, Senior Center Closed Through April 15

At the recommendation of local, state and national public health officials regarding no large gatherings over 10 people during the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the President extending the six-foot social distancing guidelines through April, the West Plains Public Library, Jimmie Carroll Sports Complex/West Plains Parks & Recreation, West Plains Civic Center, Ozark Heritage Welcome Center, and the West Plains Senior Center will be CLOSED to the public until 11:59 pm Wednesday, April 15, unless further action is needed to expand the closures.

While we recognize this decision affects many citizens in our community, our top priority is the health and well-being of the community, along with public safety. Please know this is a rapidly-changing situation that requires frequent evaluation, and we will continue to follow the guidelines of national and local public health officials as this situation develops. In the meantime, please call City Hall, 256-7176, with any questions during this time.

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City Hall Lobby Only Open for Utility Payments

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to protect the City’s customers and employees, the West Plains City Hall lobby will only be open for customers making utility payments until further notice.

The City is encouraging residents to stay home as much as possible over the coming days and weeks and abide by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations. Although the lobby will be open, the City is encouraging customers to use these other options first before coming into City Hall:

  • Pay online by visiting www.westplains.net and clicking “Pay Utilities Online.”
  • Use the drop box located outside in front of City Hall, 1910 Holiday Lane.
  • West Plains Bank & Trust Company and Wood & Huston Bank accept utility payments via drive-thru from the 1st of the month to the 20th of the month. Please have your statement with your payment. (Both banks usually only accept payments through the 10th .)
  • Pay by regular mail by sending in payment along with the statement you receive in the mail.

Customers who need to connect or disconnect a utility service are asked to call 417-256-7176 for instructions.

Customers needing building inspections, building permits, or questions regarding the Building Department, call 417-256-7176.

For customers needing assistance from the City Clerk’s Office, call the City Hall help desk for instruction at 417-256-7176.

The City of West Plains will continue to reevaluate this situation in the coming days and weeks. As always, we will remain committed to providing the best service for our customers.

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Library, Sports Complex, Playgrounds, Civic Center, Welcome Center, and Senior Center Closed Until March 31

At the recommendation of the Howell County Health Department and the CDC, with no large gatherings of over 10 people, the West Plains Public Library, Jimmie Carroll Sports Complex/West Plains Parks & Recreation, West Plains Civic Center, Welcome Center and the West Plains Senior Center will be closed to the public beginning March 18 through March 31, unless further action is needed to expand the closures.

While we recognize this decision affects many citizens in our community, our top priority is the health and well-being of the community, along with public safety. Please know this is a rapidly-changing situation that requires frequent evaluation, and we will continue to follow the guidelines of national and local public health officials as this situation develops. In the meantime, please call City Hall, 256-7176, with any questions during this time.

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City Council Meeting to be Rescheduled

The Howell County Health Department and the CDC, is recommending no large gatherings of over 10 people, therefore, the West Plains Planning & Zoning meeting scheduled for Thursday, March 19 and the West Plains City Council meeting scheduled for Monday, March 23 will be canceled. The City Council meeting will be rescheduled for a later date in the future.

While we recognize this decision affects many citizens in our community, our top priority is the health and well-being of the community, along with public safety. Please know this is a rapidly-changing situation that requires frequent evaluation, and we will continue to follow the guidelines of national and local public health officials as this situation develops. In the meantime, please call City Hall, 256-7176, with any questions during this time.

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Customers Urged to Pay Utility Bill Via Drop Box and Online

Currently, the Howell County Health Department and the CDC are recommending gatherings be no larger than 10 people. City Hall Lobby is open, however, at this time we are encouraging the public to pay their utility bill by using the drop box, outside in front of City Hall, or online, www.westplains.net and look for the blue button stating, “Pay Bill Online.” If you have questions, please call City Hall, 256-7176.

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Transit Route Changes Beginning Monday

Monday, March 23, the West Plains Transit will run every hour to these locations, beginning with: South Towers Apartments at 8 a.m., Walnut Grove Apartments at 8:02 a.m., Walmart at 8:17 a.m., West Vue Apartments at 8:30 a.m., OMC at 8:32 a.m., and Ramey Grocery Store at 8:35 a.m. with the last pickup of the day being at Ramey Grocery Store at 3:35 p.m. Due to the recommendation from the Howell County Health Department and the CDC, there will be no more than 10 people on the bus at a time, including the driver. These changes will be in effect until April 15 or unless otherwise needed. In between each route buses will be cleaned and disinfected for the safety of passengers and the driver.

Citizens can call 256-1241 if they are not at the route locations or need to go elsewhere to arrange pickup.

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Recycle Program Suspended & Other Changes from Solid Waste Transfer Station Beginning March 30.

The West Plains Recycle Program will be suspended beginning Monday, March 30 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Recycle Center will also be closed to the outside public for recyclable drop-offs beginning March 30 until further notice.

The Solid Waste Transfer Station will be closed to the public beginning March 30, until further notice, to outside customers as well. This was not an easy decision, but it was necessary step to help protect our customers and employees.

Trash routes for the City of West Plains will run as normal, although because of shift changes there may be some variations of times.

The City of West Plains will reevaluate this situation in the coming days and weeks to determine when the Solid Waste Transfer Station and the Recycle Center will reopen. As always, we will remain committed to providing the best service for our customers.

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Parks’ Play Structures, Jimmie Carroll Sports Complex, North Terra Pro Shop to Close March 25

In a proactive effort to minimize COVID-19 exposure to its residents, the City of West Plains will close all play structures in its Parks system, the Jimmie Carroll Sports Complex, and the North Terra Golf Course Pro Shop until further notice.

This is being done in accordance with the guidelines from the President and the

Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which states that every person in the State of Missouri shall avoid social gatherings of more than ten people.

Although the City is closing all playground equipment for public use, outdoor parks and trails in the City will remain open and will follow normal hours. The North Terra Golf Course will remain open only for its regular members, although rental and lease carts will be unavailable.

Parks visitors and golfers are advised to not gather in groups larger than 10. All visitors are advised to follow CDC prevention guidelines, including handwashing, social distancing, avoiding touching your face, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home while sick.

Sports leagues through the Parks Department and North Terra Golf Course are suspended until further notice.

The City has continued communication with local and national public health officials, and will continue to evaluate the situation in the coming weeks. City officials are strongly encouraging residents to stay home as much as possible over the coming days and weeks and abide by CDC recommendations.

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City Requests Public to not Flush Wipes, Paper Towels or Other Substitutes

The City of West Plains is issuing guidance for those sheltering at home due to COVID-19/Coronavirus concerns: Please do not flush anything but toilet paper in home toilets. The only item designed to be flushed through the sewer system is toilet paper. Residential sewer laterals, which are part of the sewer system that runs from the foundation of the house to the sewer main, are not designed to accept wipes, paper towels or other substitutes. Those items are not biodegradable and can clog the lateral.

City workers are seeing an even larger amounts of non-toilet paper products being used, and are trying to eliminate future issues from developing. The City is asking its residents to only flush toilet paper, and if they must use something besides toilet paper, dispose of it in the trash. City workers appreciate your cooperation and understanding during this challenging time. Please call 256-7176 for any questions.

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West Plains Municipal Court Postpones Court Hearings Through April 17

In compliance with the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Supreme Court of Missouri and the State of Missouri, the West Plains Municipal Court has postponed all court proceedings through April 17. Trials scheduled for April 9 are now postponed to May 14 at the same time previously scheduled. Those matters scheduled for April 16 are now scheduled for June 25 at 9:00 a.m.

The Court will continue to accept fine payments as follows:

  • Online at www.wpmunipay.com
  • By telephone at: 417-372-8573
  • By a money order which can be mailed to: West Plains Municipal Court, P.O. Box 249, West Plains, MO 65775.
  • Via Drop Box, located in the parking lot of City Hall. The envelope should clearly be marked “Municipal Court Payment.”

This is a developing situation; therefore this information is subject to change based upon recommendations from the CDC and the State of Missouri.

If you have any questions regarding this announcement or for any updates, please contact the West Plains Municipal Court Division at 417-256-6154.

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