Operating under an Emergency Declaration, effective Monday, March 16, the City of Sterling Heights will close city hall and all associated buildings until March 31.
Buildings affected include City Hall, Sterling Heights Public Library, Sterling Heights Community Center, Sterling Heights Senior Center, Department of Public Works, Sterling Heights Nature Center and Sterling Heights Recycling Centers.
Sterling Heights Police Department Front Desk will still be open for resident reports. Velocity will be closed to the general public. All 41-A District Court dockets that are scheduled at City Hall are cancelled. The closure for the 41-A District Court will be determined by the State of Michigan’s Court Administrator. All non-essential building inspections have also been cancelled. SMART Bus transportation through the senior center will be providing rides to medical appointments only.
Trash pickup will continue on normally scheduled pick-up days, and first responders including police and fire will still be on duty around the clock. Residents should still dial 9-1-1 for all emergencies.
Employees will be telecommuting and checking email and voicemail on a daily basis. Residents with questions are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org. The City has published several ways residents can digitally transact City business at www.sterling-heights.net/communityinfo. These options include everything from paying water bills online to pulling permits and licensing online and even checking out books and movies from the library or getting help with homework over the internet.
The Ordinance Board of Appeals meeting scheduled for Monday, March 23 will be postponed and rescheduled at a later date. The City Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 17 will still be held. However, during this period, we strongly urge residents to limit contact with others. Council agendas can be found in advance on the City’s website (click on government, city council and scroll down to agendas and minutes). If residents have questions they’d like to cover during “communications from citizens,” they can contact members of city council and/or the city manager with their questions in advance or submit them to email@example.com. Residents can watch the meeting live on cable (channels 5, 10 or 99) or in HD on YouTube from the City’s website (www.sterling-heights.net/shtvlive). The Zoning Board of Appeals meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 24 will also proceed as planned.
Lastly, the City will be co-hosting a Coronavirus Community Leaders Forum on Wednesday, March 18, 6-7:30 pm. At the forum, presentations will be made by representatives from Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, McLaren Macomb and Beaumont. Other perspectives will be shared by Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor, Sterling Heights Fire Chief Chris Martin, Sterling Heights Police Chief Dale Dwojakowski, Utica Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Christine Johns, Warren Consolidated Schools Superintendent Dr. Robert Livernois and Macomb County Health Director Bill Ridella. Although the forum will not be open to the general public, it will be shared on Facebook Live, and residents are encouraged to view the forum and post any questions they might have which forum moderators will share with panelists in real time. The event will also be taped and broadcast on the City’s cable channel.
“While we understand that closing city hall might be inconvenient, right now, the safety of our residents and employees is our top priority,” said Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor. “Since limiting contact with others is the only effective defense to the spread of COVID-19 at this time, we feel this temporary proactive shut-down is in the best interests of the thousands of families that call Sterling Heights home. We appreciate the patience and cooperation from all our residents in navigating this uncharted territory and helping us return to normalcy as soon as possible. We encourage everyone to visit coronavirus.gov for the latest updates and tips on helping prevent community spread and the City’s coronavirus web page at www.sterling-heights.net/communityinfo for more information about City measures enacted to date.”
Between now and the end of March, City management will continue to closely monitor the situation and update residents on when normal City operations will resume.