Today for instance, you will find excellent clarifying info on Solano/Benicia rules for retail openings, and short articles on upcoming City Council consideration of mandatory face coverings, Benicia Farmers Market, Library book drops, public works week, high heat warnings, the 2020 Census and various press releases. See below…
Highlights: City Sets a Modified Reopening for June 1, Outdoor Activities and Encroachment for Business Order, Downtown Business Walk, Library Book Drop, Farmers Market Returns, Public Works Week, Census Reminder, High Heat This Week
May 25, 2020
Happy Memorial Day!
Today is the traditional start of summer and a heat wave is forecast for the next few days. In times past, the City’s facilities-the senior center, the library, and the pool-served as cooling centers for those who don’t have air conditioning at home. This year is different with those facilities remaining closed because of the pandemic emergency. Even so, we are still here for you! If you need assistance, please call the Community Services Phone Line at 707.746.4285, Monday through Friday, 8:30 – 5:00 or email email@example.com. And remember the following heat wave safety tips:
Check in on those most susceptible to heat impacts
Reduce outdoor activities, especially in the afternoon
Drink plenty of water
Wear light, loose-fitting clothing
Apply sunscreen regularly when outdoors
Know where shade is available
Don’t leave pets or children in cars
It’s never been more important than it is now to check on your senior neighbors, friends and family members, during the pandemic when seniors need to stay home. We will be checking on the seniors who regularly participated in our programs. Please join us in reaching out to those you know and let’s take care of each other!
On a different topic, last Friday, Solano County amended its shelter-at-home order to allow more business sectors to begin the safe reopening process under a set of specific safety parameters. Businesses newly allowed include destination retail stores (such as bookstores, jewelry stores, toy stores, clothing stores, home furnishing, sporting goods, florists), shopping malls, swap-meets, dine-in restaurants, and office-based business operations. Patrons visiting businesses should look for social distancing protocols, occupancy limits, and extra sanitary activities such as use of hand sanitizer. Face coverings are not required but are strongly recommended. Businesses are also required to post signage certifying compliance with the regulations that apply to their business type. For more information about restaurants, please see the COVID-19 Dine-in Restaurants Checklist and for retail, please see COVID-19 Retail Checklist. Risk of virus transmission remains an active threat so please take steps to protect yourself and if the business you want to visit doesn’t meet the requirements, don’t patronize it! For questions about the regulations, Solano County has a warm line about COVID-19; call 707.784.8988 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Tomorrow night, the Council is holding a study session to discuss ideas related to assisting businesses during COVID-19 as well as how to proceed related to face coverings in Benicia. This meeting will be held via teleconferencing; click here for the agenda. The meeting is broadcast in the usual ways-on Channel 27 and via the City’s website. Speaking of helping businesses, please take a look at the press release at the bottom of this newsletter to learn about City action taken last Friday to streamline the process for outdoor dining and shopping.
Thank you for your interest in the City of Benicia This Week!
City Sets a Modified Reopening for June 1: Typically, we would be announcing that we are closed today in observance of Memorial Day. But as most City facilities have been closed due to the State’s shelter-at-home order, we are taking the opportunity to remind that the City will begin reopening with modified services on Monday, June 1. Details were shared in last week’s message.
The annual Memorial Day Ceremony, sponsored by Benicia Historical Society, has been canceled this year. Due to the historically large turnout for this event, it has been canceled for the health and safety of attendees. Please take time today to honor military personnel who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
Outdoor Activities and Encroachment for Business Order: Late Friday, City Manager Lorie Tinfow signed her third order as Emergency Services Director. The order streamlines the process for businesses to expand operations into outdoor locations to allow for social distancing, allowing for businesses to set up seating in their parking lots, on neighboring property with owners’ permission, or in the public right of way. Click here to view the order. Business owners will find the Temporary COVID-19 Outdoor Activities and Encroachment Agreement application beginning on page 5 of the order. The completed application and property permission should be submitted to City Manager Lorie Tinfow at email@example.com or Economic Development Manager Mario Giuliani at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A big THANKYOU goes to Republic Services. In recognition of increased outdoor dining and picnicking, they have agreed to add an additional day of garbage pick up from cans on First Street at no additional charge to the City of Benicia.
Library Book Drop: Benicia Public Library will begin accepting book returns with a new process. Due to the need to quarantine items for 72 hours before staff handles them, (Covid-19 lives that long on plastic), library staff will open the outside book drops twice a week. Upcoming dates are:
May 26, 12 – 6 p.m. or until full
June 1, 12 – 6 p.m. or until full
June 5, 12 – 6 p.m. or until full
More dates are to be announced. Books may also be returned to any Solano Library location, open daily. Library staff ask that you do not return Link+ items, LaunchPads, or eBook Readers. If you are unable to return items during these hours, do not worry. Fines are not being accrued until further notice. Please note that the library is unable to accept book donations at this time.
Farmers Market Returns: After review by City staff in the special events process, one of the first events to return from quarantine is Benicia Main Street’s Certified Farmers Market, on Thursdays, 4-8 p.m., starting June 4. Please note, however, that this farmer’s market will be smaller and operate with more rules than in the past. Details follow.
Per orders of the State & County only farmers and prepackaged food vendors may participate in the market. No sampling will be allowed. There will be no hot food, arts & crafts, jump houses, face painter or music at this time.
If you plan to attend, Benicia Main Street asks that you:
Come prepared and limit your visit time.
Wear a face mask/face covering before entering the market.
Clean/Sanitize your hands.
Honor social distancing of six feet while at the market.
Observe all posted signage and demarcated lines, which signal where customers should wait, six feet apart, while in line.
High risk groups should send another family/household member or neighbor to shop for them.
Always stay home if you are sick.
Visit booths with shorter lines first.
Always cough or sneeze, into your arm or a tissue, away from people and food.
As always, wash your fruits and veggies when you return home.
Benicia Public Works Week 2020
Public Works Week: “The Rhythm of Public Works” was the theme behind American Public Works Association’s (APWA) annual National Public Works Week, held this year May 17-23.
APWA’s municipalities across the country celebrated the Week by teaching their communities the importance of public works to improve the quality of our daily lives, giving a voice to the impact that the many facets of public works have on a community.
From providing clean water at your tap, disposing of solid waste, to engineering and administrative services that maintain, operate, repair, and where necessary, improve City public facilities, responding to natural or manmade disasters, public works services determine a society’s quality of life.
Benicia Public Works invites you to view this video showing what Public Works does in the City of Benicia. You can honor the vital contribution public works professionals make every day and celebrate their quiet dedication and indispensable influence on our way of life. Show your appreciation by spreading the word on social media with the hashtag #NPWW or #TheRhythmofPublicWorks.
Census Reminder: If you have completed the 2020 U.S. Census, thank you! If you haven’t taken it yet, please do so as soon as possible. Taking the census now will avoid a census working having to come to your home to complete the census for your address.
You can take the Census online, by phone or by mail. It’s confidential, quick and easy. Your response helps determine how $1.5 trillion in funding is allocated to our community every year. Click here to take it online. Additional information is available at https://solanoedc.org/census/complete-count-2020/.
High Heat This Week: Our first heat wave of the year is forecast for this week with the highest temperatures occurring Tuesday through Thursday. The Benicia Public Library is typically used as a cooling center but as it remains closed, along with the James Lemos Swim Center, due to their being classified as phase 3 closures, residents should take extra precautions to remain hydrated, limit time outdoors, and dress for the heat.