How is the City doing their part?
Mayor, Council & Department Heads have been working since the beginning of March to develop plans in the event that "Stay-At-Home" orders came down. We have been educating ourselves with FEMA training, KS League of Municipalities daily COVID19 calls & webinars, and participating in all State, Federal & County calls & webinars offered. We have been preparing, and are ready to serve you during this unsure time. Here are some specifics:
For Staff & Departments:
implementing emergency plans that we have been working on since March 1:
remote offices for staff that are able to work from home (clerks), and personnel duty rotation for those that can't (maintenance, EMS, PD, etc) limiting physical interaction w/staff & public.
Ensuring that each staff members has what they need to do the job they are asked (hardware, software, support, communication tools, Personal Protective Equipment, etc)
canceling all pre-approved training, meetings, and conferences for staff & governing body
Maintaining normal pay, regardless of limited scheduling and hours so they can provide for their families
Closing public access to all city buildings since mid-March to protect staff from exposure
implementing strict PPE (including N95 masks, gloves, and gowns) & disinfecting guidelines in situations where interaction is inevitable with each other & public
utilizing teleconference platform for all meetings and discussions between staff & governing body
keeping website updated with factual, detailed information from state and county departments
supporting, implementing & enforcing all orders from state, federal & county health departments
closing public access to all city buildings, property, and equipment to reduce exposure and virus transfer from surfaces
continual contact with public and clerks' office, so that day-to-day business can still be conducted, and public has access to the City
emergency plans in place with key players in case of county, state, federal assistance needed
Conway Springs Community Concern Task Force: group of volunteers to run errands and give assistance to those most susceptible without them having to leave their homes.
supporting events & efforts for socializing with physical distancing in a safe, fun manner
keeping in close contact with grocery, pharmacy, etc to make sure we have the supplies needed for our citizens.
contact with businesses & education on what county, state & federal orders mean
forwarding all SBA emails & relief programs to Chamber of Commerce
leading by example with our own staff, buildings & communication
updating the city website for links to businesses for those who want to shop from home
communication to offer aid and support when and if needed
Check SBA relief options HERE
We've had some individuals and groups reach out to us for guidance and questions on upcoming scheduled events and gatherings, as the City has not made any official proclamation regarding such.
At our City Meeting (held via teleconference) on Tuesday, we discussed this exact thing. It was decided to follow the State's lead, and County (should county make a declaration). We intend to support and follow their guidelines for a healthy safe community.
That means, due to Governor Kelly's emergency declaration, that gatherings both inside and outside of 10 or more people are prohibited in the state of Kansas. During our discussion, praise was given to the fact that Conway residents are pretty level-headed, and realize the importance of willingly adhering to these state mandates, so the city shouldn't have to step in with their own that reiterates everything we fall under, anyway.
That being said...
We realize that this impacts a LOT of gatherings and planned events. Easter Egg Hunts, celebrations, car shows, neighborhood parties, school events, and more.
Our children are already feeling this impact with MAJOR "once in a lifetime" event cancellations and postponements. We hope that those events still planned that go against the state mandated gathering rules are reconsidered, or rescheduled. Both out of respect for those who are already doing so in an effort to mitigate exposure, and to show that we as a community are willing to give up a little for a little while.
Is this fun for anyone? No. But we can get creative! Dragging main has become a fun, safe event, again, that respects social distancing and gathering restrictions. Look around town and see the decorated windows, and "bear hunt" fun going on! Families spending time in their yards enjoying the weather and each other.
As for the rest (car show, Easter celebrations, graduations, proms, family reunions, etc), let's hang on a minute, and reschedule, shall we? Show our kids (at the very least) that we appreciate the sacrifices they & their teachers are making to keep our community safe, and reflect their sacrifices by being a little more patient to host & participate in events. As well as respecting those of our community on the front lines of healthcare, all encouraging us to listen and stay home, and ready to give up more than we ever will if/when things take a turn.
For more specifics on Governer Kelly's mandate, please see below. For questions, feel free to comment or reach out to CSPD or City Hall (620-456-2345).
Thank you for a unified effort to mitigate Conway Springs' residents exposure to COVID19. We know the impact it has on planning and business, and promise to help you in your future efforts to reschedule your events.
Dear Conway Springs,
In this time of uncertainty, it's important (now more than ever) to come together as a community like we always have in times of need, and make decisions & take precautions based on the good of our entire community, but especially those most susceptible to the threats that we're facing. I applaud the schools, businesses, and individuals taking the Federal & State guidelines and mandates seriously, in an effort to protect and "flatten the curve", even though it causes discomfort, hardship and stress.
In an effort to do our part, and protect all staff and customers, all government offices will be closed to the public until further notice.
We understand the frustration this can cause... COVID19 (Coronavirus) has interrupted daily living as we know it, but we hope you appreciate the "rock and a hard place" that your civic & educational leadership is between as this changes daily. Business will still operate as usual at City Hall, with Police, EMS, Fire and Maintenance. Your governing body will still meet responsibly (via teleconference) to discuss regular and special business (watch this page and Facebook for announcements on how to join us during the meetings). However, limiting physical interaction, and adhering to social distancing will be paramount. We encourage you to utilize our Drop Box or online link for payments, and contact us for all of your needs, concerns, complaints, questions via phone (620-456-2345) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Documents can also be left for our office via the Drop Box.
Conway Springs has always been known for coming together for the common good of our neighbors. As we maneuver this uncharted territory together, patience, understanding, compassion and resilience will be our tools to combat the frustration and uncertainty. Please, adhere to the guidelines on gatherings and just stay home. Wash your hands. Call and check on your neighbors and the elderly. Do what you can, when you can. And I (we) promise to do the same.