East Lansing Mayor Ruth Beier has now extended the City’s official State of Emergency through the end of April, and several events or services – including the East Lansing Art Festival – have either been cancelled, postponed, or tentatively rescheduled.
This comes in response to the federal government’s extension of the guidelines through April 30 to slow the spread of COVID-19.
According to a news release issued Friday afternoon, all regularly scheduled City meetings and events have been cancelled through April 30.
That said, City staff is reviewing options for a special meeting of City Council to discuss and set a public hearing for the Fiscal Year 2021 budget, and to discuss other time-sensitive items. Virtual/online meeting options are being considered in order to continue essential government business while maintaining social distancing.
The newly-announced extensions of closures, cancellations, and postponements include:
- The East Lansing Family Aquatic Center will not be open for the 2020 summer season.
- The 2020 East Lansing Art Festival is cancelled.
- The 2020 Recycle! East Lansing event is cancelled.
- The Library’s 2020 Books, Bites & Bids event will be rescheduled.
- The Hannah Community Center and Prime Time Seniors’ program will remain closed through May 31, with a tentative reopening date of June 1.
- Yard waste collection, bulk item collection and water service shut-offs are still suspended or delayed. New yard waste collection dates will be announced soon. (Curb-side trash and recycling pick-up continues.)
- City Hall, the Department of Public Works headquarters (including the recycling drop-off site), the Public Library, and 54B District Court will be closed through at least April 30, with a tentative re-opening date of May 1.
- There is now a suspension of all activities at the Soccer Complex and Softball Complex as well as all other Department of Parks, Recreation & Arts programming/events through at least May 31.
- The Crystal Awards reception has been tentatively rescheduled for 5 p.m. on July 29 at the Hannah Community Center.
- Playground equipment, outdoor sports courts, outdoor pavilions/shelters, park bathrooms and the Northern Tail Dog Park will remain closed through at least May 31.
The Northern Tier Trail and most parks will remain open for physical activity (while practicing social distancing).
“While it was difficult to come to these decisions regarding our facilities, programming and events, we do believe that they are in the best interest of public health and are necessary for current planning purposes,” City Manager George Lahanas said in a statement. “These decisions are also in accordance with the federal guidance on large-scale events and gatherings.”
Additional extensions of the emergency declaration may be necessary, but will require a special meeting of City Council before they could take effect, similar to the emergency meeting of Council that took place on March 20.
Essential services will continue to be maintained, including police, fire, EMS, trash and recycling collection, water services and wastewater management.
However, building permits and inspections will only be issued or conducted on an emergency basis. Rental inspections or re-inspections have been cancelled for the month of April. (Landlords can call (517) 319-6801 with questions.)
Additional COVID-19 updates, including a City contact list and Continuity of Operations Plan, are available at www.cityofeastlansing.com/coronavirus.