Officials Limit Public Access to Municipal Buildings
METHUEN — Mayor Neil Perry, Police Chief Joseph Solomon and Fire Chief Tim Sheehy wish to provide the residents of Methuen with new information regarding the city’s response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
As of Tuesday, March 17, there are currently no confirmed or presumptive cases of the virus in Methuen.
“We are continuing to monitor and assess the developing coronavirus situation. Based on the best available information, we are working aggressively to keep the citizens of Methuen safe and informed,” said Mayor Perry. “While City Hall continues to provide essential public services, as of Thursday, March 19, appointments will be necessary for citizens to visit the building in person.”
Access to local departments is being limited as a preventative measure to limit the possibility of exposure to COVID-19 for both the public and city staff. We ask anyone experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 to remain home and call their doctor.
A full list of the city service operations available, with appropriate contact information, can be found here.
Residents should be aware that police, fire, and inspection service members have all been instructed to maintain a social distance of six feet between individuals when responding to a call and avoid all unnecessary personal contact. The Police and Fire Departments are working with dispatchers and ambulance staff to take precautions against the spread of COVID-19.
Additionally, residents are encouraged to call 2-1-1 to reach the Massachusetts Department of Public Health with any questions relating to COVID-19. The hotline is available 24/7 and provides information, resources and referrals in multiple languages.
Mayor Perry is continuing to encourage residents to remain calm in the face of this situation.
“Yesterday, I personally contacted a number of local grocery stores – large and small – to determine their plans for the future,” said Perry. “I was assured they plan to continue to function and expect a regular flow of inventory – there’s no need to panic.”
As previously noted, the Methuen City Hall will remain open to provide essential services; however, public access to the building will be on an APPOINTMENT-ONLY basis effective Thursday, March 19. City officials encourage residents to utilize the City’s website (cityofmethuen.net) for any transactions that can be completed online. A list of municipal functions and transactions that can be completed online can be found here. In addition, payments can be made via a secure lockbox at the entrance to City Hall.
If residents must visit City Hall, they should call the appropriate office to make an appointment. Walk-in access to the building has been suspended.
The Methuen Police Department is closed to all non-emergency visits.Residents seeking non-emergency services are encouraged to call the Methuen Police Department’s business line at (978) 983-8698. Officers will continue routine patrols and respond to calls as normal.
This closure includes the public records window. Requests for public records will be handled electronically. Residents may file public records requests via email at [email protected]. Requests for accident reports will be referred to www.getcrashreports.com.
Civilian fingerprinting requests are on hold until further notice.
Any public events scheduled to take place at Sanborn Hall and the Department’s training room have been cancelled.
All firearms licensing applications must be downloaded from the Department’s website and mailed to Methuen Police Department Firearms Licensing Office, 90 Hampshire Street. New applications will be accepted by email and an in person interview will be scheduled for sometime after April 7. A receipt for renewal will be sent out and the license will continue to be active. All currently scheduled applications are postponed and will be rescheduled.
As always, please call 911 for any emergency. The Police Department will continue to respond as normal. If you are experiencing symptoms or believe you may have the coronavirus, please tell dispatchers.
The Methuen Fire Department and all of its fire stations are also temporarily closed to the public. Fire stations across the city will remain fully staffed and will respond to emergencies as normal.
Residents seeking non-emergency services are encouraged to call the Methuen Fire Department’s business line at (978) 983-8940.
Online Fire Department permitting will continue as scheduled at Department’s website. Fire inspections will continue as normal.
As always, please call 911 for any emergency. The Fire Department will continue to respond as normal. If you are experiencing symptoms or believe you may have the coronavirus, please tell dispatchers.
Library, Schools and Senior Centers
Methuen Schools, the Nevins Memorial Library, the Arlington Neighborhood Homework Center and Methuen Senior Center remain closed to the public until at least April 7.
Nevins Memorial Library is closed to the public, but residents can access many of the library’s resources online at their website. Specifically, the library offers:
- Adult online databases
- Libby/Overdrive eBook/eAudioBook/Magazine Lending
- Children’s eBooks
- Children’s online databases
The Department of Public Works will continue to maintain public services. The DPW administrative offices will remain open on an appointment-only basis.
Trash pickup and collection schedules will continue uninterrupted.
Officials are constantly monitoring state and federal guidance regarding the COVID-19 situation and will provide updates as new information becomes available.