May 1, 2020

City Begins Cautious Return to (New) Normal

Guided by the Governor’s strategic plan and Report to Open Texas, the City of Bellaire is gradually reopening city facilities and resuming suspended services, starting today.

Tennis courts, athletic fields, batting cages and park restrooms are now open.  Playgrounds, swimming pools, the Rec Center and Officer Lucy Dog Park remain closed, however.  Social distancing should still be observed in all open spaces, and pursuant to the Governor’s order outdoor sports must be non-contact and are limited to no more than four participants at a time.

Curbside pickup service at the Library will resume on Monday.  Also on Monday, City Hall and the Police and Courts building will reopen to the public, with some limitations.  Utility Billing will have one customer service window available for account transactions and for trash bag and recycling bin purchases.  Building permits will be by appointment only, scheduled at least 24 hours in advance.

Anyone entering a city facility will be asked to wear a face covering, sanitize their hands and practice social distancing.  The City will also comply with the Governor’s guidelines concerning health screenings for those employees returning to work.  Notwithstanding the limited reopening of these facilities, customers are strongly encouraged to continue handling their city business online or by phone whenever possible.

Monday night’s City Council meeting will again be conducted telephonically.  We’re tentatively looking to our next Regular Session, on May 18, to return to meeting in person, likely in the Civic Center so we’ll have more room to spread out.  (That’s also the Governor’s target date for the second phase of reopening Texas, depending on how things go in the first phase.)

We’re pleased to have been able to maintain essential services and to now begin restoring those we had to suspend, always with the public health and welfare as our primary consideration.  Of course we’re all looking forward to life returning to normal as much as possible, but even as we slowly reopen this is not the time to let our guards down.  Together, we’ll answer the Governor’s call “to act responsibly as we re-engage in the economy, to continue following all health precautions and sanitizing guidelines, and to care for our vulnerable neighbors.”  Thank you for joining us in that effort.