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May 27, 2020
At its Tuesday meeting, Ames City Council provided direction to City staff about reopening various City facilities closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In deliberating, Council Members reiterated the challenge of balancing access to recreational opportunities while continuing to protect the health of citizens and City employees by reducing opportunities to spread the virus.
The Council provided direction to the Ames Parks and Recreation staff to:
- Reopen the Ames Dog Park on June 1.
- Continue to move forward on opening the Ames/ISU Ice Arena in June.
- Reopen Ames Municipal Pool as soon as possible following usage allowed under Governor Kim Reynolds’ current and future directives.
- Reopen the Georgie Tsushima Memorial Skate Park on June 1 as allowed by the Governor.
- Reopen City playgrounds on June 1 as allowed by the Governor.
- Not open the Furman Aquatic Center for the 2020 season.
- Consider opening the Brookside wading pool with restrictions and a schedule determined by staff.
Additionally, the Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau, Iowa State University, and City of Ames agreed to cancel the annual Independence Day fireworks due to difficulties with enforcing social distancing policies.
In another vote, the City Council lifted the suspension on issuing sidewalk café permits contingent on the Governor’s directive.
May 21, 2020
Most City offices and departments, along with Ames Public Library, will be closed Monday, May 25, in recognition of Memorial Day. City Hall and City facilities will remain closed to the public through July 1 in response to COVID-19, although City office hours will resume on Tuesday, May 26.
The Ames Patriotic Council has cancelled its Memorial Day parade and program.
May 13, 2020
The Ames City Council provided direction to City staff at Tuesday’s Council meeting about reopening City facilities, holding events, and offering various City programs and services.
Council directed that City Hall and City facilities not reopen before Wednesday, July 1, 2020. City staff will continue working from their offices and in some cases from home. The Ames Public Library, 515 Douglas Ave., will follow the same reopening plan, and is also moving forward on a curbside pick-up program planned to launch in the coming weeks.
The Council delayed making a final decision regarding opening Furman Aquatic Center and/or the Ames Municipal Pool until its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, May 26.
The Council delegated the possibility of opening the Ames/ISU Ice Arena to City staff and required the use of “decision-making criteria” that includes Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds’ directives, public health guidance, and other considerations.
The Council also directed staff to determine on a case-by-case basis the feasibility of offering recreation programming during the summer season, again requiring the use of the comprehensive decision-making criteria and thorough analysis of each program.
The City Council considered a list of events, celebrations, and parades planned on City property through August 31, 2020. Organizers of some events, such as the Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony, have already notified City staff of cancellations. By using the decision-making criteria, the City Council cancelled the Fourth of July parade and pancake breakfast, Street ‘N’ Greet Block Party Trailer reservations, Ames Municipal Band concerts, and Rummage RAMPage.
Additionally, the Council directed that approval for all other events on City property through August 31 be considered using the same guidelines. The City Council will evaluate whether it is possible to proceed with the Fourth of July fireworks at a future meeting.
Finally, the City Council voted to allow Ames Farmers Market to open in Downtown Ames with several conditions. Event organizers must follow the COVID-19 guidelines they presented earlier to the Council. There will be no food trucks, no food prepared on site (hot or cold), and no alcohol tasting.
April 20, 2020
Although the City of Ames annual EcoFair has been cancelled for Saturday, April 25, several speakers who had planned to present at the EcoFair will be available by tuning into KHOI-FM, 89.1 or via streaming at www.KHOIFM.org from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 25.
Another virtual opportunity to enjoy the EcoFair and celebrate Earth Day is the Eco Scavenger Hunt, which allows teams of 1 to 4 members to participate in a mostly virtual scavenger hunt around Ames and win prizes. To participate, go to www.CityOfAmes.org/EcoScavengerHunt
April 17, 2020
Public input is sought on the City of Ames’ request for a second Substantial Amendment to its CDBG 2019-2020 Annual Action Plan, in order to receive $354,515 in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) ACT funding (Public Law 116-136). This law was signed by President Trump on March 27, 2020, to respond to the growing effects of this historic public health crisis. The CARES Act funds will be available for “eligible activities” meeting the national objective of the CDBG program and to be used to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Five (5) Day Public Comment period will begin on Thursday, April 23, 2020, and conclude on Monday, April 27, 2020. Public comments can be sent be via email to Vanessa Baker-Latimer, Housing Coordinator at: firstname.lastname@example.org or can be mailed to City of Ames, Planning & Housing Department, Housing Coordinator, PO Box 811, Ames, IA 50010-0811. To make public comments by phone, call the Housing Division’s Hotline number at 515.239.5380 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
April 16, 2020
A public celebration of Arbor Day in Ames will not be held this year. However, six trees will be planted in Country Gables Park this month in recognition of Arbor Day. The trees have been selected, planting locations identified, and Country Landscapes will plant them. A public tree planting ceremony in collaboration with Ames Trees Forever is tentatively planned for this fall to plant one additional tree in Country Gables Park. This ceremony will include a memorial to the late Steve Wilson, who worked as the “Energy Guy” with Ames Electric Services.
The tree voucher program scheduled for May 2 also has been cancelled. The voucher program may be rescheduled in the fall.
April 14, 2020
Public WiFi is available at two locations in Ames for students and others who need an Internet connection in the community.
- Furman Aquatic Center, 1635 13th St. The public WiFi signal at Furman extends from the aquatic center building to 13th Street.
- Ames Public Library, 515 Douglas Ave. The Library’s WiFi signal extends to the area outside of the building and into the north parking lot located on Sixth Street.
April 14, 2020
Ames Parks and Recreation Department is postponing the opening of Homewood Golf Course, a public nine-hole course located at 20th Street and Duff Avenue. In late March, it was announced that the anticipated opening day would be April 15. However, the new opening day is now anticipated to be Friday, May 1.
April 10, 2020
City Hall and City facilities are closed to the public through May 15, 2020. However, City staff continue to work from home and from their offices. Please conduct City business online or by contacting individual City departments directly. For additional information or concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, call the City hotline at 515.239.5670 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or email email@example.com
In addition to the closures, several City-sponsored events scheduled this spring have been cancelled in response to COVID-19. The following events are cancelled:
- Chad Pregracke EcoFair keynote lecture on Tuesday, April 21
- EcoFair on Saturday, April 25 • Spring No Charge Yard Waste Day on Saturday, May 2 (Reschedule date anticipated!)
- Bike to Work Week Commuter Breakfast on Monday, May 11
- Mayor and City Council’s Bike Ride on Saturday, May 16
April 9, 2020
The spring No Charge Yard Waste Day scheduled for Saturday, May 2, at Green RU, 400 Freel Drive, will be postponed in response to concerns about COVID-19 transmission. City staff continues to work with GreenRU to develop an alternate date for the annual spring event. Once a new date is selected, it will include providing vouchers for those who are unable to participate.
Yard waste is not accepted at the Resource Recovery Plant (RRP) and should not be placed in with regular garbage.Yard Waste is accepted at GreenRU (515.450.0450), and Steenhoek Environmental, 3892 N. 500th Ave. (515.599.0503).
For additional information or questions, please call Resource Recovery at 515.239.5137.
April 7, 2020
Due to the growing number of cases of COVID-19 in Iowa and to encourage social distancing, the regular meetings of the Ames City Council will be conducted via teleconferencing through Zoom, a video and audio remote conferencing platform. This format will continue through May 15 and could be extended. The next meeting begins at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14.
City Hall will remain closed to the public, and the Mayor and Councilmembers will access the meeting electronically. As always, the public may view public meetings on Cable Channel 12 (for Mediacom subscribers), videostream meetings from the City’s website (www.CityofAmes.org/Channel12), or watch live on the City’s YouTube station (www.youtube.com/AmesChannel12).
To participate in the April 14 meeting, citizens should connect via Zoom. The Webinar ID is 826 593 023.
- Connect to Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/826593023
- Call in via telephone: 312.626.6799
April 6, 2020
As per the order of Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, the Georgie Tsushima Memorial Skate Park will close at 8 a.m. on Tuesday (April 7) and remain closed through 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, April 30, due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. Signs are posted at the location to alert the public to the closure.
On Friday, the City of Ames Parks and Recreation Department, working in collaboration with the Ames Community School District, closed playgrounds at local parks and schools. Signs have been installed at the playgrounds. Closing playgrounds and following the Governor’s directive to close the skate park reinforces the City of Ames’ commitment to protecting the health and safety of our citizens. Residents are asked to do their part to keep family, friends, neighbors, and our community safe.
April 3, 2020
The City of Ames Parks and Recreation Department, working in collaboration with the Ames Community School District, will begin closing playgrounds at local parks and schools beginning today due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. Signs are being installed at the locations, but there will be no tape or fencing surrounding the playground.
Closing playgrounds reinforces the City of Ames and Ames Community School District’s commitment to protecting the health and safety of our citizens. Residents are asked to do their part to keep family, friends, neighbors, and our community safe.
City of Ames parks and trails remain open to the public for recreation options. All park restrooms remain closed, and water fountains are turned off. The Ames Dog Park is closed. Tennis, pickleball, and basketball courts in each park will remain open at this time.
March 31, 2020
As a precautionary measure to promote social distancing, the Ames Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (AAMPO) is hosting a virtual public meeting for the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP), known as Forward 2045. This virtual meeting is an opportunity for the public to learn about the vision and goals for Forward 2045, as well as review, comment, and provide ideas (big or small) on potential alternatives and strategies within the Ames transportation system.
The virtual meeting is available through April 14, 2020 at: amesgisweb.city.ames.ia.us/forward45
This is the second input opportunity the AAMPO has hosted for during the Forward 2045 development process. AAMPO hosted a Visioning Open House in November where attendees were asked to identify priorities for the transportation system and pinpoint issues when using Ames’ roads, bicycle, pedestrian, and transit facilities.
March 30, 2020
March 23, 2020
Due to the growing number of cases of COVID-19 in Iowa, the regular meeting of the Ames City Council on Tuesday, March 24, will be conducted electronically. The Mayor and Councilmembers will access the meeting electronically. City Hall will remain closed to the public and only staff will be allowed in Council Chambers.
During the meeting, the public can contact the Ames City Council:
- By phone: 515.239.5214
- By email: CityCouncilMeetingInput@cityofames.org
As always, residents may view public meetings on Cable Channel 12 (for Mediacom subscribers), videostream meetings from the City’s website (www.CityofAmes.org/Channel12), or watch live on the City’s YouTube station (www.youtube.com/AmesChannel12).
In the near future, scheduled board and commission meetings will follow a similar format of being held telephonically or via other electronic means. Please check the City website for ongoing updates and information.
The City of Ames is committed to continuing to provide essential City services (including utilities, public works, public safety) to its residents. In order to do so, City staff exposure to the virus in City workplaces is being minimized. Although Ames City Hall as well as all other City buildings were closed to the public effective March 20, City staff will continue to work in the City facilities. Residents are encouraged to conduct City business online or by contacting individual City departments directly.
March 19, 2020
City Hall and all other City facilities are closed to the public as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19. The closures will be effective after 5 p.m. Thursday, March 19, and will continue through May 15, 2020.
City staff will continue to report to their offices and serve the public. Residents are encouraged to conduct City business online or by contacting individual City departments directly. Residents who are unsure how to conduct their City business may contact the City’s customer service hotline from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 515.239.5670.
The Police Department’s 24-hour lobby near the northeast corner of the building will remain open to the public. The Resource Recovery Plant will remain open to commercial haulers, but will not be accepting car line customers or household hazardous waste appointments.
City Hall will open to the public for upcoming regularly scheduled City Council meetings and boards and commissions. However, arrangements will be made to maintain social distancing for participants at these meetings. Residents who wish to view public meetings may also watch meetings on Cable TV Channel 12 or videostream the meeting on the City’s website.
March 16, 2020
The following facilities will be closed by the end of the day March 16, through May 15: Ames Public Library, City Auditorium, Community Center, Municipal Pool, Ames/ISU Ice Arena, and the Dog Park. City parks remain open to the public. Additionally, Ames Parks and Recreation classes and City facility use for outside group meetings are suspended for this period of time. The Ames Animal Shelter will be open for adoptions by appointment only; please browse the Animal Shelter website and call or email to schedule an appointment. Events held on City property (City streets and sidewalks) between today and May 15 have been suspended.
These services will be evaluated prior to May 15 to determine if they may resume or if the suspension should be extended. Residents are encouraged to use the City website or to call City offices to conduct their business, in lieu of visiting City offices in person.
March 13, 2020
The City is postponing its annual Employee Awards Luncheon and Boards and Commissions Appreciation Luncheon. These events will be rescheduled to a later date.
March 11, 2020
Non-essential City staff activities at area long-term care facilities have been suspended. These include assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, and facilities that offer these facilities. City employees may only visit these facilities on City business in emergency situations or with close coordination with facility staff to reduce chances for potential exposure. These precautions are to reduce the chance for potential impact to at-risk residents or to City employees.