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Proclamation extended and playgrounds/picnic shelters close

Post Date:03/30/2020 3:37 PM

Due to the ongoing public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 virus, West Des Moines Mayor Steve Gaer signed a new proclamation today that extends the authority he granted to City Manager Tom Hadden until Thursday, April 16, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.

The first proclamation was set to expire on March 31, and it authorizes City Manager Tom Hadden to take actions necessary to provide for the public health, safety and welfare of employees and the citizens of West Des Moines.

Update regarding playground equipment and picnic shelters

Hadden said West Des Moines parks and trails are currently open to the public for recreation, but due to COVID-19 concerns, effective immediately, playground equipment and picnic shelters are closed until further notice. All park restrooms remain closed and drinking fountains are turned off. The Raccoon River Park Dog Park and Archery Facility, along with tennis and basketball courts, will remain open at this time. Team sports, pickup games and contact play are prohibited.

The City will not install caution tape or fencing at the parks; residents are asked to do their part to keep family, friends, neighbors and the community safe. Signage will be posted at each park regarding these closures. The City’s priority is protecting the health and safety of our residents and continuing to serve the public. While visiting any public space, use your best judgment and act responsibly; bring your own sanitation supplies with you and adhere to recommended guidelines of keeping social gatherings to less than 10 people and observing social distancing standards of staying at least 6 feet from others. If you do not feel well or have been sick, stay home.

Visit www.wdm.iowa.gov/covid19 for additional information regarding changes to West Des Moines parks, facilities, services, programs and events during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Citizens are encouraged to call the City or visit the website at www.wdm.iowa.gov to access services online. City Hall and other city buildings, such as the Public Services building, the Raccoon River Park Nature Lodge and the Valley Junction Activity Center, remain closed to the public.

Hadden stressed the need for all residents to stay home, if possible, and to follow CDC guidelines for social distancing and hand washing. “Now is the time to make sure everyone practices these steps so we can slow the spread of this virus and save lives,” he said.

This action by West Des Moines officials follows Governor Kim Reynold’s decision on March 17 to declare a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency, which activated the public health response and recovery aspects of the State Disaster Emergency Plan. The Mayor’s proclamation may be modified or superseded at any time as circumstances warrant.