The cities of Opelika and Auburn have closed their offices to the public.
An Opelika city news release issued Friday afternoon stated the buildings are closed through April 5 to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
“The city plans to maintain continuity of services during this time frame,” the release said. “Essential services like police, fire, power, solid waste and waste water are prepared and taking measures to make sure staff (members) are practicing safe social distancing ...”
Necessary business can be conducted online, such as applications and renewals for business licenses.
Signs will be posted on the doors of all buildings with contact information, and the city website will continue to share information at www.opelika-al.gov/COVID19.
Auburn appears to be in step with Opelika, having also decided to close all of its city buildings late Friday afternoon.
“Water, sewer, public works, garbage collection and public safety services will all carry on as usual,” the city of Auburn’s press release stated. “City staff will continue to serve residents through all electronic means possible, including online applications, email, social media and phone.”
Any Auburn city business that cannot be conducted electronically can be discussed with the staff on the help line (334-501-7307), according to the release.
Opelika and Auburn officials will reevaluate their respective situations on April 5 to determine if city buildings should reopen at that time.
Opelika tax changes
The city is taking steps to provide relief to local businesses by waiving penalties for late tax payments through June. Businesses must still file sales, use, lodging, rental and leasing taxes as normal for February, March and April, but the release said that penalties will be waived.
Opelika Sportsplex and Parks and Rec
The Opelika Sportsplex, which has remained open while its basketball court is closed, will be freezing membership. All parks and recreation events also have been canceled, as well as the track-and-field season.
Lewis J. Cooper Memorial Library
The Lewis J. Cooper Memorial Library will waive late fees through April 6 to avoid crowds in the library. The release asks that patrons keep material at home until that time.
“Many services, including digital books, digital audiobooks, digital magazines, database research and more can be accessed through the library’s website: www.cooperlibrary.com,” the release said.