COVID 19 Response: Changes in Services

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This will continue to be updated. Time stamps reflect changes.

Changes in City Services to Reduce COVID-19 Exposure

The City of Helena is committed to providing essential services to the public while also making it a top priority to protect the health and safety of our citizens. The City continues to follow the direction of Lewis & Clark County Health Department, and the State of Montana in relation to the COVID-19 health outbreak. In order to accomplish “social distancing,” City departments with non-essential services and staff may conduct some work remotely. Department hours may be affected and in-person services may be modified to ensure the health and safety of the public and staff. The delivery of in-person services will be continually reevaluated based on COVID-19 State and County health guidelines.

Below you will find the currents status and service modifications for each department. Postings are updated as conditions change. 

CITY ATTORNEY’S OFFICE

Staff of the City Attorney’s Office is available in-person from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., however the public is encouraged to conduct business via email or by phone. Staff can be reached at (406) 457-8595 or email cakaufman@helenamt.gov or tjodoin@helenamt.gov.
 

CITY CLERK

The City Clerk is available by appointment only and can be reached at 406-447-8410 or email dmclayborn@helenamt.gov.

CITY MANAGER’S OFFICE

The City Manager’s Office is available by appointment; however, the public is encouraged to conduct business via email or by phone.  For appointments, please reach out to Maie Jones at mjones@helenamt.gov or 406-447-8427.

Additionally, team members are available via email or phone:

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Building Division

The City Building Division Office is encouraging the public to use email and phone correspondence for questions related to projects. 

  • The Building Division office is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for walk-in customers. This will allow staff time to process applications and inspection requests early morning and at the end of the day. General office hours are 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • We encourage everyone to call and request an appointment with staff when meeting in person is desired. Call the numbers below to make an appointment.
  • Permit submissions should be emailed to the office. Submissions should include a completed application, plans and supporting documents. Information should be sent to the contacts below. If the file is large, contact the office and a OneDrive folder will be emailed to you.
  • Documents ready for permitting will be emailed to the applicant. A full-size copy of the plans and all supporting documents, including the inspection record card, shall be printed and must be available on-site for inspections. 
  • Staff encourage payments to be made by credit card or debit card over the phone. Checks and cash must be processed in the office, please contact Building Division staff it that is your only option for payment.
  • The process for requesting inspection will remain the same. General Contractor shall call the Building Division to schedule inspections. City Inspectors will continue to do inspections as timely as possible.
  • If you have any questions, feel free to call 447-8438 or 447-8437. Email documents to tdupree@helenamt.gov and rrowsey@helenamt.gov

Planning Division

The City Planning Division is working remotely with limited hours in the office. Most business will be conducted electronically, but there is availability for appointments to drop-off plats and applications.

Please visit our website for more information regarding new remote processes and updates from the Department. For general questions, please call (406) 447-8490 and leave a detailed voicemail or e-mail citycommunitydevelopment@helenamt.gov. You may also contact the assigned Planner via work phone or work email for ongoing projects

For questions regarding variances, conditional use permits or zoning, please contact:

  • For questions regarding zoning, please email htaylor@helenamt.gov or call 406-447-8448.
  • For questions regarding minor or major subdivisions, annexations  and certificate of surveys please contact mmcconnell@helenamt.gov or call 406-447-8492.
  • For questions regarding annexation or the Growth Policy, please contact mmcconnell@helenamt.gov or call 406-447-8492.
  • For questions  regarding Grants or ADA compliance please contact eray@helenamt.gov or call 406-447-8491.
  • For additional information or questions concerning any of the above please contact shaugen@helenamt.gov or 406-447-8445 or 406-459-4860.

All forms, applications and other planning information is available at www.helenamt.gov/government/departments/community-development

FINANCE

The main Finance Office is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., however the public is encouraged to conduct business via email or by phone. To reach the main office, email cityfinance@helenamt.gov or call 406-447-8416.

Utilities

The Customer Service window at the City-County Building is open for in-person utility payments
8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Payments are also accepted and processed from the drop box locations, as well as via telephone and online.

  • Phone payments may be made from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Please call (406) 447-8450. 
  • For online payments, visit HelenaMT.gov/services 
  • Drop box locations:
    • City County Building (at the end of the Utility Customer Services Division counter)
    • Van's Thriftway (on the wall outside the West side entrance, above the mailbox)
    • Across from the Base Camp on Broadway (Located with the mailboxes, FedEx boxes, etc.)
    • Albertson’s on North Montana Ave. (outside on the wall by the mailbox)

For questions regarding water billing, please call (406) 447-8450.

HELENA FIRE DEPT.

The Helena Fire Department is conducting normal business hours between 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Please call 447-8472 to schedule personal or group fire station tours.

PARKS, RECREATION & OPEN LANDS

Parks ​Administrative Office: 

The City Parks and Recreation office is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/ Friday; Wednesday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Patrons are encouraged to use email and phone correspondence for parks reservations and parks department questions and issues. Contact Jennifer Schade at jschade@helenamt.gov or 406-447-8463.

Urban Parks: 

Parks and playgrounds are open with social distancing continuing as a priority. Reference “Outdoor Recreation and Sports” on the Lewis and Clark Public Health COVID-19 web page for additional local guidance:  www.lccountymt.gov/health/disease-control/covid-19-main-page.html

Walking Mall Permitting/Food Trucks: 

Phase 1/2: The Parks dept. is permitting food trucks in parks and on the walking mall. Food trucks must follow social distancing and State and local guidelines.  Reference “Food, Beverage, Gaming” on the Lewis and Clark Public Health COVID-19 web page for additional local guidance: www.lccountymt.gov/health/disease-control/covid-19-main-page.html

Open Space:

Phase 2: Operations will continue as normal with a priority on encouraging social distancing. Staff are working with partner organizations and contractors to offer guidance on operations ensuring social distancing, appropriate group size and use of tools. Reference “Outdoor Recreation and Sports” on the Lewis and Clark Public Health COVID-19 web page for additional local guidance: www.lccountymt.gov/health/disease-control/covid-19-main-page.html

Civic Center:

Phase 2: The Civic Center is open to the public, including the box office for ticket sales. Staff will continue to prioritize physical distancing and are working with the Lewis and Clark Public Health Department to establish appropriate capacity for groups in each space.

Please visit www.helenaciviccenter.com

Muni’s:

Muni's is open, with limited capacity and social distancing and sanitizing measures in place. The restaurant will continue to follow up-to-date State and local restaurant guidelines for operations. Additional local guidelines for “Food, Beverage, Gaming” are available on the Lewis and Clark Public Health COVID-19 web page: https://www.lccountymt.gov/health/disease-control/covid-19-main-page.html

HELENA POLICE DEPARTMENT

The Helena Police Dept. is not currently collecting DNA for sex offender registration.

Walk-up service at the records window in the Law and Justice Center is available.

PUBLIC WORKS

City of Helena Transfer Station

  • Current hours of operation: Sunday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-4:15 p.m. 
    The Transfer Station Admin. Office will remain closed until further notice. Please call 406-447-8086 with any account payment or residential permit questions.
  • As a continuation of the current social distancing measures, tipping floor attendants will not help customers unload any type of material.
  • Route collection and recycling will continue six days per week, Monday-Saturday.
  • For Transfer Station questions, please call 406-447-8086 or visit https://www.helenamt.gov/solidwaste

Lewis and Clark County Landfill

Engineering

City Engineers are working remotely to maintain social distancing. The following individuals can assist with Public Works engineering projects:

MUNICIPAL COURT

We Have Moved!

The City Municipal Court is open to the public at the Law & Justice Center, located at the old Blue Cross Blue Shield building at 406 Fuller Ave.

Contact phone numbers and email addresses:

Phone:  406-447-8466 ext (1)   Fax:  406-447-8265
helenamunicipalcourt@helenamt.gov

The City of Helena Municipal Court will remain open and will continue to function in an orderly manner, however residents may experience some delays due to maintaining social distancing and courtroom capacity. Please do not come to the Helena Municipal Court if you are feeling ill or having any COVID 19 symptoms.  

  • Filings: In person filings will be allowed, we will enforce social distancing within the courtroom and offices.
     
  • Payments: We are open to walk-in payments. Other options include:
    • Option 1.  Pay through the online Cite-Pay system: https://www.citepayusa.com/payments/welcome.do?state=MT 
    • Option 2.  Call in payment, (406) 447-8466 ext 1. 
    • Option 3.  Mail in check or money order, Attn: Helena Municipal Court - 406 Fuller, Helena, MT 59601
    • Option 3.  Call the court to extend your payment date, (406) 447-8466 ext 1.
  • Open Court:  10:00 AM initial appearances are proceeding with social distancing guidelines.  Only the Defendant will be allowed in the courtroom unless the Defendant is a minor. No family or friends will be allowed to accompany you into the courtroom.
      
  • Scheduled Hearings:  Hearings are proceeding as normal with social distancing guidelines.  Only the Defendant will be allowed in the courtroom unless the Defendant is a minor. No family or friends will be allowed to accompany you into the courtroom.
     
  • Temporary Orders of Protection: The court is open to receive orders.
     
  • Telephone: The court will be answering phone calls from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
     
  • Jail Arraignments: Held via video conference Monday – Friday, at 8:00 am.   Walk-in viewing is allowed at this time following social distancing guidelines. 

TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS

The Transportation main office is open to the public. Scheduling meetings is preferred to ensure the appropriate staff is available to answer questions, take comments or concerns. Please call 406-447-1566 or email citystreetsdivision@helenamt.gov. Service Requests can also be submitted through the My Helena App available at the Apple App Store or Google Play. 

Helena Parking

The Parking Office, located at 225 S. Cruse St., is open to the public for limited hours, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Monday-Thursday. Questions? Contact Parking staff at 447-8419.

Capital Transit/Roadway Code Enforcement

Transit Facility lobby is closed to the public until further notice.    

The Red and Blue fixed-route and Paratransit buses are operating with a limited capacity Monday-Friday, 6:30-11:00 a.m. and 1-6 p.m.

The East Valley / East Helena Bus is operating Monday-Friday, 7-11 a.m. and 1-5 p.m.

The two-hour shutdown midday will remain in effect to facilitate thorough decontamination/cleaning of the vehicles and drivers to help minimize potential exposure to COVID-19 and provide the drivers with their required lunch break.

ADA curb-to-curb or door-to-door Paratransit Ride Scheduling must be made the day before the requested trip(s); premium services such as reoccurring/subscription ride services are suspended; and same day paratransit ride opportunities if any can be accommodated are subject to availability.  

To safeguard the public and staff, patrons of the transit system are asked to adhere to the following safety measures:

Per the executive order issued by President Joe Biden and enforced by TSA face coverings must be worn on all buses and at the transit facility at all times. 

While not required at this time it is encouraged that social distancing be observed while on bus’s and at the transit facility.

Capital Transit is not an emergency medical transport service, if you have a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1 or call your medical provider.

Questions? Contact Capital Transit staff at 406-447-8080.


For the latest news or changes in City services, please continue to follow “Community Headlines” at HelenaMT.gov.


 

Graphic: Public Service Announcement