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 are mostly working 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-COUNTY BUILDING VISITORS

Per Lewis & Clark Public Health Rules and Regulations, all employees, contractors, volunteers, customers, or other members of the public [over the age of five] wear a face covering that covers their mouth and nose at all times while entering or remaining in any indoor spaces open to the public, as well as for any organized outdoor activity where social distancing is not possible or not observed. 
 
Exceptions to the mask requirement include:

  • children under the age of five. All children between the ages of two and four, however, are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in accordance with the provisions of this Directive. Children under the age of two should not wear a face covering;
  • persons consuming food or drinks in an establishment that offers food or drinks for sale;
  • persons engaged in an activity that makes wearing a face covering impractical or unsafe, such as strenuous physical exercise or swimming;
  • persons seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing impaired;
  • persons giving a speech or engaging in an artistic, cultural, musical, or theatrical performance for an audience, provided the audience is separated by at least six feet of distance;
  • persons temporarily removing their face covering for identification purposes;
  • persons required to remove face coverings for the purpose of receiving medical evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment; or
  • persons who have a medical condition precluding the safe wearing of a face covering.

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 staff will be available to meet by appointment only. The public is encouraged to use email and phone correspondence for questions related to projects. 

  • 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 8:30 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
9 a.m.- 4 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.)
    • Alberton’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.

Tours of the Fire Dept. have been suspended indefinitely. Meetings with Fire administrative staff are available by appointment only by emailing helenafiredepartment@helenamt.gov or calling 406-447-8472.

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 hosting ride-alongs or station tours or collecting DNA for sex offender regiatration.

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: Monday-Sunday, 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

The City of Helena Municipal Court will remain open and will continue to function in an orderly manner, however residents may experience delays and altered services. 

  • Municipal Court is open at our new location- 406 Fuller Ave.
  • Payments: Walk in payments are being accepted at this time, if you are ill please do not appear in person. There are multiple options if you do not wish to pay in person.
    • Option 1.  Pay through the online Cite-Pay system: 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 Ave., Helena, MT 59601
    • Option 4.  Call the court to extend your payment date, (406) 447-8466 ext 1.
  • Open Court & Scheduled Hearings:  No more than 9 people are allowed in the Courtroom at a time, excluding the Judge. 
  • Temporary Orders of Protection: The court is open to receive orders; you must call and notify the Court and staff will give further instruction, (406)-447-8466 ext 1. Served orders must appear.  Date and time stated on court papers.  
  • Forms:  Petition for Temporary Orders of Protection can be found on the City website.  Please call or email the court to request a form. 
    Phone: (406) 447-8466 ext 1 
    Email:  HelenaMunicipalCourt@helenamt.gov
  • Telephone: The court will be answering phone calls from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday. 
  • Jail Arraignments: Held via video conference Monday – Friday, at 8:00 am.  The court will be allowing walk-in viewing during this time.

TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS

Streets/Traffic/Fleet Services/Roadway Code Enforcement

The transportation main office is closed to the public. Meetings are available by appointment only, please call 406-447-1566 or email citystreetsdivision@helenamt.gov.

Helena Parking

The Parking Office, located at 225 S. Cruse St., is open to the public for limited hours, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday-Thursday. Questions? Contact Parking staff at 406-447-8419.
 

Capital Transit

  • Transit Facility lobby is closed to the public. 
  • The Red and Blue fixed-route and Paratransit buses are operating with a limited capacity Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m.-11 a.m. and 1-6 p.m. In the two-hour shutdown midday, the buses will be thoroughly cleaned to help minimize potential exposure to COVID-19. Paratransit reoccurring/subscription ride scheduling will not be available until Phase 3 of the State Recover plan (Date: TBD). The East Valley/East Helena bus route will remain suspended until further notice.

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

  • Face coverings should be worn on all buses. 
  • To maintain social distancing, the buses will run at a limited capacity. 
    • Fixed Route Buses: No more than 4 passengers will be allowed on board at any time.
    • ADA Paratransit Buses: No more than 2 passengers will be allowed onboard at any time.
  • Passenger temperatures are taken, if a passenger has a temperature reading of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, the ride is denied.

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