Update posted at 4:30 p.m. May 19
Clatskanie City Manager Greg Hinkelman reports that Clatskanie City Hall will remain closed until Columbia County moves to Phase 2 in Oregon's Reopening Plan.
"This was a decision made based on staff input," Hinkelman said.
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As Columbia County moves slowly into a "New Normal" following approval for Phase 1 of the state's reopening Oregon framework, Clatskanie and Rainier are taking steps to resume regular business.
All in-person city services are now available at Clatskanie City Hall, following the state approval of Columbia County's reopening request this week. The service functions follow the state's social distancing requirements under Phase 1 of the Reopening Oregon Framework.
Clatskanie City Manager Greg Hinkelman said the city is still under a State of Emergency which was declared in March as a prevention effort due to the pandemic. He said the Clatskanie City Council will consider lifting the declaration at its June public meeting.
While Clatskanie City Park was not closed during the State of Emergency, Hinkelman said no decision about reopening the playground or adjacent city skate park portions has been made.
"I need to look further into the Phase 1 guidelines and have a discussion with the Parks and Rec board about that," Hinkelman said.
As to the specific message the City of Clatskanie is issuing to city residents and visitors about the reopening, Hinkelman echos the state guidelines.
"Practice the social guidelines of distancing and wearing masks where needed so we can progress to the next phases of reopening." Hinkelman said. adding, "Get out to a restaurant and enjoy your meal."
In Rainier, City Mayor Jerry Cole said the City of Rainier's State of Emergency will continue for the time being.
"As we are only in Phase One, we don’t want to jump the gun and cancel the State of Emergency to soon," Cole said.
The decision to resume in-person services at Rainier City Hall is pending.
"We are evaluating a safe way to open City Hall and hope to be back open soon," Cole said. "We are going to open the city park playground equipment and ask that people respect the 'No more than 25 people rule.' So, if it appears to be crowded come down a little later."
Cole said Rainier's message to the public is simple.
"Please continue to follow the state and public health guidelines," Cole said.