FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 19, 2020
Good afternoon Fitchburg Residents,
There has been a great deal of activity and decision making that has taken place within the last few days, I appreciate your cooperation, and understanding during this time.
As a reminder, on Monday evening I issued a public directive that began on March 17, 2020 – April 6, 2020.
In my continued daily meetings with public safety and Board of Health personnel, I am updating you on the following amendments to the directive and steps City Department Heads have been preparing for the last two days:
- City inspections from inspectional departments are now available. Please visit our website, www.fitchburgma.gov and visit the individual department’s page for contact information, and additional information on how inspections will be conducted.
- Appropriate measures have been taken to provide the ability for non-essential employees to work remotely, and essential employees will be reporting to work during normal business hours in order to continue delivery of required services.
- All municipal buildings will remain closed to the public.
- Fitchburg Fire Department – entrance into Headquarters, 33 North Street, for vital paperwork or services only will be approved by the Fire Chief, Kevin Roy. Please contact Chief Roy at 978-345-9664 for these purposes.
- Fitchburg Police Department – the Main Lobby of the Fitchburg Police Department will remain open to the public.
- The Records Department Lobby will be closed to the public. The Records Department will remain staffed and will handle requests via telephone at 978-345-9643.
- Sex Offender Registration will remain available. Registrants will submit their applications to Dispatch and will then receive a phone call from the Records Manager. Any questions should be directed to the Records Manager at 978-345-9645.
- FID and LTC applications and renewals will continue to follow established protocol. Appointments must be made with Detective David Daigle via telephone at 978-345-1237.
- All municipal external meetings, conferences, seminars, and discretionary gatherings, scheduled and hosted by the City or any City Departments are being held virtually, canceled, or postponed.
- City employee Liaisons for our Board and Commissions are working with their respective Chairs and FATV to hold meetings virtually.
- All municipal work-related travel has been discontinued.
Fitchburg residents and businesses should continue to use our webpage for online permitting, payments, and contact information for each individual department. If you call a department, and a phone is not answered immediately, please leave a voicemail. Also, utilizing email to contact departments is another option available, also listed on our website.
I would like to remind businesses, on Tuesday night the City announced, through our CDBG program, $100k has been made available to small businesses providing up to $2,500 each. Again, I would like to direct you to our city website for more information. Furthermore, our Health Department working with the Department of Public Health, received $100k to share between thirteen communities in the Montachusett Public Health Network to address the spread of COVID-19.
Please allow me to emphasize the importance of getting City updates from three official main sources: Our city website, www.fitchburgma.gov, Fitchburg Access Television, and the City’s Facebook page, “The City of Fitchburg.” We have also implemented a COVID-19 resource page on our website, found on our homepage . I encourage you all to sign-up under the “Notify Me” link under this resource page. When updates are made available you will be notified by text or email. Health Director Steve Curry and the Health Department also released today that they are working on implementing a hotline for residents to utilize for COVID-19 related questions, staffed by area nurses. Please note, we are in need of volunteer nurses to assist with this hotline. If you are interested, please email Health Director Steve Curry at firstname.lastname@example.org. When the hotline is made available to the public, a press release with proper contact information will be provided. Other sources of credible information can be found on the CDC website or the Commonwealth’s website. Finally, please refer to the states 2-1-1 phone line. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls are free and confidential. Interpreter services are available in multiple languages.
As I mentioned on Monday evening, municipal government remains in service to the people of Fitchburg. However, during this time, I ask city residents and businesses for your assistance. I ask for your patience while minimum staff and crews are manning essential services so that we may continue to provide those services such as clean water, treated wastewater, public safety, and more.
I want to continue to encourage all our residents to stay home, limit their interactions with others, practice good hygiene, and maintain social distancing. And please, reach out, by phone, to your neighbors, check on your seniors, friends, and family members.
The last few days would not be possible without the help and assistance of our municipal staff and the leadership of our Department Heads. We all have been addressing challenges head on. For the next few weeks there will be several changes in our personal and professional lives, together with patience and understanding we will collectively prevent the spread of this virus.
I would like to wish everyone a Happy Spring, a reminder to wash your hands and practice social distancing.
Mayor Stephen L. DiNatale