It’s been a little over a week since Modesto leadership made the difficult decision to close access to City counters at Tenth Street Place and many other facilities across the City because of the COVID-19 virus. Like many of you - and many businesses around Modesto - we are paying attention to the orders coming out of the Governor’s office and our own County Health Office, and we are serious about doing our part to slow the spread of this pandemic.
The health and safety of our employees is just as important as that of our community, and we quickly moved to restructure our staffing levels to limit contact and potential exposure. In this time of social distancing, we believe this was the right call. These staffing changes mean that some of our employees are working remotely, and crews that normally work around the City maintaining and cleaning our infrastructure are operating at 50% capacity. Service requests submitted through the GoModesto! app will no doubt be delayed, and staff is prioritizing urgent requests only at this time.
Here are some updates from a few City divisions:
- The call center at 209-577-5200 is fully staffed and prepared for your questions about City services and operations. Our average wait time has been 2 - 3 minutes.
- There will be delays in all tree-related activities, including pruning, with the exception of after-hours and emergency service. We are currently addressing hazardous or dead trees as a priority.
- We are drenching trees susceptible to the sticky Honeydew secretion, so residents should notice a corresponding improvement to this annoyance on their property this summer.
Green Waste & Street Sweeping
- Collection of green waste piles is running at 50% of normal staffing levels, so please bear with us as we run a bit behind schedule. Do not hesitate to call if you notice any dangerous piles of organic debris: (209) 577-5463.
- For the month of April, crews will not be able to pick up green waste as part of the normal routine unless there is an urgent need.
- Street sweeping crews are operating at 50% of normal staffing levels, so your street will likely not be swept when expected.
Traffic Operations & Engineering
- Traffic Signal Maintenance crews are out sanitizing pedestrian crossing push buttons.
- Street re-striping will occur upon emergency requests only at this time.
- Because of an overall decrease in vehicles throughout the City, we’ve noticed an increase in requests about stop delays at intersections without cars. Due to the decrease in staffing, we cannot change timing at all City signals. This means more staff time is given to the major corridors in an effort to keep the majority of the cars moving. Because of the decreased volume of cars on the road, there may be an assumption that the signals may not be working right.
- Modesto Area Express (MAX) will begin operating on a Saturday service schedule on weekdays beginning Monday, March 30, 2020, until further notice. Route 24 and 28 will operate on its regular schedule Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM until 6:00 PM.
- MAX to ACE Commuter Express will offer service to the ACE Train for ACE 1 in the morning and ACE 4 in the afternoon only.
- MAX to BART will continue to operate its weekday schedule.
- There are no changes to Modesto Area Dial-A-Ride (MADAR) service.
- Please remember to travel for essential needs only. MAX appreciates your understanding and would like to emphasize our commitment to rider health and safety.
- Employees are now routinely cleaning and sanitizing the transit center, Amtrak station, parking equipment, and bus shelters and benches.
Parks Operations & Maintenance
- Our tagging abatement crew continues as normal throughout the City responding to tagging and graffiti.
- Parks remain closed, and park restrooms are now closed to deter vandalism.
- Although most of our programming as been cancelled or postponed for now, our recreation team is looking for creative ways to engage the community. Be on the lookout for a fun Camp at Home activity on March 27, and get more information by going to their Facebook page.
Planning & Building
- Planning is now accepting development and construction applications via mail or delivery (City Hall security can assist).
- Building has implemented an electronic plan review format, which allows electronic submittals, checks and communication, so there is no reduction in the number of permits to be reviewed.
- All water and waste water services to and from our customers remain completely operational as normal.
- Reduced staffing levels to half of normal, and response to customer requests may be slightly delayed.
We’re here for you
Thank you for your patience during this time of change. We will get through this, and until we do, we will be here to serve you.
Please monitor our special COVID-19 page for additional coverage of the City’s response to the virus, and be sure to like two important Facebook pages for all the latest news and announcements from the City and County.