Monroe & West Monroe government reopening information

(Source: KNOE)

MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The following is a list of government and public offices reopening on or about May 18, 2020. The information here is provided by government agencies.

City of Monroe

Effective Saturday, May 16, the following City of Monroe locations will re-open for business with various social distancing measures, informational/directional signage, daily sanitizing, and crowd size restrictions that comply with Phase One guidelines: Monroe Civic Center, Chennault Park, Chennault Park Golf Course, Chennault Park Disc Golf Courses, Forsythe Tennis Courts and Forsythe Municipal (Muny) Golf Course.

Effective Monday, May 18, the Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo will re-open for business with various social distancing measures, informational/directional signage, daily sanitizing and crowd size restrictions that comply with Phase One guidelines.

Some of the Phase One rules at these venues include (but are not limited to) the following:

Civic Center: The Monroe Civic Center will limit attendance at events held in its various venues to 25% of capacity.

Chennault Park: Gates open at 7 am and close and 7:30 pm daily

Golf: Golfers are encouraged to book tee times; Operation hours will be Tuesday thru Sunday 7 am until 7 pm AND Monday’s from 12 noon until 7 pm; Group sizes will be limited to four (4); One person per cart; No children under the age of 13.

Disc Golf: Operation hours will be 7 am until 7 pm daily; Group sizes limited to a group of four; You can only touch your discs (including basket/bucket retrieval).

Tennis: Operation hours will be 7 am until 8 pm; Singles play only (to avoid physical contact); Do not share equipment.

Zoo: Up to 300 people allowed inside at one time; Required to stay with your group (social distancing); Exhibit buildings, Splashpad, Boat, Train, Playscape(s) and Petting Zoo areas will remain closed.

REMAINING CLOSED

The Masur Museum of Art will remain closed due to ongoing repairs from damage suffered during the April 12th Easter Sunday Tornado.
Senior citizens and youth often patronize our community centers in groups. To ensure the safety of our residents, our seven community centers will remain closed for the time being.
Visit our City of Monroe COVID-19 Update Webpage www.monroela.us/coronavirus for updates about city services and connections to valuable resources and information.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONAL RESOURCES:

Business and faith leaders should register at OpenSafely.la.gov to receive guidance and updates from the State Fire Marshal’s office and the Louisiana Department of Health.
For a guide of businesses that can be open at any given time, visit https://gov.louisiana.gov/can-this-business-open/
Members of the public can continue to get information from the Governor’s office by visiting Coronavirus.la.gov and by texting LACOVID to 67283.
Members of the public can continue to get information from the Department of Health by visiting ldh.la.gov/coronavirus
People with general questions about COVID-19 in Louisiana can call 211.

Fourth Judicial District Court & D.A.'s Office

The 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office says they are reopening to the public on Monday, May 18.

With the reopening, the following policies will be adopted in Ouachita and Morehouse parishes.

1) Please call to schedule an appointment to meet with a member of the DA's office. Get contact information at 4thda.org.

Ouachita: 318-388-4720
Morehouse: 318-291-4907
Juvenile: 318-327-3415

2) For traffic matters in Monroe, please enter on the St. John side of the building. Please maintain social distancing. Due to the volume of traffic tickets, we encourage the public to email traffic@4thda.org or call 388-4448 for questions.

3) The DA's office is accepting payment for tickets approved for the diversion program. All other tickets should be paid through the Ouachita Parish or Morehouse Parish Sheriff's Office.

4) Many matters had to be rescheduled due to the closure of the courts. Re-set Notices were sent to the address on your traffic citation or bond. The most recent order will contain your current court date. If you are unsure of your court date, check with your attorney or call the DA's office.

To facilitate the expansion of operations at the Fourth Judicial District Court in the midst of this public health crisis in a way that protects the health and safety of the public and of everyone at our Court facilities, while at the same time to the extent possible provide additional access to the Court; and to provide guidance to the public and all who access the Court during this time of transition to more normal operations, the following has been implemented:


  • Everyone, including all court personnel and the public, shall wear a CDC recommended face covering while in the courtroom. Everyone should bring their own face covering with them to court;
  • Each courtroom will be provided with hand sanitizer and/or wipes; however, everyone is encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer as well for their personal use;
  • The maximum number of persons in all proceedings will be limited within each courtroom at any one time to ensure proper social distancing is accomplished;
  • Court proceedings will be scheduled each day in such a way so as to promote social distancing;

The Court has issued detailed Orders explaining how matters will be handled during this transitional period, as well as additional in-court protocols to be followed. (These Orders and additional information can be found on this Court’s website at www.4jdc.com). If anyone has fever, shortness of breath, chills and/or flu like symptoms, or believes they may have COVID-19, they should not come to the courthouse but instead notify their attorney of their condition or, if they don’t have an attorney, the agency or entity that has summoned them to appear at court so that their appearance can be rescheduled.

City of West Monroe

WEST MONROE REOPENING

In response to Governor John Bel Edwards’ recent announcement for Louisiana to enter Phase 1 of coronavirus reopening, the City of West Monroe has made the following changes to its city buildings and facilities:


  • Beginning on Monday, May 18, City Hall will be open to the public.
  • Beginning on Monday, May 18, the City’s Water Billing Department, located on the first floor of City Hall, will be open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Kiroli Park will remain open to the public and beginning this Thursday, May 14, the park’s hours will be extended from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. The following park amenities will remain closed: all playgrounds and water fountains.

Restoration Park and restroom facilities will also be open.

  • Both the lobby of the West Monroe Police Department and administrative offices of the West Monroe Fire Department will re-open to the public, beginning on Monday, May 18.
  • The Ike Hamilton Expo Center and West Monroe Convention Center will open, with limited capacity for events, beginning on Monday, May 18. Contact either facility for information on availability.
  • The West Monroe Farmer’s Market will open to the public on Monday, May 18. The Farmer’s Market will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays. For information about the Farmer’s Market, call (318) 322-2203.
  • The West Ouachita Public Transit will remain available to the public. Call (318) 397-3299 for more information about the Transit System.
  • The West Ouachita Senior Center and The Rec will remain closed to the public at this time.

West Monroe Mayor Staci Mitchell has continued to stress to all city departments to take extra precautions to disinfect public facilities, practice social distancing and not gather in large groups. The public is strongly encouraged to use proper hygiene and follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Under Governor Edwards’ Phase 1 reopening plan, many businesses and churches will be able to open at 25 percent capacity. Business owners and church leaders are encouraged to obtain their building square footage. One source for obtaining that information is the Ouachita Parish Tax Assessor’s office at www.opassessor.com. Businesses are also encouraged to register at www.opensafely.la.gov

For additional questions regarding buildings within the City of West Monroe, contact the West Monroe Fire Department at (318) 397-0758.

“As our community enters Phase 1 of reopening, we encourage our business owners to follow the guidelines outlined by Governor John Bel Edwards,” said Mayor Mitchell. “We look forward to businesses and churches reopening in a safe manner and ask the public to continue to be patient and shop responsibly.”

Additional updates from the City of West Monroe can be found online at www.westmonroe.com or www.facebook.com/CityofWestMonroe

Office of Motor Vehicles

Beginning Monday, May 18, 2020, the Office of Motor Vehicles will begin providing limited office services at eleven locations across the state. The limited services include the issuance/renewal of driver licenses and/or identification cards, ordering a duplicate title, renewing vehicle registrations, and title transfers.

Customers are urged to continue utilizing the OMV website at www.expresslane.org for available online services such as driver license renewals, identification card renewals, official driving records, and duplicate registrations.

Customers are also encouraged to check their driver license status by visiting www.expresslane.org regarding flags, blocks, suspensions or disqualifications. If a customer has flags on their record, they must clear those flags prior to obtaining any OMV services.

These limited services will begin in a phased approach at the following locations:

Alexandria
Baton Rouge – Independence Blvd
Harvey
Houma
Lafayette
Lake Charles
Livingston
Mandeville
Monroe
New Orleans – Veterans Hwy
Shreveport

Please be aware that Facial Coverings (customers must bring their own) and Social Distancing are strongly encouraged at all locations for all OMV customers. In addition, offices will be complying with the 25% occupancy capacity during Phase One of Louisiana Re-opening.

If customers are seeking reinstatements, these will only be provided via phone, mail or a Public Tag Agency. Those customers seeking reinstatements must use one of the following options, with no exceptions.

OMV Call Center:

225-925-6146 – Option #3 (Call Center is already open to provide assistance)
OMV Mail Center:
P.O. Box 64886
Baton Rouge, La. 70896

Contact your local PTA to ensure they can provide the reinstatement service you need.

For an up to date and complete listing of all open OMV locations and PTA offices, please visit our website at https://offices.omv.la.gov/.

Ouachita Parish Public Library

Two Ouachita Parish Public Library branches will reopen to the public with modified hours on Monday, May 18. The Main Branch (located at 1800 Stubbs Avenue in Monroe) and the Ouachita Valley Branch (located at 601 McMillan Road in West Monroe) will operate under the State Fire Marshal’s Open Safely guidelines. Modified hours are 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday – Saturday until further notice.

The Library will not charge late fines on items due from March 20 – June 30, 2020. Book drops are open for patrons to return materials, but there is no rush to return items immediately. Returned items will be quarantined for 3 days before staff checks them in and reshelves them.

To serve as many patrons as possible throughout the day, the maximum time available to each person in the Library is one hour per day.

To safely serve the public, the Library will:


  • Operate at 25 percent occupancy,
  • Distance tables and chairs,
  • Quarantine returned items for 3 days before reshelving them,
  • Install sneeze shields,
  • Require staff to wear masks,
  • Clean high touch surfaces.

Patrons are encouraged to:

  • Download e-books and e-audiobooks on the cloudLibrary and Hoopla apps,
  • Designate one member of the household to visit the Library to check out all items for that household,
  • Wear masks to protect staff members and other patrons,
  • Follow safety guidelines and staff directives,
  • Place items on hold instead of browsing. To place an item on hold, patrons can log in to their online account at www.oplib.org or in the Library’s Stacks app. Additionally, patrons can call the Main Branch (318.327.1490) or Ouachita Valley Branch (318.327.1470) to place items on hold.