ITHACA, N.Y. –– The Town of Ithaca has announced plans to reopen Town Hall for some in-person services beginning next week, with a few new rules.

Beginning Tuesday, May 26 the Ithaca Town Hall will be open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. All visitors must wear a mask when entering the building, which the town will make available for those who do not already have one. Residents must also use hand sanitizer as you enter the building, which will be provided, as well as answering three coronavirus screening questions.

Movement through Town Hall service areas will be one-way with entering through the Town Clerk’s door and exiting through the boardroom door.  Waiting lines will be marked on the floor and visitors will have to adhere to a 6-foot minimum separation.  Staff will sanitize counter surfaces after each transaction and call the next person to the counter.

This soft opening will continue for two weeks while town officials assess the efficiency and adherence to the health and safety precautions in place.  If all goes well, town hall will be able to move to the next phase and open normal hours the week of June 8 with the health and safety precautions remaining in place and any additional measures deemed necessary.

Town Court remains closed to the public. Town Court falls under the jurisdiction of the New York State Unified Court System. Some administrative work has begun, but significant restrictions remain –– hearings and public access have not restarted.

Water bills coming out June 1 can be returned using the drop box and mail for payments to reduce traffic during the phased reopening.

Public Works Facility remains closed to the public due to construction and the lack of space in the administrative offices to implement health and safety precautions efficiently.  Access to brush/leaf/mulch pickup/drop off continues.

People are encouraged to continue to submit codes department applications via email.  The majority of the Codes staff will remain working off-site with one inspector and one administration person in the office.  You can continue to contact the department with questions or to schedule inspections by calling 273-1783 option 2 or via email. The message will be forwarded to the appropriate person and someone will respond as soon as possible.

No inspections will be scheduled until a Business Safety Plan affidavit is received by the Codes Department.

Inspections will be conducted in accordance with Town of Ithaca Codes Department policy, pursuant to the Governor’s executive orders. Please refer to the Codes Department website for current department processes and policies.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at alamb@ithacavoice.com