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Mayor urges positive outlook, precautions about coronavirus

Dear Editor,

We are currently living in unprecedented times and things are changing by the hour if not by the minute. Our lives have been altered by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and will continue to be for the unforeseeable future. City of Franklin personnel are meeting regularly to determine what is needed for our citizens and the community at large. Let me share with you an update on recent steps by the City to respond to the situation to assist in curbing the spread of COVID-19.

Effective March 17 at noon, City buildings were closed to the public through Friday, March 27. Services will continue to be provided to the citizens, but the general public will not be allowed in City buildings at this time without explicit permission.

Should you need to make a payment, please utilize the drop box in the City Hall parking lot or utilize the online payment options available at www.franklinva.com. Please continue to pay your bills as you are able. All cutoffs have been suspended at this time until Tuesday, April 7. This will be reevaluated as the situation evolves.

Should you need to reach a City Department please find their contact information on the City’s website.

With regards to Social Services, we have had a drop box installed at Franklin Social Services.

Emergency EBT Cards will be available by appointment where the head of the SNAP household will be allowed to enter the building, provide a copy of their identification, sign necessary paperwork, and receive the EBT card. SNAP interviews will be conducted via telephone. All other processing will be handled electronically. Should you need to apply for Medical Assistance only, please call 1-855-242-8282 or go online to www.coverva.org. Should you need general assistance from Social Services please call 1-855-635-4370 or go to www.commonhelp.virginia.gov.

Building inspections will continue on a limited basis. This information has been posted under the Community Development section of the City of Franklin website.

Courts are closed to the public now through Monday, April 6, except for emergency matters such as protective orders and juvenile matters where there are strict timelines for them to follow.

We are unable to complete fingerprint requests at the Franklin Police Department until further notice.

Employment

• The City of Franklin is hiring. Employment opportunities can be found by visiting the City of Franklin website.

• Please submit completed applications via email to jobs@franklinva.com or fax at 757-562-7982. If you are unable to email or fax your application, a drop box will be located in front of City Hall. The drop box will be checked daily.

The March 23 Franklin City Council meeting has been canceled. The March 26 work session with the School Board has been canceled.

While we appreciate your support of our public safety employees, we would ask that no food deliveries be made to those departments at this time.

We will continue to update the City of Franklin website and social media on a frequent basis. For general questions, please call 757-562-8503.

I realize that this virus has dramatically interrupted the normal activities of our families and has created multiple hardships for many. I encourage you to find a way to support our local businesses in any way that you can. We have proven our resiliency as a community, and now is the time for us to come together to support our families, friends, and neighbors. With a positive outlook and taking the recommended precautions, we can beat this together.

Please stay safe,

Frank M. Rabil

Mayor, City of Franklin