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Mayor Purzycki Says Wilmington’s Government is Open and Operating in Accordance with Governor Carney’s Latest Directive

Post Date:03/23/2020 1:30 PM

The City is providing essential services; many employees are working from home; specialized positions like police, fire, sanitation, and water/sewer remain at their positions; City suspends many enforcement actions

Mayor Mike Purzycki said today that City government is continuing to operate with essential services in place, which is in accordance with the latest directive issued by Delaware Governor John Carney on Sunday but effective on Tuesday. The Mayor said local governments are doing their best to keep necessary services in place while being mindful of the need to enable employees to work from home whenever possible. In Wilmington, services operating without interruption include police, fire, sanitation for trash and recycling collections, water systems and sewer and wastewater services, along with limited services from the Department of Finance.
 
The Mayor is asking City residents and businesses to call 302.576.2620 for any question, concern or service request, or to log onto the City’s website at WilmingtonDE.gov for information or to request a City service. Mayor Purzycki is asking the public NOT to enter government buildings unless necessary, which will protect both the public and City employees.
 
Service and Program Suspensions
Mayor Purzycki announced today that in addition to the City suspending Sheriff Sales and water disconnections for delinquencies, the City will also suspend neighborhood street cleaning that was to begin April 1 so residents, many of whom are working from home, do not have to move their vehicles to accommodate street cleaning equipment. The City has also suspended ticketing, booting and towing except for serious infractions such as blocking fire hydrants, intersections and driveways. The Mayor also repeated his earlier directive that parking enforcement is suspended for metered parking as well as limited-time parking in neighborhoods. The Mayor said another step being taken to make life more manageable during the coronavirus crisis is to delay the April 15 filing for net profits taxes until July 15, which coincides with the federal government's decision to delay personal tax filing day to July 15.
 
Mayor Purzycki said Public Works Commissioner Kelly Williams has been authorized to suspend special trash pickups until further notice. Commissioner Williams said the City will still be on the alert for illegal dumping and will act accordingly.

Please Don’t Flush Sanitation/Baby Wipes and Other Heavier Paper Materials in the Toilet
The Public Works Department is also asking residents not to flush sanitation wipes and other heavier paper materials down the toilet, even if the package states they are flushable. While the concern about “flushable” wipes is not new to wastewater facilities, there is an increased risk to the City’s system due to the current shortage of toilet paper. Please pay extra attention items you are flushing and don’t flush anything other than toilet paper, whether being used for personal hygiene purposes or for wiping and cleaning surfaces. Items that should not be flushed down sewer lines include:

  • Paper towels
  • Napkins
  • Wet wipes/baby wipes
  • Facial tissues

WPD Request About 911
The Wilmington Police Department is asking the public to use 911 for emergencies only. The department is reporting that 911 is being used frequently by the public to ask questions about which businesses are open and other non-emergency inquiries.
 
Daily Meal Distribution and Respite for the Homeless
The City’s daily distribution of meals to children and teenagers continues today. Mayor Purzycki and City Parks and Recreation Department Director Kevin F. Kelley, Sr. said the number of meals distributed has been increasing from the original estimate of around 1,000 a day to a Friday high of 2,600 meals. In addition, on Saturday the City, with support from the office of County Executive Matthew Meyer, opened two respite locations for homeless individuals so they can freshen up during this period when other facilities have closed or are not available. Porta potties and wash stations have been installed at the parking lot of the Episcopal Church of Sts. Andrew and Matthew on Orange Street between 7th and 8th Streets, and at St. Patrick’s Center on 14th Street between King and French Streets.
 
The Mayor said the City will continue to monitor City services and act when warranted to ease the burden on the public during this period when everyone is doing their best to cope with the effects of the coronavirus crisis. “We will get through this pandemic, but we have to stay together and support each other to meet the challenges we have and the ones we don’t know about yet,” said the Mayor. “Please know that at whatever level we must operate in City government, we will do it with as much excellence and efficiency as we can muster.”

COMMUNITY AND MEDIA INQUIRIES

John Rago
Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Communications
Mobile: (302) 420-7928
Email: jrago@WilmingtonDE.gov

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