Hermiston to Limit Access to Council Meetings; Livestream Available

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Monday's Hermiston City Council meeting, which will be held at the Eastern Oregon Trade & Event Center, will have a limited number of chairs for the public, but will be available live online. (File photo)

The public will be encouraged to watch Hermiston City Council meetings online rather than in person, according to guidelines the city is following in light of the spread of the coronavirus.

The city announced on Friday that it will adjust access to city facilities and city council meetings beginning Monday, March 23.

City staff will continue to work on site, but residents are asked to call and make an appointment for any service. To schedule an appointment, call the number below:

  • For City Hall or Planning Department, call 541-567-5521
  • For the Building Department, call 541-667-5025
  • For Parks and Recreation, call 541-667-5018
  • For the Police Department (non-emergency), call 541-567-5519
  • For the Hermiston Library, call 541-567-2882
  • For the Municipal Court, call 541-567-6610

The Hermiston City Council will hold its regular meeting Monday, March 23 at the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center, 1705 E. Airport Road, Hermiston. The facility will allow for online video broadcast and dial-in phone access to residents wishing to participate remotely while following public gathering and social distancing guidelines.

A limited number of chairs will be available for citizens to view the meeting in person, but an overflow room will be made available with audio and video access to the meeting.

The council meeting will be broadcast at https://bit.ly/HermistonYouTube following the meeting. The meeting will also be streamed live on the city’s Facebook page. Thanks to a partnership with Amazon Web Services and the Amazon Chime platform, citizens can listen to the meeting by phone or offer comment remotely by dialing 1-206-462-5569 and using the code 8262-77-4726. External phone lines will be muted except during public comment periods.

City officials said these temporary measures are to protect the health of city staff and citizens. Residents who are sick are asked to contact their health care provider and avoid public places. Offices will resume normal operations on April 14, pending further state or federal direction.

“Just as many businesses have limited their contact with customers to stop the spread of coronavirus, the city of Hermiston is taking precautions to stay in compliance with state and federal guidelines,” said Hermiston City Manager Byron Smith. “We will continue to operate and meet the needs of residents, and we appreciate everyone doing their part to keep this community safe.”

Bill payment can be made through Express Bill Pay at https://hermiston.or.us/pay_home, over the phone at 541-567-5521, or at the drive-through drop box outside the old city hall. The city will also provide a temporary payment window at the rear entrance to the temporary city hall.

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