City of Dillon services continue

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

City Hall in Dillon remains shuttered to members of the public through at least April 3, over concerns about the spread of the new, potentially deadly coronavirus.

“We’re still functioning as a city,” Mayor Mike Klakken told the Dillon Tribune. “We just don’t have the doors open to City Hall.”

City employees remain working behind those locked doors or out in the field to keep the city’s essential services flowing.

Though some of those services are flowing through alternative channels or with other modifications.

Water & Sewer Department

“They are still out there on the job, doing it as usual,” said the mayor of the members of the city’s Water & Sewer Department crew, “but they are trying to minimize their contact with other people.”

City ratepayers experiencing problems with their water and/or sewer service can report emergencies during weekday business hours by calling 683-4245 or after hours and on weekends by dialing 406-660-4245.

People looking to pay their water bills should forego trying to come inside City Hall to do so and instead put a check in an envelope to slide through the mail slot next to the front door of City Hall at 125 N. Idaho St. Or they can use the city’s online option to pay the bill by going to the city’s website (www.dillonmt.org) and clicking on the Water/Sewer tab and then on the link entitled “Pay Water-Sewer Bill online.”

Street & Alley Department

Much like their peers on the Water & Sewer Department, members of the city’s Street & Alley crew remain on the job. They will be repairing frost heaves in front of the ambulance barn on South Atlantic Street this week, according to the mayor But anyone with an emergency request can call 683-4245.

City Bus

The free city bus remains in operation for seniors and other needy folks during its usual weekday hours of 8 a.m. to noon, and 1–5 p.m. But bus service will be limited on all five weekdays to people heading to and from medical appointments and to get prescription drugs. The bus will also transport people for grocery shopping, but only on Mondays and Tuesdays. To arrange for a pickup, just call 406-660-4247 by 4:30 p.m.

Dillon Public Library

Like City Hall, the city’s public library will lock its doors to walk-in traffic through April 3, but remain staffed during regular library hours. All library events have been postponed until further notice.

People without computers and Internet access who need to file for unemployment or other government benefits may still use the library’s free computers—but must call ahead to 683-4544 to arrange to be let in the locked front door, with only one person allowed into the facility at a time, according to Library Director Lori Roberts (who advises that no social media access will be allowed).

Library patrons may also call to renew books they have already checked out and are coming due, with only limited new checkouts offered.

“We are really trying to promote our online stuff right now,” said Roberts, referring to numerous free options open to library cardholders—such as free magazines from RBdigital Magazines and hundreds of online courses with credits through Universal Class.

To access those options, go to the library’s homepage online at www.dillonpubliclibrary.org and click on the Services Available tab.

That will also offer you a link to more information about the free Seed Library that will continue distributing seeds via a new sort of service available to library cardholders during the shutdown.

“We pulled out all the seeds that need to be planted now,” said Roberts of some lettuces and other plants that need to get started in early spring.

“People can send me an email or call the library to arrange for us to package the seeds they want, and they can come by later to pick them up,” explained Roberts.

Parks

City parks will remain open, but the city is at the four parks that feature playground equipment (Ibeyville, Westside, Jaycee and Vigilante parks), advising kids, parents and guardians of the potential dangers of contracting the coronavirus by using them.

City Court

The Dillon City Court has probably, by necessity, altered its operations more than any other city institution due to the current crisis over the new coronavirus.

The city court will postpone by 30 days all criminal jury trials scheduled to happen before May 4, with all deadlines in previous Trial Schedule Orders also continued for 30 days, per a March 21 administrative order from City Court Judge Kaylan Minor.

Numerous other temporary alterations in court procedures have also been made out of respect for the continuing public health crisis. To view them all, see the administrative order posted on the front door of the city court near the corner of Idaho and Center streets or go to the city’s website (www.dillonmt.org) and click on the City Court tab in the left column on the homepage and then on the link to “City Court Administrative Order” that appears about halfway down the City Court page.