Mansfield municipal building

MANSFIELD -- Mansfield Mayor Tim Theaker, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, has declared a state of emergency for the city, which will close the downtown municipal building to the public.

"This is unprecedented times for the nation, state and the City of Mansfield. Pursuant to the actions taken by the Governor of the State of Ohio, to combat the COVID-19 virus, I am declaring a 'State of Emergency' for the City of Mansfield," Theaker said in a press release Friday afternoon.

Mansfield is the county seat of Richland County, which announced its first positive test for coronavirus on Thursday.

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As of Monday at 7:30 a.m., the municipal building will be closed to the general public, except for necessary court matters which must be handled through the Park Avenue East entrance, the mayor said.

He said residents who have hard documents that need to be delivered should use the departmental drop boxes located in the first-floor police department lobby, located from the parking lot at Third and Adams streets.

Theaker encouraged email or phone communication to conduct business.

The mayor said the City will no longer shut off water services as a result of payment delinquency.

Citizens should continue to make their payments either online, through the Utility Office drive-through window or the drop box, both are located on the west side of the building. The Utility Collection Office lobby is closed to the general public until further notice.

The Mansfield Fire Department is also closed to the general public. Only full-time fire personnel are permitted in the stations. First-floor access to the police department will remain unchanged.

In case of emergency call 911. For assistance with non-emergencies, call 419-522-1234.

The Mansfield City Income Tax Division is closed to the public. Residents are encouraged to mail their tax forms to the City of Mansfield Income Tax Division. Director Linn Steward previously issued a press release outlining the tax division closure guidelines.

City parks remain open to the public except for the enclosed pavilions, which are closed until further notice. Citizens are urged to follow the State of Ohio guidelines on group gatherings.

The mayor said the city encourages everyone, including city employees to practice safe hygiene.

"Rest assured the city will continue to provide essential services as can be performed," Theaker said.

City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when the page was blank?"