City, townships preparing to re-open offices to the public
Grayling Charter Township to open on May 21, City of Grayling and Lovells Township announce June 1 as planned date for re-opening offices
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
Grayling Charter Township will re-open its office to the public on Thursday, May 21, but the township will be requiring everyone who enters the facility to wear a face covering, officials said.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s current Safer At Home Order – “temporary requirement to suspend certain activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life” – does not expire until May 28, but Grayling Charter Township Lacey Stephan III said his office is ready to re-open.
Stephan said the township board took an informal poll and decided “it’s time.” Stephan said the township will adhere to social distancing regulations and it will require masks for employees and for anyone entering the facility. He said people must bring their own face coverings; the township will not provide masks.
“They will have to wear a mask to be able to enter, otherwise they will not be allowed,” Stephan said. “Anybody who enters township hall will have to wear a mask.”
Stephan said the township will limit members of the public inside to three at one time during normal hours. For meetings – township board, zoning board, planning commission – Stephan said the township will limit public participation to eight at one time, and officials will cycle other people through and rotate as needed to allow anyone who wants to participate in a meeting to do so.
Stephan said Grayling Charter Township is also re-opening its recycling center and making changes to its compactor procedures.
During the initial stay-home orders in Michigan, the township reduced its compactor site to one lane instead of two and required distances between vehicles. Now, both lanes will be open again and compactor use will be “basically back to normal,” Stephan said. Large items and yard debris will be accepted again, he said.
The recycling center, located at the compactor site on North Down River Road, will also re-open on May 21, but since it is an enclosed area, it will have limitations. Masks are required to be worn inside the recycling center facility.
“In order to go through and bring your recycling you will have to wear a mask,” Stephan said.
Stephan said recycling center workers will not have contact with people bringing in material. People will have to remove the recyclables from their vehicles and place them on the table at the facility.
Stephan asks that people do not bring in their whole stockpile of recyclables at one time in order to avoid delays and back-ups.
“Do not bring it in all at once. You need to bring in a reasonable amount with you,” Stephan said.
The Grayling Township Park will remain closed, Stephan said.
The City of Grayling will re-open its offices in June, city officials said. People entering the facility must wear face coverings.
“The city will re-open Monday, June 1. Per the governor’s protocols, we will require visitors to be wearing masks when entering city hall,” said Doug Baum, Grayling City Manager/Police Chief.
Lovells Township is also planning to re-open on June 1. According to township officials, Lovells will provide personal protective equipment (PPE) if necessary.
“We will require masks and limit gatherings per the governor’s orders. We will practice social distancing and have masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer available at the door for those who arrive without the PPE,” said Cynthia Infante-Inman, Lovells Township Clerk.
The township is getting ready for meetings and for the upcoming election.
“We hope to have our first board meeting since March on June 3, at 10 a.m. unless the Governor extends the order,” Infante-Inman said. “We anticipate an increase in absentee ballot applications for the August primary election as many voters are hesitant to go out in public. We will be practicing all safety guidelines/protocols as per the Bureau of Elections on Election Day.”
The official websites for Frederic Township, Beaver Creek Township, and South Branch Township, as of Monday, May 18, state that their offices are closed “until further notice.” A message on the Maple Forest Township website says its office will be closed “until the governor clears the ‘stay in place’ order.”