In compliance with the local, state and national guidelines and to ensure safety, all MCTX public meetings will be held virtually until the COVID-19 pandemic is contained. This will include, but will not necessarily be limited to upcoming City Council, Planning & Zoning Commission and Parks Board meetings.
“The well-being of residents and staff is our top priority, and we are fortunate to have the resources and capacity to switch to this new format,” said Mayor Yolanda Ford. “Staff has worked diligently to make this happen, and I believe this audio arrangement will be a technological success in our City. These proactive measures being taken will help ensure that we move our City forward in the most efficient and safe way possible.”
This new set-up will still allow every aspect featured in an MCTX public meeting to take place in a virtual structure. For instance, those individuals who would like to address the body during a public meeting, can now submit their comments prior to the meeting. Once the comment is submitted before the given time, staff will then notify the commenter that his or her comments have been received and will be shared with the body by staff at the meeting.
City teams are continuously testing the procedures and training the appropriate parties to ensure a smooth implementation. The first meeting that will be held virtually is the Special City Council meeting on Monday, March 30.
As the process is being finalized, staff would like to remind residents and stakeholders of these key tips for the upcoming virtual meeting:
- Anyone who would like to address elected and appointed officials during the meeting, must submit their requests/comments online by 4 p.m. on the day of the meeting via this link: https://bit.ly/39pw73Q.
- If you do not have online access, please call the City Secretary’s office at 281.403.8686.
- Citizens may watch the public meetings live via this City website link: www.missouricitytx.gov/780/MCTV.
- For details on meeting agendas, supporting documents and other information, visit this City website link: www.missouricitytx.gov/369/Agendas-Minutes-Videos.
“In maintaining the balance of employee health and City operations, we’re committed to moving City meetings to a virtual format until such time they can resume in Council Chambers,” said Interim City Manager Bill Atkinson. “This innovative virtual initiative allows us to continue to serve the residents in a safe format.”
As a reminder, Fort Bend County’s “Stay Home to Save Lives” order went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, March 25 and will run through 11:59 p.m. Friday, April 3. Harris County issued a similar order “Stay Home, Work Safe” on March 24 and it is also effective through April 3. Both orders mandate that citizens:
- Stay home at their place of residence
- Leave their residences only for essential activities
- Follow social distancing of at least six feet if using outdoor spaces like parks and grocery stores
The orders also:
- Prohibit all public or private gatherings of any number of people outside a single household or living unit
- Close all businesses other than those that fall under essential businesses which includes, but are not limited to, healthcare operations, government functions, critical functions and retail stores. See a few examples listed below:
- Hospitals and clinics, pharmacies, healthcare suppliers, blood banks, laboratory services and veterinary care.
- Daycares that provide support for essential employees will remain open.
- Food service providers, including grocery stores, warehouse stores, big-box stores, liquor stores, gas stations and convenience stores, farmers’ markets that sell food products and household staples.
- Food cultivation, including farming, fishing, and livestock; and businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences.
- Banks, hardware stores and other essential businesses are also listed in the county’s order.
- Allow restaurants to continue to provide take out, delivery, or drive-thru services.
- Permit religious and worship centers to provide video or teleconference services and limit certain staff to 10 people or less.
To ensure the safety of our employees and residents, Missouri City implemented changes in operations and closed City facilities, including Municipal Court; the Recreation & Tennis Center; and the City Hall Complex, which includes the front lobby, Inspections & Permits, Human Resources & Organizational Development and the Community Center. For more details, view the City’s comprehensive news release here: https://bit.ly/3bwUcY7.
Residents who participate in the Municipal Solid Waste and Recycling Program are still on schedule to receive pickups. If your trash is not picked up by 7 p.m., please contact WCA customer service at 281.403.5800.
To help ensure that social distancing is implemented in MCTX neighborhoods, some Homeowners Associations have closed amenities and cancelled upcoming events/meetings. For more details on these updates, contact your HOA. Residents may get details on their HOA and property managers, by visiting the City website, via this link: http://bit.ly/2QoGkH2.
As the financial impact of this pandemic is already being felt around the world, some City utilities are providing delayed billing and waiving late fees. CenterPoint customers should contact the utility provider directly regarding service issues.
In addition both Harris and Fort Bend Counties have placed temporary suspensions of eviction within their jurisdictions. For additional details contact the Justice of Peace courts.
Businesses looking for resources during the shutdown may contact the Small Business Administration (SBA) at 1800-659-2955. Businesses may also visit their website at www.sba.gov.
Additionally, businesses are encouraged to contact their mortgage companies and/or landlords to ask about options available to you during this time.
To learn more about the effects of COVID-19 and the importance of social distancing, click this link: https://covidactnow.org/state/TX.
For more updates and news, please watch the City website: www.missouricitytx.gov, like us on Facebook—fb/MissouriCityTX, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat—@MissouriCityTX and Nextdoor, watch Missouri City Television (Ch. 16 on Comcast and Ch. 99 on AT&T U-verse) or download the MCTX Mobile app (available for free in Google Play and the Apple app store).