HBPW Response to COVID-19

03/30/2020

HBPW GAC Transition Update

03/30/2020 – IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HANNIBAL BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS GAC TRANSITION UPDATE

The Hannibal Board of Public Works has decided to delay the transition away from chloraminated water due to the COVID-19 outbreak that is affecting the nation.  This was not an easy decision to make at this juncture, but was made with the safety and health of the customers and staff in mind.  The Board of Directors is doing this out of an abundance of caution to protect the health of our staff and customers.  There is nothing we take more seriously than the public health of our community.

Since adoption of the Revised Proposition 1 Resolution in September 2017, HBPW staff, engineers and contractors have worked diligently to meet the April 1, 2020 deadline.  All involved were ready to show the results of their hard work as the system is ready to be put into operation on March 31, 2020.  The final step in this transition process is to turn off the Ammonia feed, this is simple and straightforward task.  Once this is completed additional testing will need to be completed both at the plant and out in the distribution system.  This will require additional staff to be at the water plant including outside contractors and consultants to assist with the transition.

Increased monitoring and change in water quality will require more staff to be in contact with the public, as well as other staff members.  These interactions could result in customers and staff being unnecessarily exposed to this potentially deadly virus.  However small the risk is, the Board of Directors felt that it was too much considering the current health crisis sweeping the nation and in light of the other precautions that are currently being implemented right here in Hannibal.  Again, the Board of Directors following the words of the Mayor is focusing on taking all necessary steps to protect our customers and staff, as a price cannot be placed on human lives.  HBPW staff must be kept healthy in order to continue to provide the citizens of Hannibal with essential services and to be able respond to unforeseen emergencies should they arise.

The Board of Directors will be closely monitoring the developments of this outbreak and conferring with others within the water industry and regulatory communities to determine a date when the transition can be safely made.  Once this decision is made, an announcement will be made.

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03/26/2020

Shelter in Place Guidelines

Please read the information below. In order for the spread of COVID-19 to decrease, we all need to do our part by abiding by the guidelines stated in the post from HPD.  Shelter in Place Guidelines

03/25/2020

HBPW Customer Service Video Message

The Hannibal Board of Public Works is committed to continue to provide our customers with utility services during this challenging time.  Please continue to reach out to our office if you have any questions or concerns.  573-221-8050.

Please watch this short video to learn of the various ways we continue to serve you even though our office is presently closed.  Customer Service Video Message

03/21/2020

For Immediate Release: Mayor’s Office Issues Recommendations to Protect Community from COVID-19

Hannibal, Missouri, March 23, 2020 – In addition to Missouri Governor Mike Parson’s order issued Saturday, March 21, 2020, the City of Hannibal Mayor’s office strongly recommends and is requesting the closure of all places of public gathering, public dining rooms, and social gatherings and any others with similar environments, effective at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 23, 2020.

Those businesses impacted by the Covid-19 virus should take advantage and seek assistance through the Small Business Administration by visiting their website at www.SBA.gov. or by visiting the Hannibal Chamber of Commerce or Hannibal Regional Economic Development Council’s Facebook pages to obtain a link to disaster loan assistance information and other up to date information from the SBA.

“We want to remind everyone that essential businesses and services will remain open, including: grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, drive through and curbside delivery and/or service. All essential city services will also continue, such as fire and police protection, as well as electric, water and sewer services and street and park repair and maintenance.  We encourage you to continue to practice social distancing when making necessary trips to these places,” said Mayor James Hark.

“This is not a decision I have taken lightly, but out of love for my community and its people, I felt this was a necessary measure to ensure that we may reduce the impact and exposure to Hannibal citizens,” Hark continued.

“We fully recognize that there will be economic impacts during these times, but we must look out for the safety and health of families. Based on the science and research data emerging regarding this virus, these steps are necessary to protect our citizens. We cannot put a price on human lives. The more we ALL adhere to these guidelines, the faster we may return to our everyday lives and routines.”

“Thank you for your support of each other during these difficult times,” said Hark. “Together we all can be the difference in our future success.”

Link to Mayor’s Video

03/18/2020

The Hannibal Board of Public Works (HBPW) continues to monitor the ever-changing events focused on COVID-19.  Our Management staff has been reviewing information from the local, state, and federal level on recommendations.  We have been in contact with utility groups like the American Public Power Association as well as the Missouri Public Municipal Alliance and are continuing to review their suggested methods to combat this illness.  The internal discussions have been challenging to say the least and our focus has been to continue to offer the best possible customer and essential services we can during this difficult time.  Management briefed our Board during last night’s Board meeting of these changes.

On 03/12/2020, HBPW Management created an Extreme Circumstances policy to outline potential changes to HBPW business practices.  The main priority of this policy is to ensure the continued safety to all customers and employees and provide continuity of critical utility services while safeguarding the HBPWs financial and operational assets.

As of 03/17/2020, the HBPW has placed a moratorium on utility service nonpayment disconnects until further notices.  At this time, no one can predict when this crisis will be over and we feel there is a definite need to allow customer to continue to have utility services.  We will give ample notice to our customers before we resume normal operations related to utility service nonpayment disconnects.

As of 4:30 PM 03/18/2020, the HBPW main office and other facilities will be closed to the public.  Our services are not shutting down.  Our office staff and field crews will still be working during normal hours at this time.  Customer Service Representatives will be available to answer any account related questions at 573-221-8050.  We will still be available for 24/7 emergency service issues at 573-221-0955.  In a continued effort to protect the health and well-being of both customers and staff, we are not allowing any employee to enter a residence or business unless there is a true emergency.  Our customer service department will be implementing an online method for account related services such as new customer enrollment or transfer of service.  Please be patient while we work through this process as it is a new approach for our staff.  They will be accessible through the website:  https://hannibalbpw.smarthub.coop.  Again please call with any questions.

The HBPW offers multiple ways to access account information which can be found on our website:  https://www.hannibalbpw.org/departments/customer-service/pay-your-bill/.  The payment location at City Hall will also be closed.  Both the main office and City Hall have secure drop boxes where payments can be delivered.  Payments will continue to be processed on a regular basis.  Customers will continue to receive regular and delinquent billing statements in order to allow customers to apply for any type of utility assistance moving forward, up-to-date statements are required at this time.

573-221-8050 or visit www.HANNIBALBPW.org or follow HBPW on Facebook or Twitter.

03/16/2020

In accordance with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), HBPW measures to prevent the spread of communicable diseases include additional cleaning and disinfecting of common high-touch surfaces as well as other hard and soft surfaces with EPA approved disinfectants, instructing our visitors and staff to use proper hand washing techniques, advising everyone to cover coughs and sneezes, as well as to avoid touching eyes, noses, and mouths.  We are encouraging anyone who exhibits signs of the illness or feels sick, to please stay at home and practice self-quarantine suggested procedures.

Please contact our office with any questions.

573-221-8050 or visit www.HANNIBALBPW.org or follow HBPW on Facebook or Twitter.

03/13/2020

The Hannibal Board of Public Works is continuing to follow the ever-changing news focused on #COVID-19. We are taking this pandemic very seriously. The main priority of our organization during extreme circumstances such as this is to ensure the continued safety to all customers and employees as well as providing continuity of critical utility services.

At this time, no one within our organization has been impacted by this virus. We have implemented additional cleansing methods within our office and customer service areas to do our part to combat this illness. In the unfortunate event this virus continues to spread across our area, we may implement additional measures. We are encouraging all customers to heed the warnings being posted from creditable sources and local medical professionals. If you are ill or someone within your home is ill or would like to reduce your public exposure, please reach out to our customer service department if you have any questions regarding your account. If you need to submit payment, please use one of our alternate methods list on our website: https://www.hannibalbpw.org/…/customer-servi…/pay-your-bill/.

Please continue to follow our social media posts or contact our office if you have any questions.