Phase 1 reopening is underway in Sherwood
With Phase 1 of the COVID-19 reopening in Washington County now in full swing, Sherwood, too, has reopened several of its city service counters, and the city government is also providing assistance to help local restaurants get back on their feet.
"We reopened on June 1," said Sherwood City Manager Joe Gall. "We reopened our police service window at the police station, our utility billing service window from Public Works and our community development service counter (planning, building and engineering) here at City Hall."
Still, those services are working on shortened hours — weekdays from 8 a.m. to noon.
As of this week, city services that are still closed include the city library, municipal court counter, the senior center, the fieldhouse and the Sherwood Center for the Arts.
While the city is beginning to hold municipal court arraignments at the Sherwood Center for the Arts, only those who have received city citations and have been notified by the court system are allowed in.
"That started this week (June 8), and that will continue until the end of the month, and the reason we're doing that is because we have a backlog of citations to get through," said Gall. The court has 2,000 citations it needs to process, he said.
At the moment, the court counter is not open to the general public to pay tickets, said Gall, although he noted the counter will likely reopen to the public on July 1.
While the Sherwood Public Library is still closed, Gall said residents who are contacted by the library are able to pick up books they have on hold curbside at the Sherwood Public Library, similar to what's being done by other city libraries in the county who are part of the Washington County Cooperative Library Services.
At the same time, Gall said if the county goes to Phase 2, something the state would have to approve with a likely implementation date of June 22 or later, park playgrounds would be reopened as well. (City parks themselves never closed, and the Snyder Park Dog Park and tennis courts, along with the Sherwood Skate Park at the YMCA, reopened on May 23.)
"We'll reopen our playgrounds with new rules put together by the state and we will reopen our two athletic fields at Snyder Park," he said.
Meanwhile, in an effort to give city restaurants a boost, the city has begun Sherwood Al Fresco, an open air dining concept in Old Town Sherwood where some of city streets and sidewalks have been reserved for outside dining and seating.
To help out with pedestrian traffic going to and from the restaurants, Sherwood officials have closed off Railroad Street between Washington and Pine streets until Sept. 8. That has resulted in Rallison Cellars, 501 Uncorked and Mason Italian Restaurant extending their restaurant footprints.
"There are tents now in the middle of the street," Gall said. "Restaurants and wine bars are in the public right-of-way or on sidewalks. They've been very, very popular. Things are going great."
Fat Milo's, also on Washington Street, has built a rear patio and is placing tables on the sidewalk while Smockville Brewhouse has extended its outside seating into the city-owned plaza. Also, Clancy's Pub and Restaurant is using its already-in-place outside patio seating for customers.
Gall said he believes Sherwood was one of the first city's in the region to provide such accommodations for restaurants, with Sherwood Al Fresco having opened on June 3. The majority of those restaurants take reservations for outside seating, he pointed out.
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