City offices reopening to the public Monday
Morganton City Hall and City offices will reopen to the public on Monday, September 21.
While City offices are reopening to the public, COVID-19 still poses a threat to all of our health and safety. If you are entering a City building, we ask that you please wear a mask, stay six feet apart from other people, and frequently wash and sanitize your hands.
Protective measures have been put in place inside City Hall to help keep our employees and citizens safe. Markers have been placed on the floor throughout the building in high-traffic areas to designate how far apart people should be from each other. Plexiglass barriers are in place at our business counters to minimize droplet spread of COVID-19.
City recreation facilities are reopening to the public under a modified schedule and capacity limitations. In accordance with Gov. Roy Cooper’s Executive Orders, playing basketball is not allowed in any City recreation facility. Recreation facility hours are as follows:
- Morganton Aquatic Center: Monday – Thursday, 6am to 7:30pm; Friday, 6am to 5pm; Saturday, 8am to 1pm; Closed Sunday. A maximum of 25 people will be allowed inside the facility at any time. Masks must be worn, unless you are swimming.
- Collett Street Recreation Center: Monday, 9am to 8pm; Tuesday, 9am to 6pm; Wednesday, 9am to 5pm; Thursday, 9am to 8pm; Friday, 9am to 5pm; Saturday, 9am to 8pm; Closed Sunday. A maximum of 10 people will be allowed inside any room in the facility at any time. Masks must be worn at all times, even if you are exercising or working out. A maximum of 10 people will be allowed inside the weight room at one time. The weight room will be open 8am to 8 pm, Monday through Friday, 12pm to 8 pm Saturday, and closed Sundays.
- Mountain View Recreation Center: Monday, 9am to 9pm; Tuesday, 9am to 8pm; Wednesday, 9am to 5pm; Thursday, 9am to 8pm; Friday, 9am to 5pm; Saturday, 12pm to 8pm; Closed Sunday. A maximum of 25 people will be allowed inside any room in the facility at any time. Masks must be worn, unless you are involved in strenuous activity.
The City encourages people to continue conducting business with the City online, by email and over the phone, in order to limit the number of people inside our buildings at any given time. By minimizing close contact between employees and citizens, we can all keep each other safe from the ongoing pandemic.
More information on conducting business over the phone, by email, and online can be found below.
- Citizens can make utility payments online at morgantonnc.gov. Payments can be made at our drop boxes located at the front entrance and back parking lot of City Hall, or by using our drive-thru. We will be accepting all forms of payment in our drive-thru. Please do not put cash in the drop boxes.
- Residents can apply for electric, water and sewer service by calling 828-438-5245 or by visiting morgantonnc.gov/index.php/government/finance/utilities
- Contractors can apply for building permits by calling 828-438-5266.
- Citizens can contact COMPAS at 828-438-5353 to connect new cable, internet and telephone service, or for technical assistance and service with cable, internet and telephone.
- You can view our job applications and apply online by visiting morgantonnc.gov/jobs.
“We are glad to be able to reopen our City facilities to the public, but would like to remind everyone that it takes all of us doing our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said City Manager Sally Sandy. “If you are entering a City building, wear a mask, keep your distance from other people, and wash and sanitize your hands frequently.”
Read below to see more information about the City's response to COVID-19 earlier this year.
Stay-at-home order in effect, City modifies operations
A stay-at-home order issued Friday by Gov. Roy Cooper takes effect, Monday, March 30, at 5 p.m., and will last for the next 30 days. This order was issued to slow the spread of COVID-19, and applies to all municipalities in North Carolina, including the City of Morganton.
Residents can still go to grocery and convenience stores, seek medicines or medical care, order take-out from restaurants, bike, hike and jog, care for loved ones in other households and tend to the needs of pets, but please do not go out in public unless it is absolutely necessary.
The order requires that anyone traveling for an essential purpose maintain six feet of distance from other people when in public, and prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people.
The executive order details which businesses and operations, as well as which types of travel, are considered essential. Employees of essential businesses will be allowed to continue to report to work for the duration of the stay-at-home order. A violation of the order is punishable as a class 2 misdemeanor. You can read the full executive order and list of essential businesses here: https://files.nc.gov/governor/documents/files/EO121-Stay-at-Home-Order-3.pdf.
“The most important things for citizens of Morganton to do now is stay home, do not go out in public unless you absolutely have to, and keep your distance from other people until this order is lifted,” said Mayor Ronnie Thompson. “If you or a member of your family is experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, you should not go out in public under any circumstances.”
Some City of Morganton employees continue to report to work to provide necessary City services, but additional changes have been made. Operations and projects are being evaluated to determine what functions will be ceased, reduced, or re-prioritized.
In an effort to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19, our employees are sheltering at home as much as possible, and practicing social distancing when reporting to work. Staffing levels and work schedules have been modified to minimize the number of people in City facilities and to encourage City employees to adhere to the order. Departments are placing employees on rotating schedules to decrease contact between employees and reduce the chances of spreading the virus. Additional emergency paid time off has been granted to all full time and permanent part time employees to help maintain earnings during the operational slowdown.
Citizens can rest assured they will still receive all essential City services. The City’s Utilities, Streets, Public Safety, and Sanitation departments all continue to operate as normal.
“We understand the inconvenience placed on citizens by this order, but we cannot stress its importance enough,” Thompson said. “We must all follow the rules created by the stay-at-home order in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. The more we all follow the order, the more likely it is we can get back to our normal routines sooner rather than later.”
We know the onset of COVID-19 brings a great deal of uncertainty with it, and creates many changes in our daily lives. The City is doing everything we can to ease the burden on our citizens and businesses, and to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Staff continue to work hard to carry out City business and deliver the same high quality services our citizens are accustomed to in this trying time. Together, we can get through this.
We ask everyone to keep our healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential employees on the front line of this crisis in their thoughts.
City declares State of Emergency, closes facilities to the public
In response to the recent declarations by Gov. Roy Cooper and the Federal government, and to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the City of Morganton has officially declared a state of emergency, effective, March 20, at 8 a.m. You can read the full text of the declaration here:
The declaration allows City Manager Sally Sandy to take proactive measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including altering how City services are delivered to residents.
Morganton City Hall will be closed to the public beginning at 5 p.m. today, March 20, 2020. City Hall will remain closed to the public until further notice. All City facilities will be closed to the public until further notice.
While City Hall is closed to the public, employees will still be working in City Hall. All business conducted with the City of Morganton shall be conducted via telephone, email, fax, or other virtual means to the greatest extent possible. City Hall will operate by appointment only during normal business hours for critical business that cannot be done online or over the phone.
The City of Morganton joins sister communities in the foothills and UniFour area in declaring the state of emergency.
- Citizens can make utility payments online at morgantonnc.gov. Payments can be made at our drop boxes located at the front entrance and back parking lot of City Hall, or by using our drive-thru. We will be accepting all forms of payment in our drive-thru. Credit card payments will be accepted over the phone while City Hall is closed to the public. Please do not put cash in the drop boxes.
- Residents can apply for water and sewer service by calling 828-438-5245 or by visiting morgantonnc.gov/index.php/government/finance/utilities
- Contractors should apply for building permits by calling 828-438-5266.
- Citizens should contact COMPAS at 828-438-5353 to connect new cable, internet and telephone service, or for technical assistance and service with cable, internet and telephone.
- Human Resources will be closed to walk-ins for job applications. View our job applications and apply online by visiting morgantonnc.gov/jobs.
- Emergencies – 911
- City Hall – 828-437-8863
- CoMMA – 828-433-SHOW
- COMPAS (Cable, Internet, Telephone) – 828-438-5353
- Electric Services (Power Outages) – 828-438-5277
- Inspections & Building Permits – 828-438-5266
- Main Street Office – 828-438-5252
- Morganton Community House – 828-438-5364
- New Electric, Water, Sewer Service Connection – 828-438-5245
- Public Works – 828-438-5248
- Parks & Recreation – 828-438-5350
- Public Safety (Non-Emergency) – 828-437-1211
- City Tax Office – 828-438-5242
- Utility/COMPAS Payments – 828-438-5245
- Water Resources (Water or Sewer shut-offs) – 828-437-5276
Citizens can reach the Burke County Health Department COVID-19 hotline by calling 828-764-9388. The North Carolina Statewide COVID-19 hotline can be reached by calling 1-866-462-3821.
CoMMA has canceled the remainder of its 34th season.
The City’s Utilities, Streets, Public Safety, and Sanitation departments all continue to operate as normal.
As this situation is fluid, please check back for updates on the City’s Facebook page, Twitter page and website.
Parks and Recreation reopening some facilities with restrictions, will hold July 4th fireworks show
As communities throughout our state begin to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Morganton Parks and Recreation Department is excited to provide citizens with something to look forward to by reopening some facilities and holding its popular annual fireworks show.
The City will reopen its pools and skeet range with restrictions in June, and will hold a fireworks show on Saturday, July 4, at Freedom Park. The Collett Street Recreation Center and Mountain View Recreation Center will remain closed to the public, per Executive Order 141.
“We are very glad we feel we can safely reopen some facilities and offer options for fun activities this summer, but this does not mean the pandemic is over,” said City of Morganton Parks and Recreation Director Rob Winkler. “People using these facilities, or attending the July 4th fireworks show, should be vigilant and adhere to guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.”
There will be strict rules in place to help keep our community safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19. The City will practice and enforce social distancing at all times. Throughout the day, multiple times per day, staff will clean and disinfect common areas, dressing rooms and other equipment at City facilities. If you plan to use City facilities or watch the fireworks show, you must adhere to the rules below.
JULY 4TH FIREWORKS
- Fireworks will be shot from Freedom Park.
- Freedom Park will be closed.
- This location should allow for a larger number of citizens to view the fireworks from safe parking areas. There are large amounts of parking available near Freedom Park.
- People should watch the fireworks from their cars while socially distancing themselves from surrounding groups.
- Due to restrictions, no concerts or festivities will be held, only a fireworks show.
COLLETT STREET POOL
- The City will open the Collett Street Pool on Saturday, June 13.
- The pool will be available for open swim only. The toddler pool will remain closed.
- Monday through Friday, swim sessions will be held from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
- On Saturdays, the pool will open from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. for lap swim. There will be two times for swim sessions after lap swim: 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
- On Sundays, the pool will be open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Only 60 people will be allowed at a time (based on square footage of the pool).
- There will not be any classes, lessons or parties allowed.
- There will not be any concessions offered. There will be a drink machine with water available. Outside food and drink is not allowed at the Collett Street Pool.
- Dressing rooms will only be used for washing hands and using the bathroom. Showering and changing clothes will not be allowed. Patrons must arrive and leave in their swim suits.
- Patrons will have to bring their own lounge chairs or a towel for the pool deck. We will enforce 6 feet of separation along the pool deck for groups that aren’t family.
- No summer passes will be available. Daily rates only. City resident rates are $2.75 for children, $4 for adults, and $3 for seniors. Non-City resident rates are $3.25 for children, $5 for adults, and $3.75 for seniors.
- Yearly memberships are prorated non-refundable.
- The Aquatic Center will open on Monday, June 8.
- The pool will only be open for classes and lap swim.
- There will be a max of 25 people allowed at any given time.
- The pool will only be open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- The Aquatics Center will be closed on weekends.
- No groups or parties will be allowed at this time.
- No summer passes will be available.
- Yearly memberships are prorated non-refundable.
- The Skeet Range will open on Saturday, June 13, and operate on normal hours Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
- Use will be limited to a maximum of 25 people at a time.
- City staff will be the only people allowed in the office. The building will be closed to the public.
- The City will provide a Porta John for participants to use while at the facility.
Collett Street outdoor pool closing for the season
The Collett Street outdoor pool will close for the season on Monday, August, 10. Its last full day of operation this year will be Sunday, August 9.
The pool is closing earlier than normal this year due to staffing shortages, as many part-time lifeguards employed for the summer season are required to quarantine themselves ahead of returning to school amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Without enough lifeguards, it is not safe to open the pool.
“We are very pleased that we were able to open at all this year. Obviously, our operations at the Collett Street pool looked much different amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and we appreciate everyone who came for being so understanding while we worked to provide a much-needed recreational activity in a safe manner,” said Parks and Recreation Director Rob Winkler. “We are tremendously thankful for the help we received from our lifeguards this year, and understand that they must take necessary steps to prepare themselves for their return to school.”
If you have any questions, please contact our Parks and Recreation Department at 828-438-5350.
City to open playgrounds, splash pads this weekend
In response to North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 163, the City’s Parks and Recreation Department will be opening its playgrounds, splash pads and park restrooms to the public tomorrow, Saturday, September 5. Splash pads will remain open through the month of September.
In order to safely reopen park amenities, the City will be sanitizing its parks and facilities daily, and utilizing a third party company to deep clean facilities that are in use.
The City would like to remind everyone that while recreation amenities are reopening, practicing the three W’s is still of the utmost importance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 — wear your mask, wash your hands, and wait at least six feet apart from other people.
The City continues to work through Gov. Cooper’s Executive Order to see if and when it will be safe to reopen other City facilities.
For more information, contact our Parks and Recreation Department at 828-438-5350.
Morganton Community House is open for business
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we all do business and go about our daily lives. But the Morganton Community House has adapted to these uncertain times, and understands that life must go on.
Even with restrictions put in place by the North Carolina State Government and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Morganton Community House has the ability within those guidelines to be open and is ready to serve you safely.
“We understand the importance of being safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we know that many people may be looking for a place to hold events and meetings while adhering to all necessary guidelines,” said Morganton Community House Business and Events Development Coordinator Becca Stephens. “We take the pandemic guidelines and regulations very seriously, and we would like to encourage people to reach out to us to hold their next meeting or event.”
The Morganton Community House has two large event rooms, and more than 3,000 square feet of event space where people can practice social distancing and safely get together. Morganton Community House staff sanitizes the venue before and after all meetings or events held there. As an additional safety precaution, Morganton Community House Staff wears masks at all times to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The venue has state-of-the-art technology, including built-in screens, projectors and sound systems, meaning everyone who attends your event or meeting will easily be able see and hear everything going on while keeping a safe distance from others. If you wish to have food during your event, the Morganton Community House has a full-service kitchen, and is able to serve meals to everyone in attendance.
If you wish to support the Morganton Community House, but do not feel comfortable meeting in a group setting, staff is able to bring lunch to your place of business. The Morganton Community House is also serving family takeout meals for dinner on Thursdays of each week.
For more information about holding your next meeting at the Morganton Community House, call 828-438-5364 today.