City of Bowman officials went to a video post on Facebook March 20 as a way to seek community help to fight the spread of the Corona virus (COVID-19), along with local shortages in food and supplies.
At a special meeting of the Bowman City Commission Friday, March 20, city commissioners made a public statement, which also announced a more restrictive contact between residents, city employees and officials.
“Southwest North Dakota is changing daily because of the Corona Virus pandemic.
“Even though there has not been a confirmed case here in Bowman County to date, our community is being impacted and is asked to help prevent the spread of the virus.
“The safety and well being of our community is of utmost importance to us. We are monitoring the situation very closely and are staying current with the information and the recommendations that is being provided to us by local, state and federal officials,” Lyn James, president of the city commission, said in a statement read to the video camera.
“With the rapid changes that are occurring, our city commissioners' response will escalate to help guide the community. We are following the recommended guidelines and are taking the precautionary measures to minimize contact by having our city offices open by appointment only,” she said, with other commissioners standing beside her.
“The city employees will continue to provide uninterrupted service behind closed doors as we do our part to prevent the potential spread of the virus. Most of the city services we provide can be address over the phone or via email to limit face-to-face contact.
“Customers are asked to use the phone, email or our drop box outside to conduct business. If a service can not be handled by one of those options, please call to set up an appointment in advance.
“Health and travel questions will be asked to approve the visit. For the protection of our customers and our employees, all surfaces will be wiped down prior to and following each visit.
“Here are the updates and changes to our services. We offer several options to pay your city utility bill. A drop box is located in the parking lot, on the east side of city hall. Payments can be made online at www.bowmannd.com,” the video statement explained. “You also may call the city to make a payment using your debit or credit card. That number is 523-3309.
“The city hall room rental will not be available to the public until further notice.
“For drivers license day, we will continue as planned for the first Wednesday of each month. The lobby will be limited to 10 people at any given time. If the DOT (Department of Transportation) decides to postpone coming to Bowman, we will pass that information along at that time,” James explained in the video.
“The Bowman Police Department office will offer limited visitation. Please call 523-5672.
“The streets and water departments will continue to provide all normal services,” she said, noting that garbage should be correctly bagged and put in a garbage can for pick up.
When it came to the sewage department, James said there is a problem with people trying to flush things that are not toilet paper down the toilet.
Toilet paper warning
Due to the Corona virus concerns, there are reports of shortages of toilet paper on store shelves. This shortage can lead the public to consider using alternative products, according to a Facebook post by the City of Bowman.
“Many of the issues involving sewer main backups involve the flushing of products such as non-disposable and disposable wipes, paper towels, cleaning and baby wipes, wrappers, rags, tampons, and other heavy products.
“Only toilet paper should be flushed down toilets.
"Toilet paper breaks down in water, but heavier products do not degrade and can be the main cause for blockages that lead to sewer backups. Flushable wipes are flushable only because they fit into the toilet, but they can be a major cause of backups. Products other than toilet paper should be placed in the trash and not down the toilet," the posting March 19 concluded.