Township pushes reopening date back

FLUSHING TWP. — After initially planning to reopen to the public on June 1, Flushing Township has decided to push back its opening date to June 12 or later.

Last week, the township issued a plan that would have opened the offices of Flushing Township Hall and the Flushing Township Police Department to residents at 8 a.m. on June 1. However, upon further review, township officials chose to delay the reopening to stay in compliance with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-91.

“Our plan originally was to allow the public back in by June 1, but after reading through the governor’s executive order again, we discovered that it wasn’t going to be possible,” said Flushing Township Supervisor Fred Thorsby. “The executive order allows our staff to come back in and work but doesn’t allow for residents to come in and conduct business inside our office.”

When the township does reopen to the public on or after June 12, residents will be expected to follow social distancing guidelines as outlined by the governor’s executive order.

To prevent overcrowding, the township will allow only one person to check in at the office’s front counter at a time. Other customers will have to wait outside or in their vehicles.

While the main entrance doors will remain unlocked, the township hall’s inner office doors will be locked. If residents need to meet with someone inside the township offices, staff will “buzz” them in and unlock the doors.

The township has also installed a Ring doorbell system that residents can use to announce their presence to staff members.

If someone needs to meet with an elected official or other employees, they will be instructed to make an appointment, fill out a health questionnaire, have their temperature taken and wear a mask when entering the township offices. Masks will be provided for all residents.

Thorsby said that employees have been supplied with adequate hand sanitizer, gloves, facemasks and an external thermometer. A Plexiglas shield has also been installed at the front counter to protect clerks when they handle in-person business with customers.

Thorsby said that the Flushing Township Police Department will be following similar social distancing guidelines in its section of the township building and has set up an intercom system to communicate with customers who will be waiting outside.

As safety protocols go into action, Thorsby is advising residents to be patient with the guidelines and to wear masks if they must conduct in-person business at the township office.

“Whether you think you need to wear a mask or not, just consider the people around you,” he said. “Wear a mask for their protection, if not for yours too.”

The township is also urging residents to utilize its drop box out front, submit bills online and correspond with staff and officials through email or over the phone whenever possible.

Prior to the township hall reopening, the Flushing Township Board of Trustees will be conducting its next regularly scheduled meeting on June 11. The meeting will be held outdoors in the parking lot, with spaced seating for the public.