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July 13, 2020

4/15/2020 1:22:00 PM
Mayor Ochs gives update on city services

Like communities across Indiana and the nation, the City of North Vernon is '"writing a new chapter" as it continues to effectively deliver services to its residents in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Mike Ochs said earlier this month.

"We've never been here before," Ochs said.

Ochs outlined several points regarding city operations, some of which are in light of Jennings County Commissioners' decision to change the travel level to "Orange."

Officials are asking the community to stay home unless travel is essential, which refers to travel to and from work and emergency situations.

To clarify city services, the mayor gave the following information:

• City parks: Walking trails are open; playgrounds are not. The golf course is open, but carts are not allowed.

• City Utilities: Water and wastewater operations are functioning normally.

• Services: Trash collections are on track with two trucks that are in service for half-days. Mowing and pick-up of yard refuse (branches) will be done on half-day schedules when needed.

While city buildings are closed to the public, there are various ways to contact city offices - by phone: 812-346-3789 (Mayor's office); or email, mayorsassistant@northvernon-in.gov.

"City employees are mostly working from home except for the ones that have to be there," Ochs said. "There is a skeleton crew."

Utility payments can be made at the dropbox outside the city building, through the mail slot, U.S. Mail, or online by going to www.northvernon-in.gov/depart ments/utilities.php and clicking on Pay Bill.

The mayor noted he has been in contact with county officials, the school system, Schneck Memorial Hospital and St. Vincent Hospital to share information and to bounce ideas off one another.

Not surprisingly, Ochs said, North Vernon residents have come together in these challenging times and are looking out for one another.

"I've seen people doing a lot of nice things," he said. "This is when the townspeople reach out to each other - it's neighbors helping neighbors. This is what our city does when things get rough. I'm so proud of our community."

"In trying times, this is when our faith in God really comes through," Ochs concluded.

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