After just over a year, La Porte City Hall will once again open its doors to the public, according to Mayor Tom Dermody.
Beginning June 1, following discussions with City Council members and the city department heads, residents will be permitted to enter as long as they wear a mask. The building closed to the public in March of 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic began to ramp up. Dermody said it remained closed for the last several months to protect both residents and city employees. However, now that the vaccine is more widely available, he said he feels comfortable allowing the public to enter the building.
“For all of us here at City Hall, our favorite parts of our jobs are getting to help the residents of our city,” Dermody said. “Though we continued to serve the people of La Porte without interruption during the pandemic, we are eager take a step closer to normalcy and get to have some face time with our citizens.”
City commission and board meetings have been open to the public since February. Beginning June 1, all attendance restrictions for these meetings will be lifted. Masks will continue to be required for members of the public, and temperatures will be taken upon entry.
For members of the public who do not yet feel comfortable doing business inside City Hall, Dermody said virtual options are still available.
“Our team was creative during the pandemic and thought up great new ways to continue serving residents virtually,” Dermody said. “These options, like the drive-through and our livestreamed meetings, are still there for residents who would prefer to take that route.”
Dermody said these new rules are in effect through July 1 and will be evaluated on a month-to-month basis. He said the only exception is TransPorte, which is obligated to comply with Federal Transit Administration guidelines. As of now, all drivers and passengers will be required to wear a mask on public transportation through the month of September.
For questions or concerns, residents can contact the mayor’s office at 219-362-0151.