City facilities are closed during the week of November 19, 2012 to November 23, 2012 due to the Thanksgiving holiday and ongoing budget reductions.
Essential services such as Police, Fire, Building Inspections, Airport, Water turn-on and Garbage collection will not be affected by this closure.
In 2011 city employees made pay concessions for Fiscal Years 2011-2013 which helped avoid major layoffs and assisted the city in dealing with a $1.9 million General Fund deficit. Reducing services during this holiday period was an important part in providing sufficient savings to offset the deficit.
The General Fund is where most services are funded (Police, Fire, Parks & Community Services, Code Enforcement, Building and Community Development, Public Works, Finance and Administration).
The following summarizes those operations that will remain open and those that will close during this closure period.
Police and Fire. The only services NOT provided during the closure are front counter and administrative support.
All other Police and Fire services critical to the immediate protection of health and safety will still remain in service.
Water, Garbage and Sewer. The types of services that WILL NOT be available from November 19, 2012 to November 23, 2012 include:
- Payments either in person or by phone
- Account information change requests
- Water turn-off requests
- Phone requests at either the City Hall or Municipal Service Center locations
- Recycle, yard and other waste drop-off at the drop off facility on Harvest Drive
Penalties or late charges will not be charged for any balances that are due during the closure week.
The following essential services WILL BE AVAILABLE during this closure for normal operations:
- Garbage pickup
- Water delivery
- Sewer services
- Requests for on-call garbage services [via voicemail at 768-3133]
- Water turn on [call 471-1151]
- Water or sewer leak investigations [call 471-1151]
- Building inspection services [call 768-3060]
Library. Both the Main Street and Freedom branches will be closed. Although both branches are funded almost entirely by a county-wide sales tax, the decline in retail sales has decreased their revenue source faster than anticipated and required corrective action.
Parks and Community Services. All the City’s recreation facilities, its customer service and administrative office, its neighborhood services facility, recreation programs and parks maintenance services will be unavailable during this closure. This also includes all computer labs. Maintenance work on the Landscaping, Lighting Maintenance and Assessment Districts (LLMADS) at Gonzalez Street, Bay Breeze and Vista Montaña will take place on regularly scheduled work days during the closure period.
Building Permits. All routine requests for building permits will be unavailable. For general, non-emergency, building inspection requests and code complaints, please call and leave a message on the Community Development Department inspection request line (831)768-3060. These inspections and requests will be reviewed and all efforts will be made to schedule inspection on Monday and Tuesday of the closure week. If they can not be accommodated staff will schedule inspections upon re-opening, on November 26, 2012.
Staff will remain on-call only to respond to emergency situations in which there is an eminent threat to health and safety. To report such an event, call the dispatch center at 471-1151 or 911 if it is an urgent or immediate emergency.
Airport. The airport will remain open during this time.
Animal Shelter. The Animal Services Authority shelter in Watsonville is not impacted by the City’s closure and will remain open (except for the normal holidays; call 454-7303 for more information).
Parking Garages. Both the Civic Plaza and Beach Street parking garages will be open to the public, as will all of the City’s parking lots.
Civic Plaza. The Superior Courts will remain open as they are not impacted by the City’s closure. All private lease space and businesses within the Civic Plaza building will also remain open.
However, the Library, City Administration and Community Room and Council Chambers will be closed to the public.
In the last four years, most employees have forgone 10 percent of pay in exchange for working fewer hours per week and having additional closure days during the holiday season. This was necessary to balance the budget as the city continues to experience declining revenues in this down economy.