The city of Madison has closed the offices at City Hall to the public due to the ongoing health concerns caused by the COVID-19 virus.

Although city staff continues to work at municipal offices, such as the finance office and utilities office, members of the public are asked to use other means to perform day-to-day business.

Lexi Bohlander, the city's human resources coordinator, has asked individuals needing assistance to contact the Madison Finance Office by calling 256-7500 and pressing "option 3." Individuals can also send an email to finance@cityofmadisonsd.com.

As part of an email sent out on Thursday afternoon, Bohlander stated that, "Staff is still working and will be able to assist (Madison residents) by other means. We urge them to give our offices a call so we can assist them."

Since the municipal utilities office is closed to the public, city staff asked Madison residents to handle their utility payments:

-- By using the dropbox located on the office door.

-- Paying online at www.cityofmadisonsd.com website.

-- Emailing office staff at utility.billing@cityofmadisonsd.com.

Residents can also call the utilities office at 256-7504.

Bohlander apologized for any inconveniences and encouraged the public to stay healthy.

March 23 meeting canceled

Madison officials also canceled the March 23 city commission meeting due to COVID-19 concerns.

Finance office staff sent out an email on Thursday afternoon announcing, "Due to concerns surrounding COVID-19 and the safety of our community, we are following the recommendation from the (Centers for Disease Control) in regard to public gatherings and have canceled the (Madison) Board of Commissioners meeting scheduled for Monday, March 23rd."

Mayor's statement

At the end of the March 16 city meeting, Mayor Marshall Dennert read a statement saying that Bohlander had contacted all city departments about the COVID-19 concerns. Bohlander had emphasized certain precautions to maintaining the staff's health and safety that included covering coughs, hand-washing, and remaining home if feeling ill.

Dennert continued his statement by saying, "Besides making sure our employees are informed, our H.R. coordinator will be staying in contact with both the CDC and the S.D. Health (Department) where the city will also follow any of their guidelines to prevent the spread of the disease."

"I have reached out to Tammy Miller, CEO of the Madison Regional Hospital System, and shared with her what the city is implementing and she assured me that the Madison Regional Hospital System was basically doing the same."

Dennert finished his statement with, "We want to assure our community we are monitoring the situation. As a community we need to remain calm and continue to use common sense and the recommended precautions such as limited large groups, good hand-washing, and covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing to help reduce the spread of COVID-19."