Town provides operations update in response to COVID-19

The Town of Wake Forest remains under a State of Emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus, the Town has implemented several changes to ensure social and physical distance and limit exposure, while maintaining essential services. Provided below is an update on Town operations, services and events. A complete listing of Town cancellations, postponements and closures is provided at www.wakeforestnc.gov/covid-19-coronavirus/alerts-closures.

 

Closings

The Wake Forest Town Hall, 301 S. Brooks St., and all other staffed facilities, including Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources-maintained facilities, remain closed to the public until further notice. Although Wake Forest’s facilities are closed, the work of the Town continues uninterrupted through the COVID-19 response.

Wake Forest residents can access the Town’s full array of online resources through the Customer Service Central (CSC) portal located at www.wakeforestnc.gov/customer-service-central. In addition, residents may drop off utility bill payments, rental deposits and paperwork (leases, letters of credit, copies of photo IDs, etc.) in the drive-up drop box located in Town Hall’s Brooks Street parking lot. While Town Hall is closed, Town staff will check the drop box twice daily. The Town will mail acknowledgements and receipts upon request.

Anyone with questions or concerns is encouraged to call 919-435-9400 or complete the online Contact Us form at http://bit.ly/TOWFContactUs, and staff will reply promptly during normal business hours.

 

Board of Commissioners Meeting

The Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting on Tuesday, April 21, at 7 p.m. will be conducted virtually and not open to on-site visitors. The virtual meeting will allow the Board to conduct the important business of government, while protecting the health and safety of the Commissioners, the public and Town staff.

The Town of Wake Forest broadcasts Board of Commissioners meetings on Spectrum Channel 10 (WFTV10) which is provided online in real time at bit.ly/WFTV10. The Town also records, live-streams and broadcasts these meetings at https://bit.ly/TOWFPublicMeetingPortal. The public is encouraged to participate in the April 21 meeting during public comment sections via telephone and by submitting comments in advance via online comment form. Instructions for participating in these meetings is available at https://bit.ly/TOWFPublicMeetingPortal.

 

Event Cancellations

All Town of Wake Forest-sponsored events and activities have been canceled or postponed at least through Sunday, May 31. These events include (but are not limited to) Six Sundays in Spring (April 26-May 31), the Memorial Flag-Raising Ceremony (May 4), Friday Night on White (May 8), Cemetery Walking Tour (May 9), Music at Midday (May 14 and 21), Family Movie Night at Joyner Park (May 23) and Multicultural Day (May 30).

All Wake Forest Renaissance Centre-hosted events, activities and rentals are also canceled through May 31, including (but not limited to) First Friday Flix (May 1), flix4kidz and Free at 3 (May 11) and VIBEZ by SOLE DEFINED (May 15).

 

Sanitation

In response to the March 25 closing of the Raleigh Yard Waste Center, which is Wake Forest’s yard waste disposal site, yard waste collection has been suspended until further notice. Wake Forest residents are urged not to leave yard waste behind the curb until the suspension is lifted. Town officials are exploring other options for yard waste disposal. In the meantime, residents are encouraged to consider composting. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/WFComposting.

In an effort to limit possible exposure to COVID-19, Public Works has also suspended bulk waste collection until further notice. Wake Forest residents are urged not to place any bulk waste behind the curb until the suspension is lifted.

Trash and recycling collection will continue as scheduled.

 

Bus Service

Wake Forest Loop B and the Wake Forest-Raleigh Express have been suspended until further notice. Loop A continues to operate as scheduled. Please note: Since only the Loop A bus is running, service time has increased from 30 minutes to one-hour. Riders should utilize the A bus stops, which may be on the opposite side of the street.

Riders are asked to board GoRaleigh buses using the rear doors in an effort to promote greater social distancing. Front door access will be available for persons with disabilities. Per CDC guidelines, if you are sick, please stay at home and only travel if it is absolutely necessary. Please cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze, wash your hands frequently with soap and water, avoid touching your face, and keep distance between yourself and others. These practices can help limit the impact of COVID-19 on our community. For more information, call 919-485-RIDE (7433).

 

Wake Forest Power

On March 16, Wake Forest Power (WFP) suspended all disconnects for nonpayment, including prepaid accounts, along with assessments of late fees and penalties. Consistent with Executive Order 124 issued by Gov. Roy Cooper on March 31, WFP will extend these suspensions at least through May 31.

While the Wake Forest Town Hall is closed, WFP customers are urged to call, email or go online to pay or ask questions about their electric bill. WFP offers an array of convenient payment options, including Wake Forest Pre-Pay Power, Online Bill Pay, Automatic Bank Draft and Equal Payment Plan. For complete information, visit http://bit.ly/WFUtilityBillPaymentOptions or call 919-435-9478.

WFP customers who are unable to pay their bills or can pay with cash only are urged to call 919-435-9478 to set up a payment arrangement. Your bill/debt will not be forgiven or erased, but WFP will allow you to make payments to the best of your ability to prevent the accumulation of a larger balance.

 

Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources

All PRCR Department-sponsored classes, events, camps and rentals have been suspended through May. All youth and adult athletics programs have also been canceled through May, including Spring Baseball, Softball and T-Ball Leagues.

The PRCR Department will continue offering a liberal refund policy for programs and rentals. Full refunds will be issued for any registered athletics and cultural programs, camps, classes and facility reservations canceled due to COVID-19, while pro-rated refunds will be issued for suspended programs that resume. For more information, call 919-435-9560.

All greenways and parks, including Flaherty Dog Park, remain open to the public, yet all water fountains are turned off and bathrooms, playgrounds and picnic shelters are closed.

The PRCR Department has released guidelines advising citizens how to use Town parks and trails in a manner that will reduce the transmission of COVID-19. These guidelines are based on direction from the CDC and the National Recreation & Parks Association:

  • Refrain from using parks or trails if you are exhibiting symptoms.

  • Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to, during, and after use of parks or trails.

  • Be prepared for no access to public restrooms, potable water, or protection from the elements.

  • Observe CDC’s minimum separation of six feet from other individuals at all times.

  • While on trails, warn other users of your presence and step aside to let others pass.

  • Follow CDC guidance on the maximum advisable size of social gatherings.

  • Reduce crowding and travel by sticking to close-to-home parks and trails.

  • Select alternatives to crowded parks and trails.

  • Minimize use of high-touch park amenities such as benches, picnic tables, trash cans, and railings.

  • Obey all closures of community centers, playgrounds, and restrooms.

Again, Wake Forest residents are encouraged to visit www.wakeforestnc.gov/covid-19-coronavirus/alerts-closures for a complete listing of Town cancellations, postponements and closures.

Community health and safety is the top priority for the Town of Wake Forest. The situation surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is ever-changing, so Town officials are closely monitoring daily updates and following guidelines from the Wake County Health Department, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHSS) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). These guidelines have been implemented in protocols established by the Town to address potential exposure to the coronavirus and protect our community and staff. Additional information and updates will be provided as circumstances warrant.