The city of Reynoldsburg is navigating new routines and, in some cases, canceling plans in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The city has announced the 13th annual farmers market, which is considered an essential service, will be held weekly beginning June 4.
Scheduled for 4 to 7 p.m. Thursdays through Sept. 4, the market will be held at JFK Park, 7232 E. Main St., because of construction on Davidson Drive.
Safety regulations for those attending the market are expected to be announced soon.
The city also announced May 8 the cancellation of the annual Independence Day celebration, scheduled for July 3 at Civic Park. Reynoldsburg joined most other central Ohio communities in canceling the celebrations.
Mayor Joe Begeny holds out hope the fireworks show can be held later in the year, although he said it may not be until December during Christmas on the Towne.
Reynoldsburg spends about $30,000 on its fireworks display but has not signed any contracts or spent any money this year, officials said.
In addition, the fate of the Tomato Festival will be determined by June 29, Begeny said.
"We have until one month before the event to cancel to limit our costs," he said. "We are still holding out hope for the Tomato Festival."
Started in 1965, the festival honors Reynoldsburg's claim to fame as the birthplace of a sweeter, edible tomato created by resident Alexander W. Livingston. In 1870, he was the first to upgrade the wild tomato plant.
City Council in March approved a $60,000 contract with MPE to serve as a booking agent for the 2020 festival, scheduled for Aug. 6-8 at Huber Park.
The Senior Center (SCOR) remains closed, as do city playgrounds and the community center YMCA.
Some employees returned to City Hall on May 4, with staffers in several departments working split schedules – spending some days at City Hall – and others working remotely. For example, employees in the building and water departments will work from home Tuesdays and Thursdays.
City Hall is open on a limited basis for the public. Walk-in utility payments still will not be accepted.
People entering City Hall will be required to wear a mask.
Those needing to conduct business with a city department are asked to call 614-322-6800 to make arrangements.
Mayor's court resumed May 7, with a reduced case load.
A glass barrier will separate prosecutors and defendants and their attorneys to avoid unnecessary exposure. No more than 10 people scheduled for court will be permitted in City Hall at a time. Those coming to mayor's court must check in with a police officer outside and provide a telephone number to be called when it is your turn to meet with a prosecutor.
Begeny said while this has not been the spring anyone envisioned, he's proud of the ways residents have responded.
"I have seen such generosity towards Helping Hands, with donations, and volunteers for Heart Food Pantry in this time of need. Stories of community members helping those that have lost income (and) made masks for health care workers and friends," he said.
"Teachers and parents changing their lives to make sure their children learn as best they can (and) that thousands of meals are distributed weekly.
"The Truro Township Fire Department and Reynoldsburg Police Department celebrating kid's birthdays with drive-by parades.
"That's what Reynoldsburg is – a community that cares, that supports each other when times are rough. Soon we will see each other in the parks, sporting events, festivals and fireworks. It may not be this summer, but we will get there, together."
For the latest information on the city's COVID-19 response, go to ci.reynoldsburg.oh.us.