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Posted on: March 18, 2020

COVID-19 Impacted Municipal Services

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Below is a regularly updated list of municipal services impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. To find information regarding the Pottawattamie County COVID-19 Response Task Force, including press releases, visit the Pott County EMA COVID-19 Website.


Mayor Matt Walsh is posting regular video updates regarding COVID-19 to the City’s YouTube Channel and Facebook @CityofCB


July 14: COVID-19 Grants 

The City of Council Bluffs received Community Development Block Grant COVID-19 (CDBG-CV) assistance to provide direct financial assistance to Council Bluffs residents and small businesses to ensure sustainability during the COVID-19 pandemic. CDBG-CV aims to assist residents and businesses who have lost income due to COVID-19. Details at Community Development COVID-19 Grants (CDBG-CV).


July 1: New Firefighter and  Firefighter/Paramedic Written Exam Date 

The hiring process for the positions of  Firefighter and Firefighter/Paramedic positions was put on hold due to COVID-19. The new written exam date is August 8, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. at the Mid America Center.  Additionally, we have reopened the applications from July 3, 2020, until July 10, 2020. If we reach 250 applications before July 10th, we will close the applications at that time.  NOTE: Any applicant who successfully submitted their application for these positions during the initial application period of February 27th through March 23rd DOES NOT need to apply again.  


June 30: Swim Lessons

Beginning July 6, Pirate Cove will offer swim lessons for levels 4-6 only. Level 4-6 students will swim in the deep end and require minimal contact with instructors. The pools will not have lessons for levels 1-3 this year, as it is not possible to safely physically distance the instructors from the students. 
Lessons for levels 4-6 take place Monday - Friday and available times include 8:20 a.m., 9:00 a.m., and 9:40 a.m. Four one-week sessions are available and cost $25 per session. Call Pirate Cove for more information: 712-328-4694


June 17: Council Bluffs Public Library to Reopen on July 1 

The Council Bluffs Public Library is reopening on July 1! We will offer "Grab and Go" services, asking patrons to spend no more than 30 minutes in the library, unless they are using a computer. Patrons will be asked to wear masks and respect social distancing. 

The library will offer LIMITED computer use, by APPOINTMENT ONLY. Computers may be reserved up to 24 hours in advance by calling 712-323-7553, ext. 132. Each computer session will be for 45 minutes, beginning on the hour, and limited to one session per person, per day. Only one person per computer. At the end of each session, the staff will clean computer stations to ready for the next sessions. 

No food or drink will be allowed in the building and all library materials must be returned through the book drop at the back of the building. There will be no public phone and no public use of meeting rooms. 

Makerspace will remain closed for the time being. High touch items, such as games, toys, story and flannel bags will be unavailable at this time. 

The option for curbside pickup service will still be available and the library will be open normal business hours. If you have questions, please call 712-323-7553, email reference@councilbluffslibrary.org or visit our website. 


June 15: Fairmount Park Splash Pad Reopens

The splash pad at Fairmount Park will open on Monday, June 15. Please respect social distancing and stay 6 feet away from fellow "splashers" that are not in your group. Bayliss Park is undergoing concrete repair so the Bayliss Park fountain and splash pad will open when the work is complete.


June 11: City of Council Bluffs Public Pools Open June 15 - Reservations Only

On June 10, Governor Reynolds lifted the restrictions for swimming pools allowing them to open for recreation use as long as precautions for COVID-19 are in place. Pirate Cove and Katelman will officially open on Monday, June 15 and reservations will be required. There will be two sessions available (11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 2:30 – 5:30 p.m.) with a capacity of 100 people per session. The COVID-19 precautions are listed at https://bit.ly/2XUT9xc.


Those wishing to come to the pool must have a reservation, no walk-ins will be admitted. To make a reservation, please call the pool you wish to visit (Katelman – 712-328-4939 or Pirate Cove 712-328-4694).


Information regarding swimming lessons and pool parties will be available in the coming weeks. Please note: This is evolving and we will adapt accordingly. As changes are made to the pool processes, we will post them here. Lastly: With the restrictions being lifted earlier than expected, we are hiring more lifeguards and cashiers. Details at https://bit.ly/2XgaujZ.


June 9: Fire Department Cancels Hydrant Parties

After much discussion, the CBFD has decided to cancel the 2020 fire hydrant parties. This comes as a hard decision but we must look out for the safety of the public and reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19.

June 1: City Hall Reopens

City of Council Bluffs City Hall has reopened to the public. Sanitation stations are located throughout the building and social distancing is required. 


May 26: Playgrounds Reopen

As per the Governor’s Public Health Emergency Declaration, playgrounds throughout the state of Iowa are allowed to reopen. Please note that the City of Council Bluffs does not sanitize playground structures.


May 18: Summer Youth Leagues Canceled

Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions in place by the Governor, the following 2020 Parks and Recreation Summer Sports have been canceled:

  • Youth Baseball
  • Girls Fast-Pitch
  • Tee ball
  • Machine-pitch

All registrants will receive a full refund. Those who registered on Team Sideline can expect a refund to their bank account by June 1.Those who paid by cash, check, or CC in the office will receive a refund check in the mail by June 1. We will reach out if we need any information from you. Thank you in advance for your patience, as we have over 600 refunds to issue. At this time, Youth Tennis Lessons and Adult Softball will continue as scheduled.


May 11: Pools Closed Until Further Notice

We are hoping to open the city pools on (or around) June 15, but we’re waiting on official guidance from the Governor’s office. In the meantime, we are preparing by hiring guards, getting the facilities ready, and working on new processes in response to COVID-19. As soon as we have more information, we will update our website and social channels.


April 24: Splash Pad and Fountains Temporarily Off

Parks and Recreation will not turn on the splash pads at Fairmount Park or Bayliss Park, or the Bayliss Park fountain until the threat of COVID-19 has subsided. 


April 23: Summer Sports Postponed

With the announcement that schools are closed for the remainder of the year, the Parks and Recreation department has further postponed summer sports start dates.

Youth Baseball – June 15, 2020 (10-12 Games)

Girls Fast-pitch Softball – June 15, 2020 (10-12 Games)

Machine Pitch – June 15, 2020 (6-8 Games)

Tee Ball – June 15, 2020 (6-8 Games)

Youth Tennis Camp – June 9, 2020 (Session 1 Begins)

No practices to be held while Council Bluffs Schools are closed.

We will do everything possible to keep you as informed and up-to-date as we can and make every effort to get the season completed as scheduled.  Our goal is the safety of our community, and we are sure you can appreciate that. 

If you would like a refund, please contact the Parks and Recreation office at 712-890-5291.


April 17: Recycling Center Re-opens 

The Council Bluffs Recycling Center will re-open on Saturday, April 18. Normal business hours will resume. Employees at the Recycling Center will be taking protective measures to safeguard themselves and our customers from COVID-19. Customers will be expected to practice social distancing when working with Recycling Center staff and other customers. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.


April 2: Playgrounds and Temporarily Closed

The Parks and Recreation Department has temporarily closed all City playgrounds. Parks are open but gatherings of 10 people or more are prohibited. 


April 2: City Council Zoom Meetings

The public can participate in Council Bluffs City Council Meetings via Zoom during the Coronavirus pandemic.  The study session takes place at 3:45 p.m. and the council meeting takes place at 7 p.m.

Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/6588922517

Meeting ID: 658 892 2517

888 475 4499 US Toll-free

877 853 5257 US Toll-free

You must enter your first and last name on Zoom be admitted to the Zoom meeting. 

Outside comments are not allowed at the study session.

You may also view the study session and meeting at: https://www.councilbluffs-ia.gov/2201/Live-Council-Meeting

If you would prefer you may also email any comments for the Council Meeting to the City Clerk at jquakenbush@councilbluffs-ia.gov, to be read at the meeting it must state your name and address and should be received by 6:00 p.m. on Council Mondays.


April 1: Sanitation Bills Due 

Sanitation bills will be sent to all residents on City trash services. Because City Hall is closed to the public in response to COVID-19, sanitation payments will need to be mailed (209 Pearl Street) or paid online. Walk-in payments will be due upon the reopening of City Hall. Late fees will not be assessed during the City Hall closure.


March 30: Suspended Building and Rental Inspections

The City of Council Bluffs has suspended building and rental inspections for occupied structures beginning Monday, March 30. This suspension includes all rental inspections, and building inspections on additions and alterations to existing, occupied structures. Inspections for unoccupied, new construction is not affected. Regular inspection processes will resume when the threat of COVID-19 has subsided. 

In place of on-site inspections, the City will accept a written statement from the licensed general contractor. The written statement must include detailed documentation, including photos, demonstrating code compliance. A Temporary Certificate of Completion will be issued, and the City will perform final inspections when the threat of COVID-19 has subsided. After the final inspection, the City will issue a Certificate of Completion. Additionally, the licensed contractors (general, plumbing, mechanical, electrical) must provide signed Hold Harmless Agreements relieving the City from any liability for the work stated as code-compliant.

New construction projects (industrial, commercial, multi-family dwellings, one and two-family dwellings, accessory structures) shall continue to follow the normal City inspection processes. 

Questions: City of Council Bluffs Permits and Inspections Division at 712-890-5284.


March 25: Metro Area Transit & Special Transit Service Suspend Fares

Bus fares for Metro Area Transit and Special Transit Services have been suspended until further notice. Metro Area Transit is asking riders to only take essential trips. Visit Metro Area Transit for more information.


March 25: Public Works Reminds Residents: No Wipes in the Pipes

With an influx of people using disinfectant wipes for sanitizing, combined with a perceived shortage of toilet paper, people are flushing more non-flushable items than normal. Nonflushable items will clog the sewer line. Unclogging pipes is costly and time-consuming. If it’s not toilet paper, put it in the garbage. Toilet paper breaks down in water, other items, including flushable wipes and ramen noodle packaging, do not. Even if the package states “flushable,” the item can still clog the sewer line.

Do not flush:

  • Wipes of any kind (baby, disinfectant, facial, even those labeled flushable)
  • Anything other than human waste and toilet paper
  • Cigarettes/ cigarette butts
  • Condoms
  • Cotton swabs/ cotton balls
  • Diapers
  • Facial tissue
  • Feminine hygiene products (tampons, etc.)
  • Napkins
  • Paper towels
  • Sanitary napkins
  • Shop towels
  • Tampons and tampon applicators
  • Towels/ rags
  • Wrappers (any packaging)

March 24: Firefighter/ Firefighter Paramedic Exam Postponed:

All applicants for the Firefighter/ Firefighter/ Paramedic position received an email notifying them that the written exam has been postponed until further notice. In order to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in the testing process, we have decided to postpone this testing. At this time, we do not have a make-up date set but will communicate with applicants when it is scheduled. 


March 20: Youtube Channel Created 

Find Mayor Matt Walsh’s regular COVID-19 updates on Youtube here. You can also find these videos and other updates on Facebook @CityofCB,


March 20: City Council Meeting Public Comment

RE: City Council Agenda for Monday, March 23, 2020: In an effort to comply with the Governor’s Order to limit gatherings of 10 people or fewer, we are accepting public comments, in writing. You may email your comment to the City Clerk at jquakenbush@councilbluffs-ia.gov by 6:00 p.m. on March 23rd and it will be read into the record during the meeting. Please include your name and address or your comment will not be made part of the record. You may also watch the live stream of the meeting on the City’s website. Please note that if you prefer to attend the meeting, citizens will be allowed in one at a time to stay under the 10 person limit. Stay well!


March 18: City Buildings Closed to the Public

In order to protect the health and safety of our Council Bluffs residents and employees, and follow the guidance of the Iowa Department of Public Health, the City of Council Bluffs is restricting public access to City buildings including City Hall, Public Works buildings, the Recycling Center, Police Headquarters, and Fire Headquarters beginning at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 18.

The Council Bluffs Recycling Center at 4441 Gifford Road is closed until further notice. However, you can still drop off recyclables at grocery store recycling containers. And, curbside recycling/ garbage collection is still in operation.

Buildings will be closed, but services will still be provided, and staff will continue to ensure essential services are maintained. Services will be available by phone, email, the City’s website, or special appointment. Special appointments are based on availability. Those approved for access into the building should use the east doors on S. Main Street.

Specific questions and requests for special appointments can be directed to the respective department. 

  • Mayor Office: 712-890-5265
  • Animal Control: 712-328-4656
  • Building Permits: 712-890-5284
  • City Clerk: 712-890-5261
  • Community Development: 712-890-5350
  • Finance Department: 712-890-5303
  • Fire Headquarters: 712-328-4646
  • Human Resources: 712-890-5275
  • Legal: 712-890-5317
  • Parks and Recreation: 712-890-5291
  • Police Headquarters: 712-328-4701
  • Public Works: 712-890-5296
  • Recycling Center: 712-890-5454

March 18:

The Council Bluffs Recycling Center at 4441 Gifford Road is closed until further notice. However, you can still drop off recyclables at grocery store recycling containers. And, curbside recycling/ garbage collection is still in operation.


March 17: Eggstravaganza in Robert’s Park Canceled

Eggstravaganza in Roberts Park, the City’s Easter egg hunt, has been postponed. We have all of the eggs ready-to-go and hope to reschedule. 


March 17: Parks and Recreation Sports

Parks and Recreation has postponed the start of several spring and summer sports. Registration deadlines will remain the same. If you would like a refund, please contact the Parks and Recreation office at 712-890-5291.

Adult Softball

  • Original start date: April 8, 2020
  • New start date: May 6, 2020
  • Original Coaches Meeting: March 31, 2020
  • New Coaches Meeting: April 28, 2020

Youth Baseball

  • Original start date: May 4, 2020
  • New start date: June 1, 2020
  • Coaches Meeting: TBD

Girls Fast-pitch Softball

  • Original start date: May 4, 2020
  • New start date: June 1, 2020
  • Coaches Meeting: TBD

Tee ball

  • Start date remains the same: June 1, 2020
  • Coaches Meeting: TBD

Machine Pitch Softball

  • Start date remains the same: June 1, 2020
  • Coaches Meeting: TBD

Youth Tennis Camp

  • Start dates remain the same: June 9, 2020 (first session)

March 18: CBFD Suspending Inspections, Events, and Tours

The Council Bluffs Fire Department will be temporarily suspending all regularly scheduled building inspections, public education events and station tours.

Staff assigned to the Fire Prevention Division and Training Division are being reassigned to assist our Suppression Division in preparation for any increased EMS work due to the Covid-19 virus. We will keep a limited staff in the Prevention Division to handle fire investigations and fire safety issues.


March 16: CBPD Suspending Ride-Alongs

Until further notice, the Council Bluffs Police Department will no longer be accepting ride-along applications. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, we will reevaluate and make changes to allow for ride-alongs again as it is safe to do so.


March 16: Library Closed

The Council Bluffs Public Library has closed until further notice. 


March 9: Pottawattamie County COVID-19 Response Task Force Website

A new website has been established to house information regarding the county-wide COVID-19 response efforts. Visit Pott County EMA COVID-19 

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