May 18, 2021
Appointments Still Required for Planning, Inspections and Assessing Departments
As the NH Department of Health and Human Services continues to report declines in cases, hospitalizations and positivity rates of COVID-19, and as more of the local population becomes fully vaccinated, the City Manager and City Health Officer have determined that City Hall walk-in services can be made available again. Appointments will no longer be required, as of Monday, May 24.
Those who prefer to make an appointment are still welcome to do so. Residents are asked to limit the number of participants they bring to any department when they visit City Hall. Please note that appointments are still required to meet with Planning, Inspections and Assessing Department staff because their work frequently requires them to be out of their offices at City Hall.
The choice of the date for resumption of normal operations also coincides with the anticipated increased demand on the City Clerk and Tax Office due to end-of-month motor vehicle registrations and the property tax payment deadline of June 1.
With the Portsmouth Mask Mandate still in place through June 30, staff and visitors inside City Hall are required to wear masks and maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from those who are not members of the same household.
The City Council and City Boards and Commissions will start conducting business in hybrid mode, with the public attending via Zoom and not in person. The Department of Public Works recently conducted an assessment of the air flow in Council Chambers, the Portsmouth Room and Conference Room A and determined that ventilation in those rooms was sufficient for small, physically-distanced, masked gatherings.
Residents are reminded that many City business transactions, including tax bill payments, Inspection, Planning and HR Department applications can be completed online. For more information about specific online services, please visit the individual department pages on the City website.
“The City Health Officer and I review the NH DHHS and CDC guidance constantly, and believe that now is the time for a cautious return to business as usual,” said City Manager Karen Conard. “We will continue to monitor the data and make adjustments, as necessary.”