As North Carolina enters Safer At Home Phase 2.5 of easing COVID-19 restrictions (5 p.m. today, September 4), the City of Hickory announced the following operational changes and updates today. Hickory Public Library will continue to provide limited computer access at the Patrick Beaver Memorial Library Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Patrick Beaver Memorial Library has seven computers available and patrons will be limited to 1-hour sessions.
As work gets underway on the Ridgeview Branch Library renovation and expansion project, library operations will temporarily move to the neighboring Ridgeview Recreation Center, located at 115 Seventh Avenue SW, starting Tuesday, September 8. Library To-Go pickup service will continue to be offered for checking out library materials. Throughout construction, Ridgeview Branch Library patrons will continue to have access to Library To-Go pickup service and limited computer lab access at the Ridgeview Recreation Center between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Until further notice, Hickory libraries will only be open to the public for limited computer access and Library To-Go pickup service.
With the Safer At Home Phase 2.5, Governor Cooper announced that playgrounds can reopen. All City of Hickory playgrounds will be open to the public at 5 p.m. on Friday, September 4. City parks and park restrooms have been and will continue to be open. Park hours are currently 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. City splashpads at Kiwanis Park and Lowes Foods City Park will remain closed. Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism staff have resumed taking reservations for park shelters. You may contact the administration office at (828) 322-7046 for more information or to reserve a shelter.
Beginning Tuesday, September 8, Highland Recreation Center’s fitness center will be open to the public limited hours Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., and 6 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Friday. Per state guidelines and in order to ensure proper social distancing, the number of customers in the facility is limited to 30 percent of stated fire capacity. State social distancing requirements and limitations for mass gatherings must be followed at parks and shelters. Park visitors should maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing from others and limit outdoor gatherings to under 50 people.
Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 124, which regulated billing assistance for residential utility service, expired at the end of May. Residential utility customers are responsible for paying for all usage and any balances accumulated during the period covered by this executive order. Those who need to do so may set up a payment arrangement plan by contacting the Collections Division at (828) 323-7424.
Hickory utility customers may submit utility payments online at www.HickoryNC.gov, by mail, by 24-hour drop box, or via the drive thru located behind City Hall. Utility payments are not being accepted at the Collections counter inside City Hall. For a comprehensive listing of City of Hickory operational changes and updates regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), visit the City’s COVID-19 Updates webpage.