COVID-19 Continuity of Operations Plan

City of East Lansing’s Continuity of Operations During Local State of Emergency - UPDATE 3/23/20

This plan outlines the City of East Lansing’s continuity of operations during the local state of emergency declared by East Lansing Mayor Ruth Beier. It will be updated regularly as needs are identified. 

City of East Lansing facilities will be closed to the public through Monday, April 13, with a tentative re-opening date of Tuesday, April 14. Facilities closed to the public include East Lansing City Hall, the East Lansing Hannah Community Center (ELHCC), the East Lansing Department of Public Works (including the recycling drop-off site), the East Lansing Prime Time Seniors’ Program, the East Lansing Public Library and the East Lansing 54B District Court. 

All of the City’s public meetings (with the exception of a special meeting of the City Council on March 20), events and programs have also been canceled from Monday, March 16, 2020 through Monday, April 13, 2020.

During the closures, all essential services; such as police, fire, EMS, trash/recycling collection, water services and wastewater management; will be maintained, while many non-essential services will be suspended pursuant to the governor's Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order. View the department sections below for additional information on services that will and will not be maintained.  

Administrative and emergency management staff will continue to actively monitor, plan and communicate about this situation in the coming weeks. The health and welfare of the East Lansing community is the City’s top priority.

East Lansing Police Department

  • The East Lansing Police Department’s 24/7 police desk, 409 Park Lane, will remain staffed and open to the public. The non-emergency phone number is (517) 351-4220 and, in an emergency, community members should always call 911. The method in which non-emergency calls are handled will be on a case-by-case basis, with officers following up in person for some cases and following up by phone in other cases. 

  • While all essential police services will be maintained, the following non-essential services will be suspended during the closure: preliminary breath tests at the police desk, fingerprinting services at the police desk, all in-person Police Records transactions, PACE transports to the impound lot, firearms purchase permits, in-person firearms registrations (mail-in only). Firearms registrations can be mailed to East Lansing Police Records Bureau, 409 Park Lane, East Lansing MI 48823.

  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests will still be accepted online: FOIA request forms and questions can be emailed to  

East Lansing Fire Department

  • Essential fire and EMS services will be maintained; however, community members are respectfully asked to only request services in an emergency during this time. In an emergency, community members should always call 911.

  • Due to limited supply, face masks are only available for firefighters and patients.

East Lansing Department of Public Works

  • Residents can still call DPW at (517) 337-9459. Limited staff will be onsite from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. during weekdays. If a call is not answered, please leave a voicemail and the call will be returned. For all after hours non-emergencies, residents can continue to call the ELPD Police Desk at (517) 351-4220.

  • Bulk item collection and water shutoffs for non-payment will be temporarily suspended.
  • The start of spring yard waste collection will be delayed until further notice. Additional details will be provided at a later date. 

  • The DPW recycling drop-off site will be closed to the public.

  • Field operations will be working at decreased levels, but trash and recycling will continue to be collected curbside as regularly scheduled and water meter staff will perform emergency maintenance, with the goal of limiting entry into structures.

  • Permits for work in the right-of-way will be processed by phone and online, including payments.

  • Yellow City trash bags can be purchased at a number of alternative locations while City offices are closed:
East Lansing Finance Department 
  • Treasury staff will be available by phone, (517) 337-1731, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. to process payroll, pay vendors and take credit card payments from community members over the phone (parking permits, water bills, etc.). East Lansing City Hall’s main phone line will be on night mode outside of those hours. Payments can also continue to be made by mail or can be dropped off in one of the drop boxes located outside of East Lansing City Hall, 410 Abbot Road. Residents can also continue to make payments online:

  • No water shutoffs will occur during this public health emergency. Bills due by March 20 will not be assessed late fees until the following billing cycle’s due date on April 20 if unpaid. Water bills will be sent out as regularly scheduled and can be paid online:

  • Income tax returns are due on July 31, 2020. Additional information, including return forms and contact information, is available at Income tax staff will be monitoring/returning phone calls and emails regularly during weekdays. Email is preferred. 

  • Vendors will be paid without disruption. Vendor checks will not be able to be picked up at City Hall; they will be mailed via USPS.

East Lansing Planning, Building & Development

  • All Building, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Planning & Zoning permits will not be issued at this time, with very limited exceptions. Staff will only be processing residential permits related to emergency work such as emergency plumbing or electrical repairs necessary for building safety, with limited staffing and a goal of limiting entry into structures. The following email/phone line will be checked on a limited basis: or (517) 319-6878. Please leave a message and your email/call will be returned as soon as possible.

  • Applications will continue to be available online. Payment and processing timelines will be discussed with the applicant after staff’s review of the application. Building and trades staff will continue to be available for questions via phone and email. More information.

  • Additional Building Division continuity of operations information is available here.
  • The Planning & Zoning Division will continue to process zoning compliance reviews for emergency building permits only. Planning and zoning applications will not be accepted until further notice. Prospective applicants for typical planning and zoning reviews are encouraged to contact David Haywood at or (517) 319-6861 with questions. Please leave a message and your email/call will be returned as soon as possible.

East Lansing 54B District Court

  • While the court is closed, limited staffing will be on site to handle essential tasks only.

  • Questions can be emailed to

  • All scheduled court matters, including civil, criminal, traffic, parking and probation are adjourned until after April 5, 2020.  New court dates will be sent by mail. 

  • All in-custody arraignments and emergency matters (including emergency filings) will be conducted while the court’s business offices are closed to the public.

  • Online services for case review, payments and outstanding warrants are available on the court’s website at

  • New bench warrants or default judgments for failure to appear are suspended during the local state of emergency.

East Lansing Public Library

  • While the library is closed, community members can still apply for library cards online: Applicants will be sent a library card number and pin. Visit to learn more about the library’s online offerings.

  • Items currently checked out will not be due while the library is closed. They will be automatically renewed and fines will not be assessed.

  • The drive-up book drop will be open.

  • The library will not be accepting book/material donations for the Friends of the East Lansing Public Library through April.   
East Lansing City Clerk
  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests will still be accepted online: However, City of East Lansing offices are closed and the next business day is not currently scheduled to occur until Tuesday, April 14, 2020. As such, please expect delays in the processing of all FOIA requests until the governor's Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order expires.  

  • Visit for links to various online opportunities, including registering to vote, changing your voter registration address, signing up to automatically receive absentee voter ballots before East Lansing elections and signing up to serve as an election inspector during an upcoming East Lansing election. 

East Lansing Hannah Community Center

  • Community members can call the East Lansing Hannah Community Center (ELHCC) at (517) 333-2580 ext. 0 and leave a message. ELHCC staff will be checking messages and returning calls remotely.

East Lansing Prime Time Seniors’ Program

  • The East Lansing Prime Time Seniors’ Program, although closed, encourages neighbors to stay in touch (by phone or email) with those residents who may be isolated and especially vulnerable to the virus. 

East Lansing Parking Division

  • March parking permits will be honored in the paper permit lots (Evergreen Avenue Lot, Bailey Street Garage, Valley Court and City Hall West Lot) through April 12.

East Lansing Communications