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Posted on: March 16, 2020

COVID-19 City Closure FAQs

Operating under a declaration of emergency due to COVID-19, the city of Sterling Heights is currently closed through March 31. Residents may have questions about COVID-19 as well as how City operations are currently being managed.

Please see below for a comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions. If you don’t see what you are looking for on this list, please email cityhall@sterling-heights.net for additional information.


Frequently Asked Questions 

Urgent or Special Needs

If you have a special need, like groceries for a home-bound senior, please email cityhall@sterling-heights.netand we will do our best to put you in contact with a volunteer or group that can assist you.

Utica Community Schools and Warren Consolidated Schools are providing “to go” meals at no charge at schools and community sites during the school closure period. This program is available to ALL children and teens ages 18 years old and younger regardless of where they go to school or whether they qualify for free and reduced meals. Persons up to age 26 who are enrolled in an educational program for the mentally or physically disabled that is recognized by a State or local public educational agency may also take part in this USDA-funded program. More information can be found at uticak12.org and wcs.k12.mi.us.

General Questions

Will City Council meetings still be held?

Yes, but until further notice they will be held via phone conference based on the City’s Emergency Declaration and with approval from Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Will the City closure be extended beyond March 31?

It is very possible. City management continues to monitor the situation very closely and will provide regular updates.

Where can I find more information?

Residents can call any City department and should leave a voicemail message. Appropriate personnel will return all calls as soon as possible. Residents can also email specific city staff or cityhall@sterling-heights.netfor general questions. A staff directory can be found at sterling-heights.net/Directory. Information is also regularly being updated here at sterling-heights.net/communityinfo

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services  launched a statewide hotline at 1-888-535-6136 to respond to health-related questions about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The hotline is open seven days a week from 8 am – 5 pm. Public health and other experts will answer health-related questions about COVID-19. The team can also direct residents, providers and more to the right resources in their local communities and in other state government departments.

Beaumont Health has also launched a COVID-19 hotline that can be reached 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., Monday – Friday and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. To access the hotline, call (248) 551-7000. More information can also be found at Beaumont.org/coronavirus.

The CDC’s website can be found at coronavirus.gov. 

Police Department

At this time, SHPD will not be offering active shooter or neighborhood watch seminars. 

Are police officers still responding to non-emergency runs?

Yes, however, in a continued effort to keep our citizens and first responders safe from the COVID-19 Coronoavirus, we are asking people to use increased discretion when seeking police services. The Sterling Heights Police Department will ALWAYS respond immediately to emergencies.

If residents have a situation that can be resolved over the phone by speaking with a police officer or they are not sure if they should come into the police station, we urge them to call (586) 446-2800 and press "9".

 Are police officers taking reports over the phone?

 Yes, SHPD is currently allowing police officers to take non-emergency reports over the phone. Please be prepared that they may ask a few additional questions to verify who you are over the phone. If you would like your report taken over the phone, please call (586) 446-2800 and press "9".

Can I mail my gun registration?

Yes, please mail all gun registrations at this time.

Is the court still open? 

Please check call (586) 446-2500 or check the court website for the most current information and where to go for your court date at sterling-heights.net (click on “Government,” click on “Court & Judicial Services,” and click on “41A District Court.”)

Can I still drop off my old or unused prescription drugs?

Please keep unused prescription drugs in a safe place until further notice. If that is not possible, our prescription drop box is still open and operational for emergency drops, this does not require you to speak to anyone.

Can I still drop off my vacation extra check?

Please call the front desk at (586) 446-2800 and press "9,” and a police officer will write down all of your information.

If I find a lost dog should I still bring it into the police station?

Please call dispatch at (586) 446-2800 and press "1" to have an animal control officer or police officer respond to your location.

If a police officer does come to my home, what should I expect?

SHPD Officers will always offer the most professional service. If a police officer is dispatched to your location, depending on the circumstances, the officer may be wearing a mask and/or gloves. The officer may also ask you to step outside of your home. Please do not be offended. Our main goal is to always keep everyone safe during this current community health issue. 

How can I access records information?

Many services provided by the Police Department Records Bureau (like police reports, clearance letters or park alcohol permits) can be handled electronically. Visit sterling-heights.net (click on “Government,” click on “Public Safety” and click on “Police Department.”) Don’t see what you’re looking for or still have questions?  Contact SHPD records department by phone at (586) 446-2900.  The records department is open 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

How can I purchase permits for firearms?

If an individual is planning to purchase a pistol from a Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) dealer, a License to Purchase a Pistol (LTP) is no longer required. However, a Pistol Sales Record (PSR) will be completed. You do not need to come to the Police Department for a purchase permit. You may now go directly to an FFL dealer, and they will have the proper paperwork to purchase the pistol. However, you can call (586) 446-2900 or email pdrecords@sterling-heights.net to request that paperwork, and we can email it to you.  “The “Registry” or “MSP” copies of completed Pistol Sales Records or Pistol Purchase Permits can be returned to:  Sterling Heights Police Department, Attention Records, 40333 Dodge Park Road, Sterling Heights, MI  48313.

How can I obtain a police clearance letter?

A local police clearance letter indicating whether you do or do not have an arrest record in the city of Sterling Heights can be obtained if you are, or have been, a resident of Sterling Heights. You will need to provide a copy of your driver’s license or state issued ID and a signed letter with current address information. The signature must be notarized. Email the notarized letter and copy of ID to pdrecords@sterling-heights.net. Upon receipt of the notarized letter and copy of ID, we will contact you for payment information. The Police Clearance Letter will then be mailed to you.

How can I obtain a police report or request items under FOIA?

To obtain a copy of a police report without coming in to the police station, simply submit your request on a Freedom of Information Act request form and send to shpdfoia@sterling-heights.net. Forms can be located at sterling-heights.net (click on “Government,” click on “City Administration,” click on “City Clerk” and click on “Freedom of Information Act Request (PDF).”) Your report, if available, will be provided to you within the next five business days. Upon receipt of your form, we will contact you for payment information. The report(s) will then be mailed to you. Audio or Video recordings may take longer depending on size and will be mailed to you. 

Fire Department

 Is the Fire Department still responding to all calls?

Yes, the Fire Department is still responding to all calls but have put some extra safeguards into place that may require those who call 911 to answer a few questions. The Fire Department will revise any response plans as needed.

Is the Fire Department still conducting Fire Inspections?

The Fire Department has stopped inspections at this time. However, if there is a significant life safety issue that needs to be investigated at any business, Fire Administration will evaluate the situation and decide the best way to proceed.

How can I get a Fire Report or Medical Report? 

If a report is needed, please call (586) 446-2950 or email firedepartment@sterling-heights.net

Parks and Recreation / Senior Center

Are classes or events still taking place at the Community Center, Senior Center or Nature Center?

No, all scheduled programming has been canceled through March 31 since the Community Center is closed.

Can I still register for Parks and Recreation programs?

Yes, online registration for Parks and Recreation programs is available online at myshpr.net (click on the registration tab). You can also print out a form from the website and fax it to (586) 276-4064 or scan and email it to recreation@sterling-heights.net.

How can I register for items that require in-person registration (e.g. pavilion rental, adult softball and volleyball, dog park pass, etc.)?

For Parks and Recreation items that require in-person registration, please email recreation@sterling-heights.net. Parks and Recreation staff will then email the proper paperwork and give direction on how to return the form. 

Are the Sterling Heights Parks still open?

 Yes, however, we recommend that park patrons do not use amenities that involve larger group participation (e.g. pavilions, Dodge Park soccer field, basketball courts, etc.)

Are the park restrooms going to be open?

The Dodge Park restrooms will remain open and disinfected daily.  All others are still closed for the season.

Is the SMART Transportation service still operating through the Senior Center?

The SMART Transportation service is operating for medical-related appointments only. New appointments for medical appointments only can still be made by calling 586-446-2757. 

Library

 Is the library open?

No. The Library is currently closed through March 31.

Are there still library programs at the Community Center?

There are no programs occurring at the Community Center or any other offsite location at this time.

Can I still return my library items?

You can still return your library items in the book returns located on the library building. They are located to the right of the front doors. The curbside bookdrop is closed.

If I can’t get to the library and my items are due, will I be charged fines?

No fines will be charged. All items that were due from March 13 - March 31 are now due April 1.

If I have a hold waiting for me in the Library, will it be held for me until the Library opens again? 

Any holds for a Sterling Heights item will be held for you until the Library reopens. If the hold is for an item from another library, it may have to be returned if that library is open. If the item has to be returned, we will replace your hold. 

Is the Friends bookstore still taking donations?

No donations are currently being taken while the library is closed. 

Can I get a library card online?

Unfortunately, library cards cannot be obtained online as we need to verify identification in person before issuing a card.

Do you have ebooks or other digital media that I can borrow?

The library has an abundance of ebooks, audiobooks, digital magazines, online tutoring and more. All of the links to the library’s digital services are available on our website http://www.shpl.net. Click on Services at the top and then Online Services. 


Finance and Administration

 How can I pay city bills online?

Visit the Sterling Heights homepage of our website and click on "I WANT TO". Click on "PAY" and select one of the following to pay:

  • Court Fines
  • Parks and Recreation Registration
  • Property Taxes (Note: currently payable at Macomb County)
  • Water and Sewer Utility Bills
  • Snow Tickets
  • Ambulance Run Fees

Follow the prompts to process payment.

Additional Instructions for Court Fines through Official Payments:

  • Choose Local Payments
  • Choose Michigan for State
  • Choose 41A District Court for Entity
  • Choose Court Fine Payments for Type
  • Then Click on Make a Payment

Additional Instructions for Snow Tickets and Ambulance Run Fees through Official Payments:

  • Choose Local Payments
  • Enter Jurisdiction Code of 3258, OR
  • Choose Michigan for State
  • Choose Sterling Heights for Entity
  • Choose Ambulance Run Fee or Snow Ticket
  • Then Click on Make a Payment

How can I request a final water bill?

Please send the request to: treasurer@sterling-heights.net. Requests must include the service address, the 6-digit numbers on the meter located in basement, and an email address where the final bill request is to be sent.

Can I still drop off my payment at the drop-box located next to City Hall.

Yes, you can still drop off your payment for water bills at the City Hall drop box. 

I need a copy of my tax payment for my tax return. How do I access my property tax information? 

To search property tax information, go to sterling-heights.net

Scroll over Services (middle of page)

Under Financial Services, scroll down and click on Tax and Assessing Public Records

To search by address, enter Address (house number only), click search

Select the address you wish to view by clicking on it

Click on the Tax Information tab

Scroll down to Tax History and click on the tax year/season desired

Will I still get charged a late fee for my water bill or invoice due to delay in processing times?

No, there will be no late penalties assessed for bills due in March 2020.

Will I still receive my next water bill?

Yes, water bills will still be mailed according to schedule.

I’m a retiree. Will I receive my monthly pension payment? What if I need to update my contact information?

Yes, you will receive your pension check. Please direct all pension-related questions to treasurer@sterling-heights.net

I still need to pay may 2019 Property Taxes. How can I do so?

All 2019 property taxes are now payable to the Macomb County Treasurer with additional penalties and interest. To obtain the total balance now due, please contact the County at (586) 469-5190.

Who do I contact for questions about a lien on my property?

Please e-mail treasurer@sterling-heights.net

I am a title company and need information. Who can I contact?

Please send your inquiries to treasurer@sterling-heights.net

How do I handle assessing related transactions?

Because most employees will be working remotely from home during the emergency period, residents must process assessing related documents according to the lists below. Postal mail will be delivered to City Hall daily and an employee will be processing the mail regularly. Items received via USPS, email or fax will be processed as quickly as possible. It is not advised to leave telephone messages for employees, as the response time may be delayed. Messages are best sent via email or fax.

Documents that will be accepted via USPS, email or fax include:

  • Property Transfer Affidavits
  • Principal Residence Exemption Affidavits
  • Requests to Rescind Principal Residence Exemptions
  • Conditional Rescission of Principal Residence Exemptions

Documents should be sent to mdmsmith@sterling-heights.net or faxed to (586) 276-4038. 

Documents that will be accepted ONLY via USPS due to the requirement of original documents and signatures include: 

  • Land Division & Combination Applications
  • 2020 Hardship Applications
  • Exempt Property Applications
  • Change of Address Requests

Will Board of Review meetings be held during the City closure?

Due the Covid-19 crisis and pursuant to the Governors Executive Order and City’s Emergency Declaration, all sessions of the in-person Board of Review that was to be held at the Sterling Heights Community Center starting Monday, March 16 at 9 a.m. have been cancelled.

The Board will still be accepting appeals in writing. All appeals must be submitted by Wednesday, March 18 at 3 pm. Anyone interested in submitting an appeal must do so in writing. The written appeal must include a letter signed by the property owner requesting consideration by the Board of Review. The letter must state the reason for the appeal and include all supporting documentation. Petitioners who are not the owner of record must include a letter of authorization signed by the property owner.

The written appeal may be submitted either by fax at (586) 276-4038 or emailed to the City Assessor at mdmsmith@sterling-heights.net.

The Board of Review will be meeting remotely to issue a determination on all appeals. Petitioners will receive written notification of the Board’s actions before June 1, 2020.

I’m a vendor and have a question about payment status of an invoice. Who should I contact?

City staff are working remotely and are still accessible. Please email any questions to ap@sterling-heights.net. Emails received will be answered as soon as possible. No significant delays are currently expected regarding payments to vendors.

Will bids still be posted and accepted, and will bid submittal deadlines still apply?

Yes, vendors responding with bids should submit bids via email to shpurchasing@sterling-heights.net or at mitn.info. Please visit the Purchasing Department page for more information (click on Government, click on Finances & Records, click on Purchasing).

Will purchase orders continue to be issued?

Yes, and an additional questions or concerns can be emailed to shpurchasing@sterling-heights.net and Purchasing Department staff will promptly respond.

Can I speak to a Purchasing Department representative?

Email your contact information to shpurchasing@sterling-heights.net and a Purchasing Department staff member will contact you.


DPW

Will my trash continue to be picked up during the City closure?

Yes. The trash collection schedule has not changed, and GFL has informed us that residents should not experience any service interruptions.

Are recycle centers open during the City closure?

No, recycle centers are closed. Residents have the option of signing up for curbside GFL’s Curbside Recycling Service by calling GFL at (844) 464-3587.

Will DPW be responding to requests during the City closure?

DPW is responding to emergency calls only (e.g. water main break, sanitary back up, tree down in the road, MISS DIG, etc.) Please call (586) 469-5151 for all Public Works related emergencies.


CITY DEVELOPMENT / CODE ENFORCEMENT

Will code enforcement still be in effect?

Code Enforcement is currently postponing enforcement and Ordinance Board of Appeals meetings through the City closure. As always, we ask residents to continue to follow city code and be respectful to neighbors.

How do I obtain a permit during the City closure?

Trade permits and roofing permits can be obtained at https://www.sterling-heights.net/151/Permits-Inspections

Can I mail in my permit application since City Hall is closed?

Yes, you can mail the permit and plans needed to apply for a permit. This process will take longer than normal since mail delivery may be delayed while City Hall is closed.

Are Inspections still being performed? 

Yes, but they are currently limited to new construction and unoccupied homes or buildings only. Inspection requests for any occupied home or business are temporarily suspended during the City closure.

If I have an inspection scheduled, how do I get in contact with the inspector for an approximate time?

All office phones have been set to forward to inspector cell phones, so you can reach them simply by calling them on their office phone. If you leave a voicemail, they will also receive an email of the recording, and they will return all calls within 24 hours.

How do I schedule an inspections?

You can schedule an inspection at https://www.sterling-heights.net/151/Permits-Inspections

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