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City Extends Building Closures, Opens Door for Events

DES MOINES, IOWA – Tuesday, June 09, 2020 – Mayor Frank Cownie announced today the City of Des Moines will keep its administration buildings closed to the public until Monday, July 6 because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The buildings, which closed on March 17, were scheduled to reopen on June 15. 

The extended closure includes the City Hall, Armory, Municipal Service Center, and Public Works buildings, the Des Moines Wastewater Reclamation Authority (WRA) and the office location for the Civil & Human Rights Department. 

“While we will keep buildings closed to the public until after the Fourth of July weekend, we will start returning small numbers of employees to the workplace on June 15,” Cownie said. “By doing this in phases, we can safely and effectively manage the situation for our employees and the public we serve.”

Although City buildings will reopen on July 6, all deadlines for City permits, licenses, certifications and fines remain suspended until further notice. 

Mayor Cownie also amended his March 15 emergency proclamation to allow on public property certain social, community, recreational and sporting events including parades or festivals of more than 10 people. The change is now in effect. To obtain City permits for such activities, organizers must have the ability to comply with social distancing and crowd capacity requirements.

“This is not a return to normal but it is a safe and responsible start,” Cownie said. “As we move forward to reopen, it’s important that our approach be measured and our actions monitored to ensure safety and success.”

The specific guidelines outlined in Mayor Cownie’s proclamation amendment may be found here.

To find updates on Parks and Recreation facilities or programs, including aquatics, playgrounds, programs and Gray's Lake Park please visit Facebook (, Twitter (@desmoinesparks) or Instagram (

Al Setka 
Communications Manager, City Manager’s Office  
(515) 283-4057

About the City of Des Moines
The City of Des Moines: Iowa’s capital city and local government servicing more than 217,000 residents, 51+ neighborhoods, over 4,000 acres of parkland and 81 miles of trails. The City of Des Moines stands to be a financially strong city with exceptional city services, fostering an involved community in a customer friendly atmosphere. Visit DSM.cityFacebook and Twitter for more information.