News & Announcements

Today, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order, directing all citizens to stay in their homes unless they’re a part of a critical infrastructure workforce, engaged in outdoor activity, or performing tasks necessary to the health and safety of themselves or their family. The Order also directs all Michigan businesses and operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life to temporarily suspend in-person operations.

Effective at 12:01 a.m. on March 24, 2020, for at least the next three weeks, people may only leave their home or place of residence under very limited circumstances, and they must adhere to social distancing measures recommended by the CDC when they do so, including remaining at least six feet from people to the extent feasible under the circumstances.

“In just 13 days, we’ve gone from 0 to over 1,000 COVID-19 cases,” said Governor Whitmer. “This is an unprecedented crisis that requires all of us working together to protect our families and our communities. The most effective way we can slow the virus is to stay home. I know this will be hard, but it will be temporary. If we all come together, get serious, and do our part by staying home, we can stay safe and save lives.”

Key points from the Executive Order include:

  • All public and private gatherings of any number of people from outside a single household are temporarily prohibited.
  • People may leave the house for limited, necessary purposes, and may engage in outdoor activities like walking, hiking, running, cycling, or any other recreational activity, consistent with remaining at least six feet from people.
  • All businesses and operations are prohibited from requiring workers to leave their homes, unless those workers are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations. Businesses and operations are to designate the workers that meet those criteria, and must adopt social distancing practices and other mitigation measures to protect workers and patrons in the performance of that necessary in-person work. Workers that are necessary to sustain or protect life include those in health care and public health, law enforcement and public safety, grocery store workers, and more. See the full list.
  • Citizens can apply for unemployment benefits if they have left work or taken a leave of absence because of self-isolation or self-quarantine in response to elevated risk from COVID-19 due to being immunocompromised, displaying the symptoms of COVID-19, having contact in the last 14 days with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, the need to care for someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, or a family care responsibility as a result of a government directive. Those temporarily laid off from work should apply for unemployment benefits online or 1-866-500-0017.  
  • Gov. Whitmer is working to ensure that children who rely on the food provided by schools will have the resources they need. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has developed an online map for families to find meals. Access the map.
  • If you have questions about the state’s actions to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, please call the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-535-6136 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.  

For more information, read the Governor’s complete Executive Order.

Ferndale City Council Meeting

With this morning’s Executive Order announcement, the City of Ferndale has cancelled the March 23 City Council meeting, originally scheduled for 7 p.m. this evening, and has rescheduled it for this Wednesday, March 25 at 7 p.m.

“City Council meetings are critical to the continuance of essential business and services for our city; however, the most important thing right now is the health and safety of our community,” said Joseph Gacioch, Ferndale City Manager. “Rescheduling our meeting for Wednesday allows us to change course and provide an entirely digital meeting, which is the right move under the current circumstances.”

While the requirement is only to provide a digital meeting, at Mayor Melanie Piana’s request City management and IT staff will be working to deliver the meeting both digitally and in its traditional simulcast format, streamed live on the City’s Meetings & Minutes page, on local cable access WFRN, and via YouTube.

Details about how to view and comment/engage in Wednesday’s meeting will be posted by Tuesday morning.

March 21, 2020

The Oakland County Health Division today issued emergency orders to close all playground equipment to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus.

Oakland County Executive David Coulter also closed shopping malls Countywide and will require all childcare centers to develop and implement a daily screening protocol for children, staff, parents.

“The steps we take today – as individuals, businesses and government – will save lives,” Coulter said. “We have to protect our hospital systems so they stay equipped to help the very sickest. We can get through this together, but we have to act together.”

The ban on indoor and outdoor playground equipment takes place immediately. Playground equipment in childcare centers and areas without playground equipment such as walking trails and grassy areas are exempt from the order.

Ferndale's Department of Public Works mobilized staff immediately upon receiving the order; crews will work throughout the day to construct snow fencing around play equipment at all City parks, including the Geary Park Skatepark. The Ferndale Dog Park will also be closed.

The County's orders are effective until April 17, stating, “in order to control and limit the spread of the communicable disease, it is necessary to prevent people from coming into contact with uninfected people.”

The county has also instituted a text messaging service for updates on the coronavirus. To sign up, text oakgov to 28748.

City Hall Closes to Public

To ensure the safety of our community, the City of Ferndale has made the difficult decision to officially close City Hall to the public, effective immediately. Staff remain dedicated to serving our residents and businesses and are available in most circumstances as normal to serve you from remote locations. For more information about closures, visit our Updated Hours news article.

City Council Meeting

Visit our news page for detailed information and important updates for the Monday, March 23 City Council meeting.

March 16, 2020

As we continue to move forward with COVID-19 preparation and response, the City of Ferndale will update the public with new information and critical updates on this page at least twice a week. The following updates are for Monday, March 16.

City Hall Hours

Beginning Tuesday, March 17, Ferndale City Hall will be open to the public with limited hours to reduce face-to-face interactions, per County recommendation. City Hall hours, through April 6, are Monday through Wednesday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Need to make a payment or ask a question about your account? Visit our digital payments and transactions page, where you can access your account online, make payments, register for water service, and more. Need something that can’t be handled online? Give us a call or visit us during our revised hours.

For more information about City closures and protocol updates, visit

New Web Resource and Phone Number

To be as transparent and informational as possible, the City has established a new COVID response web resource, available at You can easily find it on the top navigation of the City’s website.

Additionally, we have established contact phone numbers and email addresses specifically for COVID-related response and questions. Reach out to us at any time with questions or concerns:
Residents and public

Business and downtown

A New Order from the County Regarding Food-Service Businesses

This morning Governor Whitmer announced an Executive Order closing bars, restaurants, and cafes to “eat-in” traffic (carryout and delivery are still available). In a follow-up press conference this afternoon, Oakland County Executive David Coulter affirmed the move, explaining that the County is seeing infected patients between the ages of five and mid-90s, many with no history of travel, which means that the virus is officially locally communicable, and reinforcing the importance of social distancing.

We urge our residents to follow these directives and practice social distancing--it's simply the most effective way to slow or stop the spread and keep our community safe. If you’re unsure about the status of a Ferndale business or service, we encourage you to reach out to the owner or proprietor directly.

Temporary Changes to Parking Enforcement, Free 30-minute Parking for Delivery or Pickup Food Orders

While State and County public health orders remain in effect affect related to COVID-19, all paid parking spaces in Ferndale’s municipal parking lots will allow for 30 minutes of free parking for delivery or pickup orders. Currently, Executive Order 2020-9 restricts the use of places of restaurants and other businesses until March 30, 2020. To support businesses during this time, the City of Ferndale will be encouraging long-term parkers head to the back of the lots, leaving the spaces closer to the businesses available for easy pickups. Retail locations offering curbside pickups for online orders may also take advantage of this service.

The City and DDA’s complimentary downtown valet service, currently offered in the Withington Parking Lot alley, will be suspended through April 6.

March 13, 2020

This morning Oakland County Executive David Coulter shared the news that 14 more Michigan residents have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, including an additional Oakland County resident, and that he would be implementing a county-wide State of Emergency.

With this new information, several of the protocols that the County was recommending, and the City of Ferndale was following, have been updated. Under recommendation from the County, the City will be employing a social distancing plan beginning immediately and effective through April 6. This means that some of our standard operating procedures—including hours of operation, programming, events, staffing, and facilities—will be modified to minimize person-to-person contact. This is is not a panic response; on the contrary, we’re making these moves along with every other city in the County to act proactively to stop the spread of contagions before it becomes a crisis.

You’ll find updates by department/program below. More information will be added in the coming days and weeks, so please check back here regularly for up-to-date information about closings, cancellations, hours, and more. If you have additional questions or concerns, please see the resources at the bottom of this page or contact us at 248-546-2525.


City Hall will remain open. Our first and highest priority is to the people of Ferndale, and we will keep our doors open and remain available to help when and where we’re needed. To ensure the highest precautions, we’ll be implementing some procedural changes to minimize face-to-face interactions between staff and the public. We’re still working through what these modifications look like; more information will be available on Monday.


We're following the County's recommendation by eliminating contact points where larger groups of people gather, such as recreation programs and community centers.

  • The Kulick Community Center will be closed to the public through April 6, effective immediately.
  • All Recreation activities, events, and programming scheduled between now and April 6 has been cancelled.
  • The Eggstravaganza egg hunt has been cancelled.
  • SMART Bus Service WILL continue to operate for essential services only; please contact our Parks & Recreation director at 248-914-2701 with questions.

Our DPW services are essential to a healthy and functional community. Service will continue on an essential or need-based basis. Teams will be smaller than usual to ensure essential staffing only, but will be on hand to respond to critical or emergency requests. Contract projects that are running with outside/contract staff, such as Schiffer Park, will continue.


CED will operate with a scaled-back staff at City Hall. Inspections and permitting will continue with limited face-to-face contact. Whenever possible, inspections and meetings will occur via phone or digital meeting.


Staffing will remain the same as usual. 911 and emergency services will not be affected. Protocols have been modified to allow our emergency staff to respond to incidents quickly and with extra precaution.


As of now, the March 23 meeting will remain as scheduled. Directions for digital viewing/engagement by the public will be communicated in the week prior to the meeting. The meeting will be limited to contract and essential items only; other items will be moved to a later date.


All Commission meetings scheduled between now and April 6 will be cancelled or rescheduled. The City Clerk will be in contact with staff liaisons and will ensure that cancellations are communicated to commission board members.

March 11, 2020

On March 10, the Oakland County Health Department announced the first positive-test case of Covid-19 Novel coronavirus in Oakland County (a second positive-test case has been confirmed in Macomb County).

The City of Ferndale takes the health and safety of our community very seriously. The Ferndale Fire Department is leading the effort to keep citizens educated and informed, working directly with State and County officials, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and staff from the City’s Police, Human Resources, Communications, and City Manager’s Departments. We’re taking early preventive measures to combat the virus:

  • Internal protocols have been adjusted to reflect the current situation, and we will continue to adjust accordingly as additional information becomes available.
  • Staff from the Ferndale Police and Fire Departments have received extensive training for viral epidemic/pandemic response and preparedness, and they have been specially trained to help screen for identification and treatment of Covid-19.
  • Fire Chief Jack Pesha has delivered talks to several higher-risk populations, including members of the Ferndale Seniors Group and residents of both the Ferndale Housing Commission and The James senior living community. Chief Pesha will continue to provide on-demand talks to groups as requested.
  • The City will continue to receive regular briefings from the County and State,which are receiving information directly from the CDC.

The Process

It is the responsibility of the Ferndale Police Department to respond to citizen issues promptly and efficiently. It is also important to be aware that there may be issues that don't offer an immediate resolution. These conflicts include:

  • Agency policies
  • Environmental requirements
  • Public safety practices
  • Delivery of service
  • Employee conduct

The resolution of these issues is important to the department in order to maintain the highest professional standards.


If your complaint has not been resolved by the employee you first contacted, you may request to speak to the on-duty supervisor.  

  • This can be done in person or over the phone.  
  • If a supervisor is not available immediately, you will have the option to schedule a return phone call or an appointment.


The  supervisor on-duty will attempt to resolve your issue. If a resolution has not been met, a Citizen Complaint Form should be filled out and submitted.  

  • This is available in person or online
  • This form will be investigated by the officer’s shift Lieutenant; once completed, it will be reviewed by the Patrol Division Commander and Chief of Police.


After your complaint is processed, you will be informed of the final disposition by phone and mail. These determinations can include: sustained (sufficient evidence), not sustained (insufficient evidence), exonerated (lawful incident), or unfounded (false allegation). If additional information is desired, our staff will be happy to provide further detail or reevaluate as needed.

Water Safety Information

The City of Ferndale performs regular water sampling and testing in accordance with the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act, and we continue to surpass water quality standards as mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). The City provides comprehensive information about lead, chemicals, and other contaminants. For more information, see below.

Lead and Your Public Drinking Water

Surpasses EPA water quality standards, per GLWA testing

The Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) oversees mandatory annual testing of each of their community water suppliers. Most recent testing, courtesy of the 2018 Consumers Annual Water Quality Report, shows levels that once again exceed regulation requirements and standards. To learn more about lead testing and water safety, view Lead and Your Water Supply: An Informational Guide.

PFAS and Your Public Drinking Water

Not detected in any water supply, per GLWA testing

The Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) oversees mandatory testing of their water supply to ensure that PFAS, or chemical perfluoroalkyl substances, are not present in community drinking water supplies. Most recent testing of water in five sources (Detroit-based Water Works Park, Springwells, and Northeast water treatment plants, Allen Park-based Southwest Water Treatment Plant, and Lake Huron), performed 2222, confirmed that PFAS was not detected at any level/in any water source. You can view the report for more information.

PFAS Report: Southeast Ferndale

February 2019: The City of Ferndale learned from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (now EGLE) of the discovery of PFAS at the privately owned business property located at 1221 Farrow Street, Ferndale, identified as MacDermid, Inc.—a small chemical manufacturing and warehouse facility. Monitoring occurred at the bases of two former waste lagoons, and contamination appears limited to a small, perched zone of groundwater. The designation of this groundwater prevents it from being used as a drinking water source, and stormwater runoff from the contaminated area is captured and treated before discharge to the GLWA. Because this is a reportedly contained issue on private property, EGLE is working directly with the business/property owner(s) to excavate and re-sample. MDEQ recommended no community outreach at this time; the City has elected to publish this information in an effort to maintain transparency and information.

For more information, view the MDEQ report or contact the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.


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