Actions preparing county buildings announced

Staff Report

GALLIPOLIS — As COVID-19 Ohio outbreak concerns continue, the Gallia Commissioners announced Tuesday they are enacting precautions to protect employees and area residents seeking services.

What follows is a news release obtained by Ohio Valley Publishing from the county:

We wish to thank everyone for remaining calm and patient as we manage this challenging time. As you know, Governor DeWine has declared a state of emergency in Ohio, and the director of the Ohio Department of Health is limiting gatherings to 10 people or less to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Gallia County also declared a state of emergency…

Governor DeWine has requested that we make decisions that are not only in our own best interest, but that are also in the best interest of our community.

It is in that spirit that we are taking actions to limit gatherings and physical contact while continuing services of the government in a reasonable way. Actions relating to the use of county-owned buildings are listed below. These actions are effective immediately and until further notice…

We will continue to monitor guidance and direction from the Ohio Governor’s Office as well as the Gallia County Health Department and Gallia County EMA, noting the following is subject to future changes.

Courthouse – 18 Locust Street, Gallipolis

This building is open to scheduled appointments only with the exception of the 3/19/2020 commissioners meeting…

Employees are continuing to work and providing services using technology. Members of the public should schedule appointments for necessary physical access to the auditor, treasurer, recorder, prosecuting attorney, economic development office, park district office, sewer billing office, law library, board of elections, clerk of courts, common pleas court, probate/juvenile court, and commissioners offices. If physical access can be postponed, please do so. Many business activities can be conducted using technology.

When appointments are needed, we are asking for everyone to use social distancing practices. A staff member will provide access to the building at the Locust Street front entrance on the first floor for scheduled appointments in the courthouse. Alternate work schedules are in place, allowing for some appointments to be made at hours beyond regular hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Real estate tax payments are due 3/27/2020 and can be mailed with postmark no later than 3/27/2020 or can be paid using any local bank drive-thru window. County sewer payments can be made by mail with postmark no later than the due date or can be dropped off using the drop box on the right wall of the courthouse front porch. Documents can also be dropped off at the Locust Street entrance and staff will deliver them to the appropriate office. Please be sure you place the documents in a sealed envelope with the name of the office/department where they should be delivered.

The county commission will have their regular commission meeting this week as usual as we work to establish an alternate meeting policy for future meetings in compliance with the Ohio Attorney General and county prosecuting attorney direction. County commission meeting minutes will continue to be posted on the county website, .

Commissioner meetings are typically held at 9 a.m. on Thursday.

Canine Shelter – Shawnee Lane, Gallipolis

This building is open to the public by appointment – please call 1-740-0207. Employees are continuing to work in open spaces, at the office, and by using technology. The shelter is also available only by appointment. The shelter can care for all dogs at the shelter with its current capacity.

Gallia Court of Common Pleas

The Gallia County Court of Common Pleas supports the efforts of the community to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The court will implement the following measures to help reduce the spread of the virus but will remain open to process the business of the court. The court wishes to eliminate nearly all face-to-face contact and foot traffic in the court and in all areas of the courthouse. Therefore, the court will conduct most hearings by telephone conference or by Skype (video conferencing).

If you have a case in common pleas court, you must contact your attorney and make sure they have a good, working telephone number at which to reach you. If you do not have an attorney or if you need to do business with the court, please contact the court by telephone at 740-209-1115. We will help you determine whether you must physically appear in court.

The probation department is also revamping reporting procedures. If you are on probation, contact your probation officer for information on how you can remain compliant.

The court is committed to ensuring every participant’s constitutional and statutory rights are respected and honored, including the right to a jury trial, the right to a speedy trial and any specific right to be physical present in court. It is important that we do not panic.

However, it is prudent that we take precautions necessary to stop the spread of the virus now. We must protect our vulnerable populations and ensure we have the resources to treat ill patients. In general, please stay home. Even if you are not ill, you may carry the disease.

In closing from the Gallia County Board of Commissioners: This memorandum will be placed on the county website and in social media, along with many other posts at the departmental levels.

The cleaning of county buildings continues as planned and there are adequate supplies for this. We appreciate your understanding as we strive to maintain the highest level of customer service possible during this challenging time.

We hope that by implementing these measures, we are doing our part to help you stay safe and healthy. If you have any questions, please contact the Gallia County Commissioners Office at 1-740-446-4612, ext. 1272.

Staff Report