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Tuscola Commissioners may approve an opening plan
Mary Drier posted by Tom Greene
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 19:40:51 EDT
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Although the agenda for the 8 a.m. Tuscola County Commissioners Board meeting Thursday isn't ready yet, there is an item that is expected to be addressed.
During the commissioners' committee meeting of the whole Monday, they talked about opening one of the county's buildings, but could take no action on doing so.
Commissioners cannot take action during a committee meeting because they are an information meeting. Decisions can only take place during board meetings.
"I heard there have been complaints from people wanting to access the treasurer's office to pay their taxes. We have a plan in place with safety protocols. I would like to open the Purdy building on a trial basis," said county Controller-Administrator Clayette Zechmeister.
The Purdy Building at 125 W. Lincoln St. closed to the public on May 21 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions that were put in place because of it.
Besides the treasurer's office, the building also houses the offices of the drain commissioner, register of deeds, equalization, the controller-administrator's office, and the commissioners' meeting room.
"Some departments can continue to keep their doors locked so there isn't a lot of flow, and can still do meetings by appointment," explained Zechmeister.
"The treasurer's office is set up so the public can still go to the windows. They have barriers in place."
The treasurer's office is the only one that is not blocked off by a lockable door and has plexiglass walk-up window services.
"This might be a good time to do a trial run in the Purdy building to see our protocols in action and how they control the situation," she said.
According to Zechmeister, she talked to Ann Hepfer, who is the health officer for both the Tuscola County Health Department, and the Huron County Health Department, and she is okay with the plan.
"Six-foot spots could be marked off in the hall to make sure the public doesn't come in and pile up on each other," Zechmeister said.
"There should be marked areas for flow in and out to avoid close contact going in and out in the hallways."
Although the commissioners might take action on Thursday to open the Purdy Building, it will probably not start immediately.
The building and grounds department will need time to mark out the six-foot areas and traffic flow.
"The one thing we still cannot do is hold public meetings in the commissioners' room because of the 10 person limit," she noted.
Thursday's meeting will be held via Zoom. To access the meeting go to the county's website at tuscolacounty.org and click join the meeting.