In an effort to protect employees and the general public, the Hardy County Commission voted on Tuesday to limit foot traffic inside the Hardy County Courthouse.
The commission met in special session on March 24 and voted to approve a Limited Access Plan, effective immediately.
“There are certain things the public has to do face-to-face,” said Commissioner David Workman. “But the majority of activities can be done remotely online or by telephone.”
According to County Clerk Gregg Ely, marriage licenses, passport applications and estate probates must be done in person.
“We highly encourage the public to call all offices for information, use regular mail, email and the Hardy County website for information,” the plan states. “You can access all the online services we provide for payment of taxes, research of records and mapping information.”
Information to contact any county office is available on the county’s website www.hardycounty.com.
Individuals who must enter the courthouse will be asked to provide a photo ID and will be asked a series of questions. Their ID will be photographed, the images kept in a secure location.
You will be asked to provide your phone number and the office or offices you plan to visit.
“This is in case we have a confirmed case of COVID-19 and have to backtrack on those exposed,” Commission President Harold Michael said.
Visitors to the courthouse will also be asked if they are experiencing a fever, cough or shortness of breath.
A command center trailer has been established in the north parking lot. It is not currently staffed, but can be should the situation warrant. “It can provide any service of the courthouse,” Workman said.
The commissioners urged county residents to call the office from which they need assistance before coming to the courthouse.
County offices can be reached by telephone at the following numbers:
County Commission 304-530-0284
County Clerk – 304-530-0250
Circuit Clerk – 304-530-0230
Sheriff’s Office – 304-530-0222
Tax Office – 304-530-0220
Planning Office – 304-530-0257
Prosecutor Office 304-530-0200
Assessor’s Office – 304-530-0202
Ambulance Fee – 304-530-0256
Emergency Management – 304-530-0291
For all emergencies, please call 911.
County Clerk Gregg Ely encouraged everyone to apply for an absentee ballot for the upcoming Primary Election scheduled for Tuesday, May 12.
“You can request an absentee ballot application online, by mail, or by calling the County Clerk’s office,” Ely said. “Fill out the application and designate “Medical Reason” for the request. When we receive the application, an absentee ballot will be sent by return mail the following day.”
When the absentee ballot is completed, voters are instructed to put it into a secure, white envelope and then into a return envelope. Affix postage and mail it to the courthouse. When a number of white envelopes are collected, they will be processed, but not tallied. “We won’t tally them until election night,” Ely said.
The absentee ballots must be postmarked by election day, May 12, to be counted.