Courthouse

The Mercer County Courthouse is now scheduled to open  Monday, May 18

PRINCETON — West Virginia’s courthouses can reopen May 18, so preparations are underway in Mercer County to make sure that public employees and the public stay safe when the doors open.

County Commissioner Bill Archer said Monday that the commissioners met last week with department heads and listened to some criteria to answer their concerns. The commissioners will discuss the pending reopening today during their May meeting, which will be conducted by teleconference.

“And some of the things we discussed will take time to implement, but for the immediate future we’re going to have social distancing guidelines,” Archer said.

County Clerk Verlin Moye said his office was preparing to get sneeze guards in place and masks for the employees as well as gloves for those who want to use them.

“And we’re going to regulate the number of people that are in the individual offices and, specifically, the courthouse, too. We’re going to keep control of how many is in there,” Moye said. “And we’re asking the public to support our cause in wearing masks and to make as many requests on the phone as possible or use the internet. A lot of time people will bring several family members that they don’t really need. Bring as few people with you as you can to conduct your business as possible, and just use some good common sense practices.”

Moye added that his office was making preparations for early voting polls which will open May 27. The last day to register to vote or change voter registration is May 19.

County Assessor Sharon Gearhart said her office was also getting sneeze guards, plus no more than three people will be allowed in the front office at a time. Visitors will not be able to just walk up to the employees’ desks. Keeping a minimum of visitors will allow the employees to keep everything wiped down and sanitized, she added.

“We would like visitors to wear masks,” she said. “Sometimes you feel like you’re treating everybody terribly bad, but this is serious business. We’ve got to protect the public as well as our employees. We want everybody to be protected.”

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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