PARKERSBURG, W.Va.-(WTAP) Update: 3/25/2020
The Wood County Commission , in a special meeting Wednesday morning, voted to close the courthouse and the Donald F. Black annex, except the Family Law Court, to public access.
The Judicial Annex, whose operations, including the courts, is governed by state courts, will remain open, as will the Wood County Justice Center. The Day Report Center is still open, by appointment or phone call.
Wood County Courthouse employees also will still be available by phone or by e-mail.
The commission's decision was prompted by concerns over public physical contact, and by Governor Jim Justice's "stay at home" order, which went into effect Tuesday night.
The Wood County Commission is recommending county employees work on 20-hour weekly shifts to limit distancing among staff.
That would exclude critical service such as the sheriff's office and the 911 Center.
The county is also considering moving some public services to the Wood County Community Federal Credit Union's office on Dudley Avenue. It has a drive-up window available to the county on certain days of the week that would distance county employees from citizens.
The commission discussed these options at its regular Monday meeting, moved from the courthouse to the Donald F. Black annex.
The commission is looking at ways to protect county employees while continuing services to the public.
"People still want to get a marriage license or a birth certificate," said Commission President Blair Couch. "So many of these services are available online, or by a phone call. We encourage everybody to stay home, to make a phone call, to go online."
The commission Monday also approved a budget of more than $24 million for the coming fiscal year, beginning July 1.
It includes a $500 raise for county employees, continuing a series of raises promised last year. it also includes additional staff for some departments.