Floyd County lists courthouse procedures for COVID-19 mitigation
By Bob Steenson, email@example.com
Floyd County elected officials and other county department heads released a lengthy list of changes and procedures Monday evening that will be in effect while dealing with the “minimal to moderate mitigation activities” for COVID-19 called for by the Iowa Department of Public Health.
The courthouse made the decisions “in consideration of public health concerns over the novel coronavirus and community-wide efforts to slow its spread,” according to a media release issued by County Auditor Gloria Carr on behalf of the courthouse offices.
“County facilities will be open during regular business hours, however, access will be limited,” the announcement said.
Carr told the Press that last week they already had done some informal things like making sure they had supplies to clean counters and for the custodians to wipe down doors and handrails.
The main thing is that any county business that can be conducted online, by mail or by phone should be done that way, she said.
County Treasurer Frank Rottinghaus said he hasn’t seen a situation like this in the 26 years he’s been in office.
“The main thing here is we want to protect the public as much as we can and we don’t want to put our employees at risk, which they are at this particular point, because they interact with the public,” he said.
For example, he said, on Monday, “for most of the day we had two, three, four people waiting in line. That is opportunity for transmission” of the novel coronavirus.
“At this particular time of the year we have this complication that the taxes are all due at the end of March, so we have a lot of that activity as well,” he said.
Property taxes can be paid online, but Rottinghaus said, “There are some situations that we’re not covering there. If we have someone who wants to pay with cash, what do they do? We just have to deal with that when it happens.”
The courthouse media statement said, “Any person with COVID-19 symptoms should refrain from entering a public building. At this time, self-monitoring is required by the public and employees. Stay home if you are ill.”
Social distancing measures such as increasing the space between workers and the public and decreasing social contacts in the workplace are in place, the statement says.
“Hand shaking is prohibited,” it continues. “Everyone should wash hands thoroughly before entering county facilities and throughout the day. Hand sanitizers will be available at the entrance of the courthouse and in all offices. Office/workspace areas will be cleaned at least daily.”
Procedures and restrictions for individual offices and departments at the courthouse are as follows:
• County Assessor – Informal hearings regarding protest for property values start March 16 and will be held as scheduled. Board of Review hearings starting May 1 will be held as scheduled but may be subject to change.
Applications for Homestead Tax Credit, Disabled Veteran’s Homestead Credit, Military Service Tax Exemption, Business Property Tax Credit, Family Farm Credit, and any other credits and exemptions should be obtained through the Iowa Department of Revenue website or by contacting the county assessor at (641) 257-6151 or www.floydcoia.org/137/Assessor and should be filed by mail or online as applicable. Visit Facebook page, Floyd County Assessor, for up-to-date information.
• County Attorney – Offices will be closed to walk-in traffic. Please call (641) 228-7571 to speak with an attorney or to schedule appointments.
• County Auditor – Nomination papers for the June 2 primary and Nov. 3 general elections will be accepted in office. Requesting an absentee ballot by mail for the primary and general elections is strongly encouraged.
Voter registration is recommended to be conducted by mail, through the Iowa Dept of Transportation Driver’s License or Iowa Secretary of State websites. Fiscal year 2021 City, Township and School Budgets will accepted in office. Passport applications will continue to be processed in office.
Access to GIS/Beacon website should be done via mail or online. Call (641) 257-6131, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Floyd County Auditor’s Office Facebook page or www.floydcoia.org/159/Auditor-Elections for more information.
• County Social Services/General Assistance – Call (641) 257-6363 or (855) 266-1257 or visit http://www.countysocialservices.org for more information.
• Clerk of Court – Call the office at (641) 228-7777 for court-related services.
• County Conservation – Naturalist programs are cancelled. Events with attendance of 50 people or higher will not be held. Fossil and Prairie Center is scheduled to open for visitors on May 1. Call (641) 756-3490, e-mail email@example.com or visit Facebook page, Floyd County Conservation, for more information.
• Emergency Management – Call (641) 257-6144 or e-mail LWeber@floydcoia.org for assistance. Visit Facebook page, Floyd County Iowa Emergency Management Agency, for up-to-date information.
• County Engineer – Most services can be addressed by phone rather than in person. Call (641) 257-6151 for information.
• Environmental Health/Sanitarian – Call (641) 257-6155, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Floyd County Health Department Facebook page for more information for information regarding nuisance complaints, well closings and other environmental/sanitarian needs. Apply for septic system and a free private well water tests online at https://www.floydcoia.org/FormCenter/.
• County Planning & Zoning – In lieu of visiting the office, call (641) 257-6144 or e-mail LWeber@floydcoia.org for assistance. Building permits, zoning and conditional use forms are available at https://www.floydcoia.org/195/Permits-Applications.
• Public Health – Home care services continue as scheduled. Visit Facebook page, Floyd County Public Health/Home Health Care, or call (641) 257-6111 for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 and other health-related information.
• County Recorder – Public access to land records and vital records stored in the Recorders vault is not allowed, so no genealogy searches or unnecessary land record searches may be performed until further notice. Land records may be accessed at www.iowalandrecords.org from 1993 to present.
Vital records such as marriage, birth and death certificates are available by mail or by calling VitalCheck at 866-809-0290. DD214 records may be accessed through the mail with proper identification. Boat, snowmobile and ATV/UTV license renewals can be performed by mail.
Hunting and Fishing licenses can be performed online at https://www.iowadnr.gov/. Call (641) 257-6154, e-mail email@example.com or visit the Floyd County Recorder-Iowa Facebook page for more information.
• County Sheriff – Inmate visitation is shut down for the time being. Most information can be taken care of over the phone or in person at a later date. Call (641) 228-1821 or visit Floyd County Sheriff’s Office-IA Facebook page for more information. In case of an emergency, dial 911.
• Board of Supervisors – Workshop board meetings will be held every Monday at 9 a.m. Regular (action) meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesday of each month beginning at 9 a.m. Special meetings will be called as needed.
• County Treasurer – Property tax and vehicle renewal registration payments should be mailed to the office or paid online at www.iowataxandtags.org. Issuance of vehicle titles can be completed by mail after contacting the office by telephone. Many drivers can renew their driver’s licenses online at https://mymvd.iowadot.gov/.
Driver License knowledge tests and some drive exams will be conducted at this time. Call 641) 257-6118 for more information.
• Veterans Affairs – Appointments only; no walk-in traffic. VA van services are being discontinued until further notice. Call (641) 228-1850, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Floyd County Iowa Veterans Affairs Facebook page or www.floydcoia.org/153/Veterans-Affairs for more information.
Visit www.floydcoia.org for specific duties of offices/department.