XENIA — Essential county services will continue, even as offices remain closed and many staff members work from home.
“We’re taking the governor’s announcement very seriously,” County Administrator Brandon Huddleson said after Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton signed the stay at home order Sunday. “For the county commissioners and myself, our top priority is the safety and health of our employees. We are still providing all essential services that we can provide to individuals.”
Greene County Job and Family Services is closed, with essential emergency functions in operation. Many staff members are working from home. Huddleson said there may be delays in some service delivery. To apply for SNAP, Medicaid, TANF, and Publicly Funded Child Care, visit www.benefits.ohio.gov. To report child abuse, call 937-562-6600 and follow the prompts.
“We continue to take care of our most vulnerable. We have people around the clock ready to react to child abuse, adult protective services,” he said. “Those sort of essential services are still there, but normal day-to-day business is just going to have to pause so we can get through this together.”
Huddleson assures residents that water and sewer services, under Greene County Sanitary Engineering, will not cease. Sanitary Engineering offices are closed.
“Water and sewer [staff] is working around the clock, safely processing waste water and delivering water to all customers,” he said. “Water is vital to life and we have a dedicated staff committed to that service delivery.”
Water and sewer bills will be mailed out, but late fees will be waived for three months. Bills can be paid via online bank “bill pay,” at www.co.greene.oh.us/sanitary, via credit card or e-check at www.invoicecloud/GCSED, via phone at 855-925-1665, via drop box at 667 Dayton-Xenia Road, or through check payments with coupon via USPS.
“We ask people to maintain their routine; we rely on that revenue,” Huddleson said. “We are waiving late fees and are not going to shut anything off. We understand people have challenges at this time.”
By close of business Tuesday, water and sewer inspection for contractors will stop to protect inspectors in the field.
Virtual inspections through Building Regulation will continue. By close of business Tuesday, no new plans or permits will be accepted.
“Some of these items of commerce are going to have to come to a stop to take into account what the governor and Dr. Acton are saying,” Huddleson said. “We’ve been asked to push the pause button in the county and in the state to keep people safe. We take that seriously and we are going to do that.”
The commissioners’ office is closed and meetings are canceled for the time being. After declaring a state of emergency, the board passed a resolution last week delegating its authority to Huddleson. He said he’s using that to continue funds transfers, voucher approvals, and payments, but is not approving new agreements or contracts.
“We are planning 24 hours at a time,” Huddleson said. “We’re all just kind of hunkering down and getting through this together.”
To contact Huddleson, visit co.greene.oh.us, click “Board of County Commissioners” under “Departments,” and click “Email” under “Brandon Huddleson.”
Elected county offices and courts
While courts remain open for essential functions, elected officials’ offices are closed.
Auditor — closed. There are boxes in the doorway for documents.
Clerk of Courts — open. Residents can drop off all Common Pleas: General, Domestic Relations, Civil, and Adult Probation paperwork in a new secure dropbox outside of the courthouse. Payments over the phone at 937-562-5290 are encouraged. Auto Title Division also has a dropbox.
Common Pleas Court — open. Audiovisual technologies are being used for some proceedings while others may be re-scheduled. Continuance of trials and hearings are determined by each judge on a case-by-case basis.
Domestic Relations Court — open. A reduced staff is working from the building, which is open for emergency issues. Many issues are being handled over the phone.
Engineer — closed. For non-emergency calls, leave a voicemail at 937-562-7500, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For emergencies on county-maintained roads, call dispatch at 937-376-5111.
Juvenile Court — open. The court is continuing to hear cases with exceptions: people arrested on warrants, detention hearings, civil protection orders and Children Services cases. Pre-trial conferences are being handled via telephone or video. Court filings are only accepted at email@example.com or by fax at 937-562-4010. Filing fees can be mailed or given over the phone at 937-562-4000. Programming and classes are suspended.
Probate Court — open. The court is operating remotely as a fully functional virtual court. Clerk’s office is closed. Residents are asked to use dropbox for filings and not visit the court unless there is an emergency; call 937-562-5281 first. The marriage license system has gone online. See all court services at co.greene.oh.us/447/Probate-Court.
Prosecutor — visitors limited. Meetings are being rescheduled to telephone conferences. Any visitor must call 937-562-5250 for appointment. Grand jury sessions are suspended for the next two weeks.
Recorder — closed. Mail documents to P.O. Box 100, Xenia, Ohio 45385. Mortgage-related documents are accepted through Simplifile electronic filing.
Treasurer — closed. Real estate tax payments can be submitted in the secured drop box in front of the office at 15 Greene Street. Payments can be made at co.greene.oh.us/505/Treasurer.
Call 937-502-4498 or follow Anna Bolton, Reporter on Facebook.