The Logan County Board of County Commissioners held a special meeting on March 18 at the courthouse annex. All of the commissioners as well as the county officers were in attendance.
The commissioners got an update from the health department’s Jan Fox and Branden Fetters on the coronavirus. At the time of the meeting there were no reported cases, but Fox did tell the commissioners that the county was only going to get 20 test kits at some point in the future. The local health department had no plans to set up tents or do drive through testing. The test kits would be used on the serious cases of people at risk. Fox and Fetters reiterated all of the CDC protocols and that the reason the spread is so quick is there is no vaccine or immunities in people, self-quarantine was the best suggestion.
After the health department the board got updates from county officers on what they were doing or might need. Sheriff Damon Devereaux started with announcing all face-to-face visitation and on-site video kiosk visitations have been suspended. All onsite visitation classes such as AA/NA and church have been suspended. New prisoners when booked into the jail will be quarantined until the nurse can check them out. There is no a quarantine pod at the detention center. The trustees are cleaning and sanitizing common areas including the courtrooms after hours. Each pod has cleaning and sanitizing supplies.
SDA gun permit processing and fingerprinting is currently suspended. Where possible if a call can be resolved over the phone and statements can be emailed or faxed that is what they will do. Deputies will still respond if requested. Devereaux told the commissioners that the plan would be reevaluated daily.
Treasurer Sherri Longnecker told the board since they were past the protest and appeal stage the traffic in her office was minimal. There was a drop box out in front and payments can still be made online. Second half tax bills just went out and there were 3,000 of those compared to 30,000 in the first notice. Longnecker told the board she would have at least one person in the office to handle the day to day business.
Assessor Tisha Hampton asked to close her office to the public and the commissioner told her no. That since it was a public office it needed to stay open. Like the treasurers’ office, the protest and appeal stage of assessments are over. The traffic is limited to a front desk currently where previously the office was wide open.
County Clerk Troy Cole told the board she has limited her public computer use to five at a time and they are practicing social distancing. She is also limiting visitors at the front desk to applicants only and not entire families.
Court clerk Cheryl Smith told the commissioners that all jury trials, non-jury trials and preliminary hearings have been canceled through April. All jurors scheduled to report on April 6 have been cancelled. Arraignments are still being processed every day at 1:30 p.m.
The court also announced this week that all in custody felony and misdemeanor dockets shall continue to go on as scheduled. Most of the in custody cases are now handled by video from the jail to the courtroom. All of the out of custody felony and misdemeanor dockets for March 20, April 3 and April 20 have been moved to May 15, May 1 and May 15 respectively.
The domestic dockets for March 24, April 7 and April 28 have been moved to May 26, May 5 and May 26. The deprived dockets for this week, April 1 and April 15 will be rescheduled in May and those people are advised to contact your case worker or attorney for the specific date. The juvenile dockets were remaining as scheduled.
Smith told the commissioners, that her office is working on updating all the online information for people to check. The clerk also has a drop box to drop off payments for those wishing to do so.
Election Secretary Sheleen Winscott told the commissioners that nothing had changed. The state election commission had since come out with new guidelines on the April 7 election, but no announcements have been made by the election board yet. Guthrie Schools has a board of education election scheduled for that day.
The commissioners then told the officers that their offices were remaining open and that they were minimizing contacts and working on the roads.
The commissioners then discussed road projects and updated their five year plan and approved moving a bridge project in District 3 to the top of the list. Marven Goodman then gave a presentation on the Covell Road project and asked for approval to see if he could get it reworked to cut out some of the engineered expenses. The project will cost several million dollars to pave five miles at the current rate and the county can not afford some of the current engineer proposals.
The commissioners then adjourned and will meet on March 31 for their end of month meeting.