Courthouse will remain closed until at least June 3

The Chickasaw County Courthouse will be closed to the public until at least June 3 and even when it reopens, it may be by by “appointment only.”

The Board of Supervisors discussed the matter for more than 35 minutes on Monday morning and decided to hold off reopening the building for at least another couple of weeks.

“I made that promise that we wouldn’t reopen until we had all the glass in,” Board Chairman Jacob Hackman said of the county’s decision to put up protective barriers in courthouse offices to protect county employees. “And we’re not there yet.”

Although supervisors later approved a bid to install the last of the protective barriers in the Driver’s License Station, the board decided to hold off on reopening the courthouse until next month.

District Court Judge Richard Stochl told supervisors that the State Judicial System will not “reopen” until June 15 and on what he called “a very limited basis.” Jury trials, for example, won’t begin until at least July 15, and the court calendar will be spread out on “court day” so that defendants won’t all be in the courthouse at the same time.

Supervisors, though, aren’t ready to fully open or even have a “soft opening,” like Butler, Hancock and Howard counties.
Instead, they discussed issues they believe that need to be resolved before it will even allow those with an appointment into the building.

Hackman wondered if drinking fountains should be turned off and supervisors asked if masks should be required or “highly recommended” and should door knobs be cleaned every 10 minutes?

“I guess the one thing I’m wondering about is we don’t do that at the dropbox at the sheriff’s office,” Supervisor Steve Geerts said, “so why are we worried about polishing a door know every 10 minutes.

But in the end, supervisors decided that the fact they have not received any complaints from residents who need county services was enough to keep the courthouse closed.

— For more on this story, see the May 21 Reporter and the May 26 Tribune

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