BY DAVID FISHER
WEAKLEY COUNTY (March 23) — As of Monday, March 23, Weakley County government buildings, including the courthouse, are closed to the public.
According to Weakley County Mayor Jake Bynum, the decision is based upon the rapidly increasing number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus across the state and region.
“For the safety of our citizens and employees, all Weakley County Government offices are restricted from public access until further notice,” said Weakley County Government Communications Director Erica Miller Moore. “However, offices are still operational in order to serve our citizens.”
Bynum says while the courthouse is closed to the public, all of the county departments are open and accessible by phone, email, and fax, and until further notice, officials ask all citizens to phone the department with which they need to conduct business. Additionally, documents and payments may be placed in the red drop box located at the front door on the south side of the courthouse (Governor McWherter statue side). Upon making a deposit, citizens are asked to please call the respective office from the list of department contacts to inform them of the deposit.
The Weakley County Courthouse remains closed to the public until further notice.
For questions about department services, see the contact list with phone numbers for all Weakley County offices. A list of all courthouse offices can be provided by calling 731-364-5414. Local citizens may also visit the Weakley County Government website for related information: weakleycountytn.gov.
According to Weakley County Municipal Electric System Director Faron Collins, WCMES has not yet made any changes to its policy regarding non-payment of electric bills. “We’re still operating as normal. If customers have issues, they can call in to make payment arrangements and we’ll work with them,” Collins said. “We may make some changes later this week. But as of right now, we have not implemented anything.”
Like many other area businesses, the WCMES office is closed, however, customers can still pay bills and conduct business at the drive-through window.
In-home services and the meal delivery program conducted through the Weakley County Office on Aging are continuing on normal schedule until otherwise determined.
Dresden City Recorder Jennifer Branscum reports the lobby at City Hall is closed to the public, unless it is absolutely necessary for a customer to enter the building to conduct business. She stated local citizens may conduct their business and pay their bills by using the drop box, an Automated Clearing House (ACH) bank draft, by phoning 364-2270, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail:
Dresden City Hall
117 W Main Street
Dresden TN 38225
Branscum said the Dresden’s Police Department is only responding to calls they cannot handle over the phone and that are absolutely necessary.
According to Branscum, Dresden’s fire and public works departments are operating as normal.
She mentioned Public Works employees have been busier than normal lately due to disposable wipes being flushed down the toilet and clogging the sewer system’s lift stations and damaging equipment.
“We’re advising the residents that, even though the disposable wipes package says they are flushable, they are not suitable for the sewer system,” Branscum said. “All wipes need to be thrown into the trash instead of being flushed.”
She noted Dresden City Court, which was scheduled on Tuesday, March 17, has been reset for Tuesday, April 21.
Bransum encourages all area citizens to shop locally to support the local economy, especially during this time of national emergency. She stated retail stores and restaurants have other means to serve their customers, such as drive-through, ordering over the phone with in-store pickup or delivery, and shopping locally via the internet.
City of Martin
Martin Mayor Randy Brundige states Martin City Hall’s lobby is closed to the public and the staff is taking payments and conducting other business at the drive-through window.
The C.E. Weldon Library is closed until April 6. During this time, the library staff is inventorying its books in preparation for the move into the new library, once it is built.
The Senior Citizens Center is closed to protect the town’s older population from contracting the coronavirus.
Martin’s Police Department, Fire Stations and Public Works Department are closed to public access. These offices may be contacted by phone. If a local citizen wishes to speak to city employees, they must make an appointment.
If case of an emergency, police will respond immediately. If it is a non-emergency, police will take the information over the phone.
All Martin Parks and Recreation activities are closed until April 6, including spring baseball and softball games or practice.
“It’s something we’ve never been through before,” Mayor Brundige said. “We’re stressing social distancing to everyone. The governor’s order yesterday was pretty specific – no more than 10 people in one place.”
Mayor Brundige stated any City meetings will be available to the public through a program called Zoom.
He mentioned most Martin restaurants and bars offer take-out meals and stores are adjusting their hours.
City of Greenfield
Greenfield City Hall is closed to the public. Payments may be made through the night deposit drop box or over the phone. Likewise, all other city buildings are closed, including the police department, fire department, and the Dr. Nathan Porter Library.
City of Gleason
Gleason City Recorder Angela Hunt states Gleason City Hall is closed to the public, but the staff is still answering calls. Payments can be taken to city hall and left at the drop box or paid online.
The library is closed.
Simply Southern closed except for pick up orders and others are closing.
The pharmacy is offering curb-side pick up for medication and the bank is closed except for appointments only.
City of Sharon
According to Sharon City Clerk Lindsey Simpson, Sharon City Hall is open but closed to the public. The City is still taking payments through the drop box and answering calls. The library is not open to the public, but people can call ahead to pick up books in their car. The senior center is fully closed. Sharon’s bank is closed to the public and the drive-through is only open if someone calls ahead for an urgent matter.
BY DAVID FISHER