FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 20, 20120
Contact: Tyler Lowry, Commissioners, 614-525-6630
Jodi Andes, Commissioners, 614-525-5273
COUNTY BUILDINGS CLOSED TO ALL BUT ESSENTIAL BUSINESS
The Franklin County Commissioners today announced that Franklin County facilities will be closed to all but essential county and court business, meaning the public should not come to the government complex unless it is for court. The closures are being implemented today and will be in effect by Monday, March 23, at the latest.
Essential county employees may still be coming and going, while others work from home. In many cases, county services can be accessed online. Drop boxes for the county recorder, auditor, and treasurer are being added to the main lobby of the county complex so the public can drop off documents if necessary. County-owned parking facilities near the courthouse will be free for the time being to assist employees and facilitate a quick and easy drop-off of documents for the public. Job and Family Services and Child Support Enforcement will maintain the drop boxes they currently have in their lobbies.
Some notable exceptions:
- Those who wish to see the commissioners’ General Session meetings on Tuesdays are strongly encouraged to watch them live online at https://eapp.columbus.gov/ctv/ctv.htm.
- Courts operate under their own authority, even if they are in county facilities. Check with them individually to understand their policies.
- The sheriff is not allowing personal visits at the jail. Contact the sheriff’s office for details.
- The Dog Shelter is still open for adoptions and has set up an appointment system for visitors. Contact the shelter directly for more information.
- Job and Family Services, the Office on Aging, and Child Support Enforcement lobbies will remain open to the public during limited hours from 8:00 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday, This is to allow for critical documents to be delivered, if necessary. Residents are being asked to do case management online and by phone.
The closure is pursuant to Commissioners Resolution 0181-20, which granted presumptive authority to the county administrator to act in an emergency, and to a prior opinion of the attorney general [2015 Ohio Op. Atty. Gen. No. 2015-027 (Ohio A.G.), 2015 WL 5193397
The authority of a board of county commissioners to provide and maintain a courthouse and to keep a courthouse safe pursuant to R.C. 305.16, R.C. 307.01(A), R.C. 307.02, and R.C. 311.07(A) by necessary implication includes the authority to determine whether portions of a courthouse should be closed when conditions affecting the courthouse pose a threat to the health and safety of the people inside the courthouse.
For more information, and for an updated list of changes to service and hours at agencies county-wide, visit commissioners.franklincountyohio.gov/covid19