Union County officials announce more closings, restrictions due to virus

Emergency Management Director Curt Clayton addresses the board at a previous meeting
March 16th, 2020     Government & Politics

Local officials continue to make adjustments to deal with and help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

No cases had been reported in Union County Monday morning but state officials did say a presumptive case had been reported in Monroe County. Other cases have been more in the central and southern sections of the state.

The Union County Board of Supervisors met Monday but took no official position on closings, leaving it up to department heads to determine whether access should be limited or offices closed. It was not clear what authority they might have under the governor’s emergency declaration.

Board President Randy Owen did say that the Union County Library and Union County Heritage Museum will be closed this week and their programs including Luncheon With Books and Museum Moments cancelled, at least for the time being. Some or all may be rescheduled.

Owen said the Union County Fairgrounds will not be rented out for now and the Union County Extension Office is cancelling its programs as well.

County solid waste workers will wear gloves and may wear protective suits as well. Changes are having to be made concerning the garbage trucks because the county has been using jail trusties to help but no longer will be allowed to under the circumstances.

One county department that is making changes is the tax assessor-collector’s office, which normally sees a high volume of traffic.

Assessor-Collector Tameri Dunnam said her office will continue to be open normal hours but to protect employees and the public she is limiting visits to only those people who much file for 2020 Homestead Exemption or register for a recently purchased vehicle or mobile home. “Those are things that must be signed for,” she said.

She said people should renew vehicle tags or pay delinquent taxes by mail. Call 534-1972 for the correct amount and mail the payment to Union County Tax Collector, PO Box 862, New Albany, MS 38652.

With no election or full court term coming up, Union County Circuit Clerk Phyllis Stanford does not expect many people in her office and is not limiting accessibility at this time.

However, the spring Union County grand jury session scheduled for March 25 will be postponed. Stanford said summonses have already been sent out but those receiving them have a number to call to learn more.

Mayor Tim Kent announced precautionary measures for city offices this past Friday. Generally, he asked citizens to handle business with city departments by mail or phone whenever possible. Utility bills are to be paid at the drive-through window in the office on Cleveland Street, or by mail.

Coincidentally, the public service commission has voted to suspend disconnections of light, gas, water or sewer connections for 60 days during the declared emergency. This order does not relieve customers of having to pay their bills, however.

The New Albany Wal-Mart will only be open from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. to aid in restocking and sanitizing, and The Mall at Barnes Crossing will be open from noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

The Great American Cleanup, scheduled for March 21, is being moved to April 18.

The fate of some other events was still being determined.

They include:

Auditions for “Ring of Fire” at the Magnolia Civic Center

A reception honoring retired fire chief Steve Coker

Performances of “Hee Haw” to benefit the Cancer Relay for Life

The Shamrock Shuffle humane society benefit

The Pharoahs Car Club car show

Donuts for Disney

and, planned for next week, the UNITE grant presentation banquet and Night Out for New Albany

New dates will be announced when available.

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