That’s the advice from Douglas County officials as they reopen their exterior doors to the public on Monday, June 1.
Department leaders advise residents and visitors to continue to call in advance to learn the most efficient way of accomplishing their business with the county.
County employees have worked throughout the COVID-19 pandemic offering services through phone calls, email, online and dropbox. All those options remain in place and the public is highly encouraged to continue to use them.
For those wanting in-person service, the current statewide restrictions demand social distancing and limits on the number of persons in a space at one time. Some federal pandemic-related procedures or restrictions also remain in place that may affect a person’s ability to access services.
In the courthouse
Here’s specific information for departments in the courthouse at 305 8th Ave. W., Alexandria:
Assessor: Window service will resume June 1, but the public is highly encouraged to call in advance at 320-762-3884 to determine if their needs can be met without an in-person visit.
Attorney’s Office: The county attorney’s office staff continues to be available at 320-762-3856. Window service is available June 1 during normal business hours.
Auditor/Treasurer: Staff is highly encouraging those needing services or information on mail balloting or absentee balloting to call in advance at 320-762-3077. Absentee ballot applications can also be found at mnvotes.org Window service will be available for those needing notary services with social distancing guidelines strictly enforced.
Coordinator’s Office: Call 320-762-3022 for all data practices requests and information on county board meetings. Minutes and agendas are posted on the Douglas County website.
Corrections: Clients must continue to contact the office for appointment-only meetings.
Court Administration: The doors to court administration will remain closed until June 8.
Land and Resource: The public is asked to continue to work with Land and Resource staff by phone and email if possible. An on-line permit portal is available for permitting needs. For in-person appointments call 320-762-3863. Staff will meet at a resident or business owner’s property or at the courthouse in a meeting room. Plans, payments, and applications can also be dropped off at the courthouse drop box which is located on the south side of the building. It is emptied twice a day. Any materials dropped in the box should be labeled with the name of the department and recipient and should include a contact phone.
Recorder’s Office: Window service will resume June 1. No appointments are needed. The public is encouraged to continue to use the drop box on the south side of the courthouse. The federal government has not yet resumed passport application services. When those begin, appointments will be required, and more information will be shared. For those facing an emergency situation that requires a passport, go to: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/passport-covid-19.html
In the services center
Specific information for departments in the services center building:
Library, 720 Fillmore St.: The library will be open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Library patrons can continue to take advantage of curbside pickup during these hours. Go online to reserve items and then, after receiving a response from the library your items are ready, you must schedule a pick-up time. For patrons wishing to go inside the library, beginning June 1, the library will allow five people at a time. There will be five chairs in the hallway. All others will need to wait outside. After entering the library, people will have 15 minutes to select and check out their items. Everyone will be encouraged to wear a face covering and everyone will be required to sanitize their hands. The library has many new books for children. They will be on carts inside the library. Not all areas of the library will be available. If an item is in a roped off area, a library staff member will retrieve it. The copier will be available but there will be no access to computers or newspapers.
License Bureau 715 Elm St.: Curbside and drop box service will continue to be available for tab renewals and transfers. Using these services will greatly decrease wait times. Residents will be allowed to conduct transactions in person from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Everyone will be encouraged to wear a face covering which will be provided for those who do not have their own. Drivers license issuance and renewals are available by appointment only. Those wanting this service need to use the No Wait Inside software which is available under Quick Links on the Douglas County website and on the License Bureau landing page.
Social Services 809 Elm St.: The lobby will continue to be closed to the public. Applications and frequently used forms are available for pick up in the vestibule from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., along with a drop box. A second drop box is located at the exterior of the south services center for after hours. Clients needing documentation returned to them must indicate that before placing it in the dropbox and social services staff will send it via mail within 24 hours. All services are available by phone, teleconferencing and appointment. Clients needing to meet with their worker should contact them directly at 320-762-2302. Senior services will continue to be available by phone at 320-762-3047.
University of Minnesota Extension 720 Fillmore St.: The public should contact Extension staff by phone 320-762-3890 or email (email@example.com) before coming to the office. Limited curbside pickup is available by advance appointment between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. for horticulture samples, 4-H materials, and other items. Photos of horticulture samples can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. To limit the risk of coronavirus spread, Extension Educators will not be holding in-person conversations, meetings, or programs through June 30. Information about online Extension programming can be found at http://extension.umn.edu/douglas.
Veteran Services Office: Veterans are asked to call for appointments at 320-762-3883. No veteran transportation is yet available.
Sheriff’s Office 216 7th Ave. W.: The service window will reopen June 1. Applications will continue to be available in the vestibule. The lobby of the jail, located at 509 3rd Avenue West, Alexandria, will be opened June 1. Fingerprinting is available by appointment only. Call 320-762-2139 for more information.
Parks: All parks in Douglas County are open and all playgrounds are open with signage indicating use is at the individuals’ risk. The equipment is not sanitized. The Chippewa County Park campground will be open June 1. Reservations are available at https://reserve2.resnexus.com/resnexus/reservations/lodging/0C22C71F-0CCF-4D41-A27C-06DE1919C872
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