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Commissioners Order County Government to Operate at Level III

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DENTON — Effective March 19, Caroline County government will operate under Level III of its Continuity of Operations Policy. Under Level III activation, all County buildings will be closed to the public.

According to Commissioner President, Larry Porter, this is a necessary action to help reduce the community spread of COVID-19, as well as free up county resources and staff to fill certain needs identified under Continuity of Operations Plans.

All County offices and departments remain available by phone, using their regular office lines. It is expected that those phones will be answered during normal business hours of Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. However, limited staff and increased volume of calls may result in missed calls. Any messages left will be returned within one business day.

In keeping with the precedent set by the Governor and in recognition that the situation is creating a financial hardship for many county residents, vendors, and small businesses, the County has established the following policy.

Until 30 days after the statewide declaration of emergency is lifted by Governor the County will not assess late fees, interest, or penalties on any payment owed to the County and the County will defer sending any outstanding bills to collections.

Operational Departments

Corrections – LEVEL III

• All visitation is suspended until the statewide declaration of emergency is lifted by the Governor.

• All programs, classes, and worship services are cancelled until the statewide declaration of emergency is lifted by the Governor.

• Eligible employees are required to telework where possible.• Staff, vendors, and law enforcement officers may be subject to screening for symptoms of COVID-19 and may be denied entry.

Emergency Services – LEVEL III

• The main office, 911 Center, and EMS stations are closed to the general public and visitors are strictly prohibited in all DES locations.

• Eligible employees are required to telework where possible.

• Staff and vendors, including allied agency staff, needing entry to any departmental location may be subject to screening for symptoms of COVID-19 and may be denied entry.

Planning and Codes – LEVEL III

• The office is closed to the public.

• Applications may be submitted online for the following: building permits, zoning certificates, trade licenses, and temporary alcoholic beverage licenses that do not require a Board hearing at https://caroline.onlama.com/. Other applications/permits will be done via email or over the phone to the extent possible.

• Requests for Emergency Livability Inspections or Unsafe Structures should be directed to (410) 479-8100 (phone call will be returned within 24 hours).

• Eligible employees are required to telework where possible, unless assigned to the Emergency Operations Center.

• All building permits, licenses, registrations, and other authorizations are extended until 30 days after the statewide declaration of emergency is lifted by the Governor.

• All planning related boards and commissions will not meet until the statewide declaration of emergency is lifted by the Governor. This includes the Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, and Liquor Board.

Public Works – LEVEL III

• The office is closed to the public.

• Eligible employees are required to telework where possible.

• Trash collection convenience permits will not be issued. Trash collection convenience sites will not require a permit until 30 days after the statewide declaration of emergency is lifted by the Governor.

Recreation and Parks – LEVEL III

• The office is closed to the public.

• Employees are required to telework where possible, unless assigned to the Emergency Operations Center.

• Patrons are reminded that most program registration can be done over the phone or online by visiting www.carolinerecreation.org.

• All Recreation and Parks events, classes, and programs are cancelled until the statewide declaration of emergency is lifted by the Governor.

• Facility reservations for the Fretterd Community Center, the Caroline 4-H & Youth Park, and athletic fields will not be accepted for dates before May 10, 2020.

Administration and Support Departments

Tax Office – LEVEL III

• The office is closed to the public. Taxes and deeds can be submitted electronically or through mail (must be sent to P.O. Box 459, Denton, MD 21629 – do not send to physical address).

• Because the Governor has extended the expiration date for state licenses, permits, and registrations, the Tax Office will not process MVA until the Emergency Declaration is lifted and the MVA reopens for regular business.

• Employees are required to telework where possible.

County Commissioners Office/Administration Office – LEVEL III

• The general office is closed to the public.

• Employees are required to telework where possible, unless assigned to the Emergency Operations Center.

• The County Commissioners will hold meetings as necessary only. Such meetings may be conducted via conference call, provided that the call information may be made available to the public.

Finance Office – LEVEL III

• The general office is closed to the public.

• Employees are required to telework where possible, unless assigned to the Emergency Operations Center.

Office of Human Resources – LEVEL III

• The office is closed to the public.

• Employees will be seen by appointment only, which must be scheduled through their department head.

• The office is closed to the public and employees will be required to telework where possible, unless assigned to the Emergency Operations Center.

Department of Economic Development — – LEVEL III

• The office is closed to the public and employees will be required to telework where possible, unless assigned to the Emergency Operations Center.

Office of Information Technology – LEVEL III

• The office is closed to the public and employees will be required to telework where possible when not required to be on-site to support an essential function or the Emergency Operations Center.

Office of Law – LEVEL III

• The office is closed to the public and employees will be required to telework where possible, unless assigned to the Emergency Operations Center.

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