County and city employees 65 and over are being sent home in the wake of a statewide safer-at-home order.
All county employees 65 and up will be sent home through May 1 and the county will close the libraries, extension service office, central communications, tourist development office, information technology, economic development and the 911 addressing office through the same period, county officials announced Thursday afternoon. The changes were made as county officials attempt to adhere to the safer-at-home executive order issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis earlier this week.
The changes go into effect today.
Although the offices will be closed, some employees within the offices will work remotely during the safer-at-home period.
Citizens who may need assistance from these offices can contact the main office number listed on www.columbiacountyfla.com or contact the main county phone number at (386) 755-4100.
The county fire department, 911 communications call center, emergency management, landfill, utilities, public works, landscape, building and zoning, administration and maintenance offices will remain open as essential services.
The Columbia County Tax Collector office closed its lobbies to the public on March 26. Although the lobbies are closed to the public, customers can continue to process transactions online at www.columbiataxcollector.com, by mail, by using the office’s drive-thru or by phone at (386) 758-1077 or (386) 758-1080.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office is open with controlled access to the facility, including the Columbia County Detention Center.
The Columbia County Supervisor of Elections of fice will be closed to the public through May 1. However, the office will remain staffed and ready to assist voters who call (386) 758-1026. In-person ser vices are available by appointment only. The Fort White branch office will be closed and will re-open on May 6.
The Columbia County Clerk of Courts office has suspended marriage ceremonies and passport applications and no marriage licenses are being issued.
The Florida Supreme Court has temporarily suspended jury selection proceedings until Friday, May 1.
Parties to a case should contact their attorney or appear at their next regularly scheduled court event. Please monitor the clerk’s website for updates at www.columbiaclerk.com.
Many of the services offered in the clerk’s offices are provided online and are available 24/7 to pay traffic tickets, search officials records, search court records or pay court fines and costs.
For any other questions regarding Clerk of Court related functions, please call (386) 758-1342.
The Columbia County Property Appraiser’s office will be closed to the public through May 1. However, the office will remain staffed and ready to assist
citizens by phone at (386) 758-1083.
The deadline for all tax exemptions and agricultural classification applications have been extended. The tangible personal property deadline has been extended until May 15 and there will be no requirements for a written or oral request.
The Columbia County Health Department is open for appointments at (386) 758-1068.
Although the Columbia County Courthouse Annex is closed, the Columbia County Environmental Health Department will continue to serve the public by calling (386) 758- 1058.
After the safer-at-home order goes into effect, the city will have its 65-and-older employees work from home. All staffers in that age range are able to work remotely, said City Manager Joe Helfenberger.
“If they run out of work in one department, we have plenty for them in another,” Helfenberger said. “We will keep them busy.”