FORT BRANCH — Fort Branch Town Hall will be limiting access to the public in the coming days.

The town board approved new regulations Wednesday night in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The board discussed the updates with attorney Jim McDonald, who participated by phone.

McDonald recommended the vote to allow board president Adam Bledsoe and Clerk-Treasurer Stacy Elpers to sign off on an employee policy if one would need to be implemented prior to the next council meeting.

Bledsoe said with changes coming in the next weeks and months, it could be possible the town would need to reduce days for workers or stagger shifts.

The response approved included locking the front doors of the town hall to limit access to the public. Town employees are available for questions and concerns by telephone and email. Contact information is 812-753-3824 or townhall@fortbranch.org or stacy.elpers@fortbranch.org. Bill pay will be available through the drive thru; the town hall drop box; mailed to PO BOX 40 Fort Branch, IN 47648; online at www.fortbranch.org payment tab; calling a credit card in over the phone; or automatic withdraw from a checking or savings account. For those using a credit card over the phone, a 3% convenience fee applies.

Rental of the town’s shelter houses has been discontinued. All money deposited and the rental fee will be refunded for cancelations over the next 60 days. Reservations for all town-owned property is also canceled for 60 days. This issue will be re-visited at the end of 60 days.

All peddler permits will be suspended for the town until further notice.

Town employees who are in the high-risk category will take extra precautions, including limiting time around others as possible.

McDonald said the town should also look to provide gloves and masks to employees who are interacting with people throughout their workday.

Penalties and shutoffs through the town will be waived for the next 60 days.

Town meetings will continue currently, but that is subject to direction from Governor Eric Holcomb.

Non-essential meeting items will be tabled, as will in-person citizen’s concerns. McDonald said those can be submitted to the town hall in written form or emailed, but to help limit the time of meetings, there will not be oral comment.

McDonald said they just ask for the citizens of Fort Branch to patient as this is all worked out.

“It’s for the health and safety of everybody, not just the town employees, but the citizens as well,” McDonald said.

sloesch@pdclarion.com

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