|Botetourt County Planning Reopening June 1|
Botetourt, County (May 3, 2021) - Botetourt County plans to physically reopen its libraries and administrative offices on June 1 as long as pandemic conditions do not significantly worsen. Libraries and offices have provided public services online, by phone or curbside since physically closing March 16, 2020.
Reopening plans are being finalized and services will remain available online and by phone. At libraries, curbside services will continue beyond June 1.
‚Ä®"The pandemic has taught us all how to do things in new and better ways.¬† We are going to continue the new services that have been developed and that have really become a convenience for many people," stated County Administrator Gary Larrowe.¬†
‚Ä®Facilities and offices that provide direct services to the public including libraries, development services (building and permitting), and planning and zoning will follow State COVID-19 orders and encourage people to follow public health recommendations including the wearing of face coverings and maintaining social distancing. "The pandemic is not going to be gone come June 1. In order to make the reopening work and to keep them open, we need folks to continue to take precautions and do their part to keep themselves and others safe," Larrowe added.
The County's plans will be reviewed and approved by the County's insurance carriers, the County Attorney, and by health officials before June 1, according to Larrowe.¬† "We have relied on the advice of the experts throughout this pandemic," he said, "and we believe that has served the community well.¬† We are going to continue to do that and safety -- for our employees and for the public -- will remain the top priority as we move forward."
"We look forward to¬†reopening¬†our doors to the public," said Library Director Julie Phillips. ‚ÄúLibraries provide resources for learning and leisure, but they are so much more. They are places where people connect and form relationships.¬† They are defining spaces within the community.¬† We are really looking forward to having the public back in our branches."
Besides libraries, the County‚Äôs Development Services (inspections and permitting) and Planning and Zoning offices, which also provide direct service to the public, have been closed to walk-in traffic since the start of the pandemic. Nicole Pendleton, Community Development Director and the person who manages those offices, expressed gratitude for the public‚Äôs cooperation.
‚ÄúWe have appreciated the patience of the public and the development community as we shifted our service model,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúWe have been able to serve a lot of folks without the need to come into our offices and to keep the community building, for which we are proud. We look forward to continuing to remotely serve those who wish to do business online or by phone, but we are excited to begin to offer walk-in services again.‚ÄĚ
The County‚Äôs Development Services and Planning and Zoning offices relocated from Fincastle to the County‚Äôs new Administration Center located in Botetourt Center at Greenfield at 57 S. Center Drive, Daleville during the pandemic.