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Butler County Courthouse closed due to COVID

Chad Frey
cfrey@thekansan.com
The Butler County Historic Courthouse is currently closed to  give "employees who are currently off work time to finish their quarantines and those currently experiencing any illnesses time to get healthy," according to county adminstrator Will Johnson.

Those headed to the Butler County Historic Courthouse Monday to do business found a locked door — the building was closed to the public.

“Many Departments within the Courthouse cannot serve our public at the level our public expects and we have made the decision to close the Historic Courthouse to the public through the Thanksgiving Holiday,” said Will Johnson, county administrator. “The closure will give our employees who are currently off work time to finish their quarantines and those currently experiencing any illnesses time to get healthy so they may return to work.”

Beginning Monday the Butler County Historic Courthouse was restricted from public access — and will remain that way through the Thanksgiving holiday. The county intends to reopen the buildng to the public on Nov. 3.

The El Dorado Motor Vehicle Department is closed to the public through the Thanksgiving Holiday due to staff shortages and other departments in the building are short staffed due to either close contact quarantines, exposures, or illness.

“The purpose of the closure is to minimize our employees’ and the public’s exposure to each other so we can get mission-critical employees back to work as quickly as possible and deliver the essential services our citizens expect,” Johnson said.

The Historic Courthouse will remain open only to County employees, mail deliveries, and essential business by appointment. Staff will be available to field calls and answer questions

Other facilities such as the Western Motor Vehicle Office in Augusta, are fully staffed and will remain open, along with offices in the East Annex. The only facility affected by the closure is the Historic Courthouse.

During the closure the regularly scheduled County Commission will be closed to in person attendance as well. To comply with Kansas Open Meetings Act requirements, the Commission meetings are viewable through live stream via the County’s website and the County’s Granicus agenda management software. The following is a link to video of the Butler County Commission meeting: http://bucoks.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=1

Tuesday’s agenda contained the discussion of a cotnract that would allow the Butler County Health Department to be a provider of COVID0-19 vaccines when they are available and a modification to the school mask exemption.