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Local

Courthouse closed

Supervisors issue state of emergency after Jasper County sees first confirmed case

A citizen walks to his car after dropping off a property tax payment at the Jasper County Courthouse, which has been closed until further notice. A dropbox for property tax payments is available at the west entrance of the building.
A citizen walks to his car after dropping off a property tax payment at the Jasper County Courthouse, which has been closed until further notice. A dropbox for property tax payments is available at the west entrance of the building.

All county buildings — including the courthouse — will remain closed until further notice.

This action is in direct response to growing COVID-19 concerns. As a result, the board of supervisors declared a state of emergency exists in Jasper County, authorized under Iowa Law. This proclamation was officially approved by supervisors Tuesday morning during its regularly scheduled meeting.

Shortly after the meeting ended, the doors to the courthouse were locked.

After the first, positive COVID-19 case was confirmed in Jasper County by health officials on Monday, the county announced in a press release the next day it would close general public entry into the courthouse. Doing so is meant to protect the public and county employees.

The novel coronavirus “has the potential to present very serious health issues” to residents of Jasper County, causing major disruption in people’s daily lives and adversely affecting the local economy and the county government’s operations, the county said.

If anyone is planning to visit one of the county buildings, staff have asked to please call ahead to see if there is a way to conduct business electronically or over the phone. Although the doors are closed, the county will remain open and conducting business.

Jasper County Board of Supervisors meetings will continue to be held at 9:30 a.m. on the first four Tuesdays of every month. Meetings will be held in the supervisors chambers of the courthouse, as usual. However, there will be a limit to the number of people attending the meeting.

Only 10 people will be allowed in the supervisors meetings.

Reservations will be held for the three supervisors, the county auditor, those who have business with the board, one member from the Newton Daily News and one member from KCOB. If a person needs to discuss an item that is not listed on the board’s agenda, they are to call the auditor’s office at 641-792-7016.

Jasper County Treasurer’s
Office update

Again, staff will be working as usual even though there will be no walk-in traffic. Employees will be answering phones from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Regularly scheduled Saturday hours have been suspended until further notice.

Property taxes are still due on March 31.

Penalties and interest will not accrue until April 16. The best and most secure way to pay property taxes is online at www.iowatreasurers.org, the Jasper County Treasurer’s Office said in an announcement. If people are in need of assistance, call the office at 641-792-7731 ext. 3.

No payments for property tax will be accepted in person.

However, payments are still accepted by mail. The treasurer’s office asks the public to include their telephone number with mailed payment in the event staff need to contact them.

There is also a dropbox set up on the west side of the courthouse for property tax payments.

To renew driver’s licenses, staff encourage the public to visit https://iowadot.gov/mvd/driverslicense/renew. At this time, the governor has waived expirations of Iowa Drivers Licenses until the emergency declaration is rescinded.

To pay motor vehicle registration, staff said to turn to www.iowatreasurers.org in order to pay online or make a payment by mail. No payments for motor vehicle registration renewals will be accepted in person.

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or cbraunschweig@newtondailynews.com

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