FOLEY, Ala. (WKRG) — Baldwin County begins phase one of their reopening plan to reopen some county buildings and services. The phase one plan passed by the Baldwin County Commission last week had some major themes. They’re going to try to be as efficient as possible.
This is how it used to look at the driver’s license office in Fairhope in January. It was crowded with people in long lines throughout the waiting area. It won’t look like that later today. It won’t even be close. The goal is to limit the number of people in public buildings, keep them apart, and limit the amount of time you have you be there and limit person-to-person contact. People who are five minutes late to their appointment will be rescheduled.
“I don’t know that we will ever be back to the way we did things before, I think we will be forever changed by this,” said County Commissioner Billie Jo Underwood. County officials say they have been working since last week to get buildings ready. One key difference is, for example in the Probate Court Office you must call ahead and make an appointment. They will not see you without an appointment. The probate judge said they used to see up to 500 people a day in a license office, but now that will be down to about 40. It’s all a work in progress and the procedures will be modified as they go along just be sure and call ahead.
People were lined up outside the Fairhope Satellite Courthouse first thing Monday morning. The changes inside were apparent. Most chairs were removed from the central lobby. New Plexiglas barriers put one layer of protection between county employees and customers. A police officer greeted people at the front door. He was there to make sure only people who had appointments got inside and then people who were finished moved along outside. County officials say one goal is to control how many people are in the building at any given time and manage the foot traffic.
The reopening of Baldwin County services does not include state driver’s license offices. While you can renew your tags you can’t transfer an out of state license for example. A Baldwin County spokesperson said ALEA is working on their own reopening plan for license offices.
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