Lockdown remains in effect at courthouse, visitors screened

By Buck Collier, Special Correspondent
Posted 5/6/20

HERMANN — While the statewide stay-at-home order was lifted Monday morning and businesses could resume operations subject to some restrictions, Gasconade County government is opting to follow …

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Lockdown remains in effect at courthouse, visitors screened

Posted

HERMANN — While the statewide stay-at-home order was lifted Monday morning and businesses could resume operations subject to some restrictions, Gasconade County government is opting to follow the lead of the Circuit Court and delay its return to business as usual.

Presiding Commissioner Larry Miskel, R-Hermann, Thursday morning said the Courthouse doors would remain locked and employees kept on a weekly at-home basis through the middle of this month.

That decision is in line with 20th Circuit Court Presiding Judge Ike Lamke’s decision to keep courtrooms dark until Friday, May 15. County residents needing to do business with a county government department in recent weeks have found the doors locked with a notice posted to contact the particular office to be admitted to the building.

Residents are asked a series of questions — such as recent travel history — aimed at determining the likelihood of them being exposed to the virus before being allowed entry to the building.

County Clerk Lesa Lietzow recently told the County Commission the process has worked well. With that in mind, the County Commission decided to maintain the status quo regarding admission into the Courthouse. “We’ll just keep on following the guidelines of Judge Lamke’s directives,” Miskel said.

If activity indeed resumes in the courtrooms at mid-month, it could take place without the benefit of some high technology. Lietzow said the Courthouse still needs to make the Internet conversion from previous providers to Callabyte, the county’s new provider. Technicians from AQM, a regional technology firm, haven’t been able to perform the conversion because of coronavirus concerns.

And, Lietzow noted, because the conversion hasn’t happened, the county continues to be double billed for Internet service — a bill from the previous providers, who are still online, and a bill from Callabyte, with which the county contracted earlier this year. “We need to get back on that,” Lietzow said, adding that Internet service might not be available by the time the courts return to work.

Steinbeck joins Health board

In other matters at Thursday’s session of the County Commission, the administrative panel appointed Susan Steinbeck of Owensville as the fifth member of the Gasconade County Health Department Board of Trustees.

Steinbeck will serve the remainder of the term of Pat Smith of Mt. Sterling, who resigned late last year.

There are a couple years remaining in the term.

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