HSC Courthouse to reopen Monday

Staff Writer

The Hot Spring County Courthouse will reopen to the public beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, according to HSC County Judge Dennis Thornton.

With the reopening, special precautions have been put into place.
There will only be one entrance available at the back of the building nearest the parking lot. At the entrance, a resource officer will ask visitors a few screening questions and take their temperatures.
Individuals will be required to wear face masks and only 10 visitors will be allowed inside the courthouse at a time, Thornton added.
Sneeze guards have also be installed.
Thornton said these precautions have been put in place to protect residents and county employees.

Along with taking care of items in-person at the courthouse, residents have the opportunity to conduct county business online. Elected officials can make special provisions for individuals, if needed, he added.

Access has been restricted at the courthouse since March to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
During the closure, elected officials were still working at the courthouse, but residents were encouraged to handle items online or via phone.

When asked about Hot Spring County Quorum Court meeting, Thornton said he would like to resume in-person meetings, but he plans to reach out to members of the court before making a decision.
“I don’t want them to be uncomfortable,” he said.
He also noted that he has concerns about resuming in-person meetings since there are 11 members of the court. Under current state protocol, groups should be limited to 10 people or less, Thornton said.

City of Malvern Mayor Brenda J. Weldon said all city offices are open for business purposes and staffed, but the Malvern Water Works building office is drive through only. In a joint agreement, the city and county offices are working jointly to apply for grants to purchase personal protective equipment—plexiglass, sanitizer and other disinfectant supplies to protect the safety and health of all citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.

Weldon also encourages everyone throughout the city to follow Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson's guidelines and wear masks and practice social distancing. Following safety guidelines and protocol procedures enforced by Hutchinson may help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, she said.

To keep residents healthy, hand sanitizer will be available to use in all city offices including the mayor's office. She highly recommends residents wear masks when entering any city office. The public may call the city offices if anyone needs to conduct business over the phone, Weldon mentioned.

All city parks are open to the public, but Weldon emphasized to everyone that social distancing must be followed.

Also the street department is continuing its storm damage cleanup in the city. "The process is progressing well," said Weldon.