Courthouse news

The Dickinson County Courthouse is still open for business, but recent changes have been implemented due to the COVID-19 epidemic, County Administrator Brad Homman said Friday.

He emphasized the county is taking precautions with sanitizing and practicing social distancing procedures.

“IServe, our custodial services, have an employee here that’s doing nothing but walking around our buildings all day, spraying and wiping things down with a chemical we know kills the coronavirus,” Homman said. “We also put tables in front of the treasurer’s office Thursday to keep people back a distance from the counter. We’re just taking a few common sense steps like that.”

Motor vehicle closed

At the treasurer’s office, the motor vehicle department is open for tags only. The driver’s license portion will not be available for two weeks beginning today (Monday).

Following the recommendation of Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, the Kansas Department of Revenue closed its offices, including driver’s license, for two weeks to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

“The state is shutting down its offices so that shuts down our local people,” Homman said, explaining the state closure prevents local staff from accessing needed information.

Sheriff’s

department & jail

All visitation at the Dickinson County Jail has been canceled until further notice.

Homman said inmates have been issued pre-paid phone cards with a set amount of time so they can call their loved ones.

Also, the sheriff’s department will not do any fingerprinting for the public at this time.

Court closed

Except for emergency operations, all district courts in Kansas are closed until further notice by order of the Kansas Supreme Court. However, messages for the Dickinson County District Court Clerk may be left at (785) 263-3142.

Day-to-day operations

With the changes and closures, security guards at the building entrance are asking visitors what service they need in the courthouse and telling them if the service is currently not available.

“If people say ‘I need to go to court,’ they tell them it’s closed. If they want to get their driver’s license renewed, they say it’s not open. If they’re here for jail visitation, they tell them that’s closed for now. We’re trying to stop people at the door,” Homman said.

Earlier last week, the courthouse began senior preference hours to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 among those over 60 and/or people with compromised immune systems. The hours of 8 to 10 a.m. have been set aside for that group, while people under the age of 60 in healthy condition are asked to come in between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Contact Kathy Hageman at reporter@abilene-rc.com.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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