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Commission discusses reopening courthouse

The Franklin County Commission discussed logistics of reopening the Franklin County Courthouse at its Monday work session.

Franklin County Probate Judge Barry Moore said whenever the commission decides to reopen the courthouse, there will be an emergency called meeting, and then the courthouse will open the next day.

“We are just looking at things day by day, trying to make decisions,” Moore said. “Every day we are evaluating numbers.”

Moore said when the courthouse opens, there will most likely be lines on the right-hand side of the courthouse down the sidewalk for people waiting in line to enter the building. There will also be different lines for each office so people are not overcrowding an area.

More details on courthouse operations will be released whenever logistics are finalized.

Franklin County revenue commissioner Veronica Copeland Stancil said her office is lacking 2,500 renewals on tags from the months of March and April. She said she estimates there are around three days’ worth of titles to be renewed. These renewals will be set up on an appointment basis once the courthouse opens up.

Copeland Stancil said there are also 191 delinquencies on property taxes, but she estimates that is from people not wanting to be charged the percent fee on large amounts for using a card over the phone.

“We have just been really busy in my office,” Copeland Stancil said. “We have a lot of stuff to do, but we are pushing through.”

Moore said he estimates when the courthouse reopens, the busiest areas will most likely be for tag renewal and driver’s license renewal.

“We still have a lot of things we are getting worked out before we look at reopening,” Moore said. “We know a lot of courthouses have reopened and then had to completely change how they were doing things. I am sure once we reopen, we will have to change a few things, but we want to make sure we make the right decision whenever we do decide to reopen.”