ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — Washington and Benton Counties have implemented new rules for employees and constituents use of because of the novel coronavirus. The rules are in place to keep everyone as healthy as possible.
DATA ABOUT THE TWO COUNTIES
Benton County’s population as of the 2010 census: 221,339. Largest city is Rogers. Total area: 884 square miles.
Washington County’s population as of the 2010 census: 203,065. Largest city is Fayetteville. Total area: 951.72 square miles.
BENTON COUNTY COVID-19 CHANGES
On March 16, Benton County Judge Barry Moehring closed the Administration Building to the public and court appearances were limited. All facilities are closed to the public until further notice. There are two exceptions due to the law that remain open: Department of Revenue (D Street location in Bentonville) and Circuit Courts.
A screening procedure is in place for employees entering the building(s). They are asked a series of questions established by the Centers for Disease Control and the Arkansas Health Department (ADH). IF an employee answers “yes” to any question they are not allowed to enter the building and are asked to call ADH. Each employee’s temperature is taken upon coming to work, no one with 100 degrees temperature will be allowed in.
BENTON COUNTY RESOURCES
- Court ordered payments can be mailed to the Circuit Clerk’s Office, 102 NE A Street, Bentonville, AR. 72712.
- Land Recordings/Court Filings for the Circuit Clerk’s office will be received and processed by e-recording, e-filing or mail. The public can call (479) 271–1015 or visit https://bentoncountyar.gov/circuit-clerk/ for more information. (A secure drop box is in the process of being implemented. Contact the office at the number given to inquire.)
- To pay taxes, go online https://bentoncountyar.gov/collector/pay-taxes/. Call (479) 271–1040 for questions regarding taxes.
- To assess personal property, call (479) 271–1033 or go online https://bentoncountyar.gov/assessor
- To obtain a marriage license, please call the County Clerk’s office at (479) 271–1013 or email CountyClerk@BentonCountyAR.Gov.
WASHINGTON COUNTY COVID-19 CHANGES
The Washington County Courthouse is closed to non-essential business. The public is asked to use online services. Essential county building includes, but is not limited to, required court proceedings, marriage license and orders of protection filings.
Washington County Public Information Officer Kelly Cantrell said most Sheriff’s Office employees are considered essential personnel due to the nature of their jobs, “law enforcement, protecting and serving our community, working in our detention center,” said Cantrell. But, there are those who are considered non-essential. “With those individuals, mainly office personnel, we are doing things like staggering work hours and working from home so that there is more employee separation and fewer people around at one time.” Some of the jobs can only be done from the Sheriff’s office, but some of the employees have been assigned laptops so they can do as much of their work as possible away from the office.
The Sheriff’s Office has 321 positions (with some that need to be filled), 20 of those positions are considered non-essential, according to Cantrell.
WASHINGTON COUNTY RESOURCES
- County Assessor 479-444-1500
- County Clerk 479-444-1711
- Circuit Clerk 479-444-1538
- County Treasurer 479-444-1717
- County Collector 479-444-1526
- Prosecuting Attorney 479-444-1570
- County Judge 479-444-1700
- Judge Beaumont 479-973-8420
- Judge Bryan 479-444-1556
- Judge Lindsay 479-444-1548
- Judge Taylor 479-444-1682
- Judge Threet 479-444-1560
STAYING COVID-19 FREE
The new strain of the coronavirus is in flux until more data is available. Also, premature relaxation of suppression measures could cause cases of the disease to rebound, according to a report from Imperial College London. Hence, social distancing is highly recommended.