Citizen Access To Frederick County Government Buildings Restricted

It’s intended to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.


Frederick, Md (KM) Access to Frederick County Government buildings will be restricted beginning on Monday, March 16th. County Executive Jan Gardner announced on Friday during a public information briefing that county employees will be allowed inside, but only citizens who have appointments can come into county government buildings.

She says it’s intended to help flatten the curve when it comes to the spread of the coronavirus. “We do know the virus will spread, but we want to make sure that we have as  few cases as we can; that we do not have a number of cases to overwhelm our health care system,” she says.

Other actions being taken by the County Executive include:

*Frederick County Public Library branches will be closed from March 16th through March 27th.
*Parks and Recreation program will be canceled at school sites, and as of March 16th,  at nature centers, the Ballenger Creek Community Center and the Browning Building at PInecliff Park. All parks will remain open to visitors.
*Board and commission meetings are canceled through March 27th, and that includes the Planning Commission.
*The Department of Permitting and the Treasurer’s Office will remain open for the purchase of TransIT fare tickets and to pay taxes and water and sewer bills. Residents are encouraged to use a drive-through pay window.
*Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and Montevue Assisted Living have restricted visitor access.
*Animal Control’s hours will be from 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday, and 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM on Saturday. The adoption floors will be closed to the public. Adoptions have been temporarily suspended, and volunteers should contact Animal Control for more information.
*The Adult Detention Center has restricted visitor  access.
*The Frederick County Landfill will remain open, although no walk-ins will be accepted for recycling or compost bins.
*The Citizens Services  Division is meeting clients by appointment only.
*The Family Partnership and the Scott Key Center will be closed for two weeks.
*TransIT services will continue to provide all services and routes.
*Telework will be allowed for county employees who are able to do so.
*County employee travel is prohibited.

But Gardner says the County Executive’s public hearing on the budget will take place on Monday, March 23rd as required by the Charter. . However, because public access to county buildings is restricted, other provisions will be made so citizens can participate.. “We will have Facebook Live so that the public can participate from wherever they are, hopefully from their homes,” she said. “And anyone who doesn’t have a Facebook account can watch that meeting on our County TV station, or through internet streaming. And they can also e-mail in comments.”

Because of the restrictions on citizen access to county government buildings, the County Council’s public hearing on two rezoning cases scheduled for Tuesday, March 17th has been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 14th. Also, a workshop scheduled for March 24th where an audit of the 287g program managed by the Sheriff’s Office was expected to be discussed has been canceled, and a Council meeting scheduled of March 31st has also been canceled.

“These are meetings that will be dealing with issues that are closely followed by a large number of our constituents; and due to the precautionary measures that have been put in place by the County Executive and the Governor to deal with this coronavirus outbreak, it is better for all involved to postpone these meetings until some date in the future,” said M.C. Keegan-Ayer, the County Council President.

On Thursday, the Governor issued an executive order prohibiting gatherings of more than 250 people.


By Kevin McManus