Report by Paula Antolini, October 14, 2020, 11:21PM EDT
BETHEL TOWN HALL TO REMAIN OPEN “BY APPOINTMENT”
Message from First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker:
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Now that Phase III of Governor Lamont’s reopening plans are under way, I have received a few inquiries from residents asking when the municipal center will reopen. I thought now would be a good time to review our status.
Town hall reopened on June 4th and remains open “by appointment.”
All municipal services are available to the public, but we ask that you continue to call ahead for an appointment. We are maintaining the appointment system until further notice for several reasons:
- Due to the heavy influx of absentee ballots to be processed this year, work stations have been set up in the hallway by the offices of the town clerk, assessor and tax collector. Access to this area is limited and it must be kept secure through the election on November 3rd in order to ensure election integrity.
- As colder weather arrives, Connecticut is seeing a minor, but unmistakable uptick in the rate of COVID infections. Bethel is no exception, and all towns in the state have been put on notice by health authorities to be mindful of the danger of a “second wave”. We feel it is necessary to err on the side of extra caution, for now, and remain on “by appointment” status until we see if this trend continues.
- The “by-appointment” system has been effective in helping our staff balance a rapidly growing workload. Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic in early March, many of our offices have seen their workloads skyrocket and there is no let-up in sight. Scheduling appointments has helped keep backlogs from forming, increased productivity and helped our staff serve you more efficiently.
Please note: The office of the tax collector is not able to accept cash payments at this time. Residents may pay by mail, drop payments in the secure yellow box at town hall or pay online.
Our main objective with these procedures is to keep you and our staff safe!
I hope this information is helpful. If you have questions, please call. You can access our department directory here: https://www.bethel-ct.gov/content/117/default.aspx
Thank you, and please stay safe.