MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County Government officials have released their plan to reduce on-site staff in in an effort to prevent the spread of the novel Coronavirus.
County Executive PJ Wendel says the actions are a result of New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s March 16 executive order to local governments to reduce their overall on-site staff by 50 percent and to allow nonessential employees to work from home.
“Chautauqua County Government will continue to run smoothly with a few changes in some of our services as we take precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep our employees, residents, and clients safe,” said Wendel.
Changes to county services include the following.
County Legislature Office:
In order to ensure that social distancing is practiced in our County during this pandemic, the Chautauqua County Legislature is establishing precautionary procedures for all remaining March meetings. One of the Governor’s executive orders this month allows a waiver of the open meetings law and provision for non- public meetings, conference call meetings, or webinar meetings (or other similar technology) as long as the public is able to listen to the proceedings, and as long as a transcript is produced.
Planning & Economic Development Committee and Audit and Control Committee Meetings. For the Planning & Economic Development Committee meeting on March 18, 2020 at 6 p.m. and the Audit & Control Committee meeting on March 19, 2020 at 8:35 a.m. the following guidelines will be followed:
The meetings will be live-streamed on Facebook, which can be accessed on the County Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ChautauquaCountyGovernment/
Although committee meetings will remain open to the public within reduced capacity limits, the public is encouraged to avoid attending the meetings in person, and to follow the meetings on live stream. In lieu of making a statement in person, any and all comments to the committees that would be presented under privilege of the floor should be emailed prior to the meeting to the Clerk of the Legislature at TampioK@co.chautauqua.ny.us . Emailed statements received by the Clerk shall be read during the privilege of the floor.
County Legislature Meeting. For the Legislature meeting on March 25, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. the following guidelines will be followed:
The meeting will be live-streamed on Facebook, which can be accessed on the County Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ChautauquaCountyGovernment/ .
Although the Legislature meeting will remain open to the public within reduced capacity limits, the public is encouraged to avoid attending the meeting in person, and to follow the meeting on live stream. In lieu of making a statement in person, any and all comments to the Legislature that would be presented under either privilege of the floor should be emailed prior to the meeting to the Clerk of the Legislature at TampioK@co.chautauqua.ny.us. Emailed statements received by the Clerk shall be read during the appropriate privilege of the floor.
Department of Health and Human Services Operations:
Division of Social Services. Until further notice, the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging all Social Services clients with an appointment in Mayville, Jamestown or Dunkirk, to not come in for scheduled appointments or nonemergency services. Negative actions will not be taken on the case as a result of missing an appointment. The Department is using this time to update our practices and ensure safe facilities for both clients and staff as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Applications, both certification (initial) and recertification for assistance should be mailed to Chautauqua County Department of Social Services 110 E. 4th Street, Jamestown, NY 14701 or 319 Central Avenue, Dunkirk New York 14048 or dropped off in either location – drop boxes are available. It is essential that all clients please include a working phone number so we can contact you for an interview by telephone. Emergency needs will still be addressed on site at our Dunkirk and Jamestown locations. The Department will communicate further updates as they develop.
Human Resources Department and Civil Service Exams:
Civil Service Exams. Due to recent public health and safety concerns, the Chautauqua County Department of Human Resources announces that ALL Chautauqua County Civil Service Exams scheduled to be held in Mayville, NY on March 21, 2020 and March 28, 2020, have been postponed. At this time we are unable to provide an alternate test date. All eligible applicants that received an admission letter for one of these exam dates will be notified by the Human Resources Office, Department of Civil Service, when an alternate test date has been determined.
Human Resources Office. Effective March 18, 2020, the Chautauqua County Human Resources office will be closed for public access. Please contact the office at (716)753-4237 if you need assistance. We will take every effort to address needs in a timely manner.
We ask for your cooperation and patience as we navigate the current health and safety concerns. Please be sure to stay informed of updates and additional employment information as it becomes available by checking the Chautauqua County website at www.co.chautauqua.ny.us then click on “Employment.”
Probation Department Operations: The Probation Office in Mayville will be closed for the duration of this event. The Jamestown and Dunkirk offices will remain open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with public access by appointment only. Anyone with questions can call (716) 363-3640 or (716) 661-8011.
Department of Public Facilities (DPF) Operations:
DPF County Highway Transportation. The DPF County Highway Transportation operations in Falconer, Sheridan and Sherman will be closed starting March 18, 2020 until further notice. For any County Highway related issues, please call the county highway dispatch number (716) 661-8401 or alternatively the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s office at (716) 753-4232 as appropriate. County Highway personnel will be available to respond as needed to ensure the safety of the travelling public.
The Falconer County Highway Administration building and the Division of Parks and Recreation will also be closed starting March 19, 2020 until further notice. Please see the county’s website for contact information for inquiries in these areas.
County Landfill. The North, South, and West County Transfers Stations will be closed starting March 19, 2020. The County Landfill will continue to operate under normal operating hours and the Ellery Transfer Station will be open daily Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Chautauqua Area Regional Transit System (CARTS). CARTS will be adjusting public transportation services starting March 19, 2020. All Saturday City Route Service will be suspended until further notice. CARTS Rural Route Service will have modifications so call CARTS to find out further information. CARTS Demand Response will be operating but in a limited capacity for essential transportation only. Continue to check with CARTS at (716) 665-6466 or (716) 366-3500 or on our CARTS Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CARTS.NY for further updates and continuing changes.
Jamestown and Dunkirk Airports. The Jamestown and Dunkirk Airports will remain open as normal with the Centric Aviation, the fixed based operator handling flight operations at both airports. However, the Jamestown Airport Terminal building will be closed to the public until further notice.
“We appreciate our residents understanding and cooperation during this pandemic,” said Wendel. “Should more changes in county government operations arise, we will be sure to keep residents informed.”