Webster, Bossier Government Offices to Reopen
Written by Daniel Davidson on May 15, 2020
Webster Parish Police Jury President Jim Bonsall and Bossier Parish Police Jury President Jimmy Cochran have both issued executive orders in regards to the re-opening of local government offices.
Modified operations will resume at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, May 18, 2020 at the Webster Parish Courthouse and at 8 a.m. Monday at the Bossier Parish Courthouse. The following guidelines pertain to anyone entering the courthouse in Webster or Bossier:
- No-contact body temperature check will be taken of all public entering the courthouse. If the body temperature is higher than 100.4? (Webster, 100°F in Bossier), that individual will not be allowed to enter the courthouse.
- Any member of the public entering the courthouse will be required to wear a face mask at all times, with the public being responsible for providing their own face mask if possible. If an individual does not have a face mask, one will be provided.
- There will be a 25 percent occupancy guideline that will be followed by the Webster Parish Courthouse.
In addition to these guidelines, the public is asked to contact the individual department they will be visiting to see if there are any additional guidelines or protocols set by that department. Anyone not following the proper protocol will be denied access.
Divisions of the Bossier Parish Police Jury including the highway department, sanitation department and others critical to the operation of parish public services have been safely performing essential duties during the COVID crisis. Beginning Monday, May 18, other departments of the police jury will be open in accordance with Gov. John Bel Edwards’ issued mandates.
All branches of the Bossier Parish library system will be offering curbside service for patrons who want to check out books and DVDs. Curbside service will be available Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Individuals who want to check out material should call their branch library or go to their library account online and put the items on hold. Library staffers will be providing no-contact delivery at the curb.
Bossier Parish Director of Libraries Heather McEntee said staff members will be handing out survey forms to those who pick up materials in order to determine what library patrons are wanting. “This survey is a needs assessment,” McEntee said. “We’re wanting to know what our patrons are looking for while our buildings are closed to the public. We will use this assessment to develop protocols we may implement as we move forward.” Among the things McEntee wants to study is whether the libraries may be able to safely allow patrons to check out laptop computers and wireless hot spots, and how to sanitize items that are returned. McEntee said the library system’s digital services have seen a massive increase in use since the virus caused buildings to be closed. And, she added, the system has continued its virtual programming on Facebook. That, too, has proved popular.
Director of Parks and Recreation Warren Saucier said rules are being put in place to allow residents to safely utilize parish facilities. At South Bossier Park, fields will be open to individuals, but no team activities such as organized practices or scrimmages will be allowed. Restrooms will be open, but only one occupant at a time will be allowed. At Tall Timbers, the walking track and the infield area are open to individuals. Team practices or large groups are prohibited until further notice. Bathrooms at that facility and the playground are closed. Bo Brandon park is also closed to practice or team activities, but individuals are invited to utilize the south playing fields and the batting cage. Bathrooms at the park are closed.
“We have seen a lot of individual campers and fishermen at the Parish Camp, and we believe the completion of our bathroom facility has helped that,” Saucier said. “We’re asking those who are coming to the camp to take the precautions necessary to stay safe and healthy.” Saucier said only one occupant at a time should use the new restroom, and asked that visitors allow plenty of space between campsites.
Kenneth Starnes, Director of the parish’s Section 8 housing, said his office would be open to the public Monday at 8 a.m. Persons with business at the office should call for an appointment, and wear a mask when entering the building. Starnes said social distancing recommendations will be followed if more than one individual is in the office.
Pat Culverhouse contributed to this article.