STARKE COUNTY—The Starke County Commissioners met in an emergency meeting Monday afternoon to address Governor Eric Holcomb’s executive order calling for Hoosiers to stay at home to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

The commissioners unanimously supported an action which permits all full-time staff staying at home and part-time regular staff to be paid without having to use sick or vacation time. 

Commissioner Kathy Norem shared that in addition to ensuring that employees are paid, the commissioners would like to help the County abide by the Govenor’s order to the best of their ability. 

“The decision is to ration it down to the minimum, as defined by the department heads.” She continued, “The fewer people on-site, the better, even though the buildings are already closed to public.”

It was noted that these precautions will only be taken during the time that Governor Holcomb’s order is in effect which will be from Wednesday, March 25 through Tuesday, April 7. If the Governor decides to extend the order, County officials will revisit this matter. 

Starke County Auditor Rachel Oesterreich shared the following information that was discussed during the Commissioners’ emergency meeting. 

  • Theses offices will be closed:
    • Surveyor’s
    • Veteran’s Service
    • Planning Commission
    • EMS Office Staff
  • The Recorder, Treasurer and Assessor’s offices will reduce to one employee, the Auditor’s office will reduce to two employees and the Clerk’s office will reduce to three employees.
  • Solid Waste and the Soil and Water departments will maintain normal operations.
  • Court, Sheriff, EMS Operations and the Highway Department are under the direction of the elected official or supervisor. 
  • If department heads have any employees who are over 60 and/or have an underlying heart condition or diabetes, they should offer those employees the option to stay home during this period. 

Additionally, all employees, even those working at home, will be considered “on call”. This will be in effect until close of business on Tuesday, April 7. 

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