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New routines are new normal at Camden town office

By Susan Mustapich | Jun 27, 2020
Photo by: Susan Mustapich Russell Johnson, left, and Rodney Plimpton, right, wait to enter the Camden town office, behind lines for 6-feet social distancing, the afternoon of June 26.

CAMDEN — A new routine allows up to three members of the public in the Camden town office at one time, with a waiting line outdoors with markings for 6-feet social distancing.

The new rules, intended to stop the spread of COVID-19, went into place June 1, when the town office reopened following a 10-week closure.

Office hours are Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Mask-wearing is mandated for members of the public. Employees must also wear masks in the building, but can remove them while at their work stations.

Two people can be served at the front office on Elm Street and another person can be assisted at the counter at the town manager's office. All other customers have to wait in a line outside the front door.

Customers exit from a secondary entrance, also on Elm Street. Conducting transactions remotely is still strongly encouraged, according to the statement. All of the rules are spelled out the town website.

At the town clerk's counter in the front office, plexiglass partitions rise from the counter, as a further precaution.

Town Clerk Katrina Oakes is currently busy processing absentee ballot requests to be used for all local, school and state issues, to be voted on July 14. Registered voters who are Camden residents can also vote by absentee ballot at a booth in the town office. Town officials are encouraging use of absentee ballots for the July 14 election.

Oakes had processed 1,098 requests for absentee ballots as of the morning of June 25. Camden has about 4,500 registered voters, according to Oakes.

All entrances to the town office, other than the front entrance on Elm St., remain closed to the general public, in order to maintain limits on the number of people are in the building at one time.

Aside from the front office and town manager's office, other offices in the building are temporarily closed to the public.

The Code, Planning and Development and Assessing offices are closed to the public, due to the confined work space area and the number of employees in the office, according to the town website.

Permits, applications and other submittals for these offices can be dropped off in a dedicated mail bin in the town clerk's office or in a bin planned for the alcove on Washington Street. Applicants are encouraged to email or mail permits, applications and other documents. Department staff will process in a timely fashion, in accordance with Center for Disease Control guidelines.

Appointments with the assessor, code enforcement officer and planning and development director must be scheduled via email or phone. Meetings will generally be conducted remotely either via email, phone, conference call, Zoom, Skype or in person at a location determined by the staff person.

Public meeting rooms in the town office building remain closed to the public. Select Board meetings are advertised on the town calendar and held via Zoom videoconferencing and broadcast via YouTube and local cable television.

Public bathrooms at town parks are open to the public at the request of local businesses and the Select Board.

For more information, call 236-3353.

Editors note: An error regarding the status of public bathrooms was previously corrected.

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