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Glenville closes Town Hall until March 31 after governor's coronavirus order

Glenville closes Town Hall until March 31 after governor's coronavirus order

Town workforce being cut 50 percent, in keeping with state order
Glenville closes Town Hall until March 31 after governor's coronavirus order
Photographer: File photo

GLENVILLE - Glenville Town Hall will be closed to the public through March 31 in an effort to prevent spread of the novel coronavirus, Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle announced on Tuesday, though some employees will continue to report to work.

Under an executive order signed by Koetzle, the Glenridge Road building was closed to the public at noon Tuesday, though some employees are expected to keep reporting to work to handle email and phone requests. Under guidelines set for municipalities across the state by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, only about half the employees may report. The governor said municipalities must operate with only 50 percent staffing during the virus outbreak, with non-essential employees to stay away.

"We cannot deliver services at a 50 percent reduction," Koetzle said. "The order is workforce-wide, and we can't reduce the police force, so that puts pressure on to reduce the workforce elsewhere."

Town Hall offices will be still be staffed, though with fewer people. Koetzle said a system is being worked out for who will be in the building and who won't. Employees who stay home will continue to be paid.

Koetzle has deemed highway department workers to be non-essential, but has asked that those not working be on-call in case of a natural disaster or weather event.

The senior citizen assistance program the town announced Monday to assist those afraid to go out due to the coronavirus won't be effected by the closure. "There will be a drop box in the police department vestibule for donations or payments," Koetzle said. "We will continue to have people at Town Hall, so if people (making donations) call ahead, we can arrange to pick up outside Town Hall. The program will not be effected."

Koetzle said he'll continue working, whether from Town Hall or another location. "I have to stay engaged, things are changing quickly," he said.

All public meetings, including the March 18 Town Board meeting and the March 23 Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, have been cancelled. Town Court is also closed.

In closing the building to the public, Glenville is following the lead of communities including the cities of Schenectady and Saratoga Springs that have closed their town or city halls to the public. Rotterdam town offices are also closed at least through this coming Friday.

Reach staff writer Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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