WALLINGFORD — With rules for health and safety in place, people may enter Town Hall to conduct business starting Monday.
The building’s exterior doors have been locked since March 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, visitors have needed to call upon arrival to access the building and often conducted business in the parking lot.
Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. announced Friday that facial masks and social distancing will be required.
“We ask that every reasonable effort be made to protect everyone’s health and safety,” Dickinson said in a statement. “Do not enter Town Hall if you are coughing, sneezing, have a fever or feel ill in any other way.”
Town Health Director Stephen Civitelli said Friday that signs will let the public know that face covers or masks are required and to not enter with COVID-19 like symptoms.
In addition to the service windows installed in offices in March to provide separation, social distancing floor markers have been installed around high volume offices, like the Tax Collector, Assessor, Town Clerk, and meeting rooms.
“This will allow the public to have safe distancing while making transactions within the facility,” Civitelli said. “We have also set maximum capacities for high volume offices to provide adequate social distancing for safety of our visitors and staff.”
Touchless hand sanitizer devices have been placed throughout Town Hall in high traffic areas, Civitelli said.
“Public Works has increased the air circulation in the facility to have a greater percentage of outdoor makeup air in the building,” he said.
The Tax Collector’s Office must close by 4:15 p.m. each day, so payments won’t be accepted inside the building after that time, the mayor’s statement said.
Payments for tax and utility bills may be mailed or placed in the drop box outside the sliding doors entrance on the Prince Street side of building.
Other municipal facilities have been provided universal signage and maximum capacities in customer locations.
Dickinson was criticized by members of the public during the Town Council meeting earlier this week for his decision to keep new ballot drop boxes inside Town Hall, which were given to the town by the Secretary of the State’s office to collect absentee ballots for the August primary election.
He said Friday that he expects unimpeded public access to the drop boxes on weekdays during business hours.
On the day of the primary election, the Town Clerk’s office generally is open during the evening, so people will have access to the drop boxes until the polls close at 8 p.m., he said.