Story County Board of Supervisors Establishes Benchmarks to Guide Decision-Making for Reopening County Buildings
Released April 24, 2020
Over the past several weeks, Story County has taken actions in response to COVID-19, including closing County government offices to the public, in an effort to protect the health and safety of County employees and the public. Today, because the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Iowa is still continuing to increase, and as Story County has been successful in maintaining essential County government services under these current constraints, and taking into account the statutory requirements for the upcoming primary election, the Board of Supervisors decided to take the actions outlined below.
First, the Board approved the plan developed by Story County Auditor Lucy Martin to use the main lobby in the Administration Building (in Nevada) for early voting starting May 4 through June 1, while keeping other parts of the building closed to the public.
Second, the Human Services Center, Secondary Roads buildings, Conservation Center and the remainder of the Administration Building will continue to be closed to the public, except by appointment, until further notice. The Justice Center remains open to allow access to Courts, with restricted access to the Sheriff’s Office, Jail, and County Attorney’s Office.
Third, the Board instructed Department Heads and requested Elected Officials to allow employees to continue working from home when possible and require other employees to come to the workplace as needed in order to avoid major backlogs while continuing to serve the public. Social distancing protocols should remain in place.
Fourth, the Board of Supervisors outlined the implementation of additional precautions by Elected Officials and Department Heads to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 within Story County governmental operations. These precautions include addressing policies and guidelines for personal protection and hygiene practices; treatments of surfaces and standard operating procedures for daily disinfection; installation of barriers and shields to provide protection when social distancing cannot be accomplished; reconfiguring public gathering and waiting areas; and use of electronic meetings as allowable, as well as other precautionary measures to implement.
The Board of Supervisors is committed to creating an environment safe for employees and the general public. To guide their discussions in regard to employees returning to the workplace and reopening buildings to the public, the Board of Supervisors adopted the following benchmarks:
- Data reflects a 14-day downward trajectory of new COVID-19 positive cases;
- All precautions to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 within Story County government operations are in place; and
- No unanticipated events or trends have occurred which would suggest reconsideration of moving forward.
The Board of Supervisors will review these benchmarks weekly as the situation progresses.
Story County Taking Additional Steps at the Human Services Center in Ames in Response to COVID-19
Released March 27, 2020
At the Friday, March 27, 2020, Special Meeting of the Story County Board of Supervisors, the Board closed the Human Services Center building in Ames to public access. Story County Community Services, Veterans Affairs, and the Fines Recovery and Driver’s Reinstatement Programs (County Attorney’s Office) are all located in this building. These services have been and will remain operational and available to the public either online or via phone and email. For Fines Recovery and Driver’s License Reinstatement programs, if you have questions or concerns about paying your court fines or about your existing payment plan, please call Latifah Faisal or Connie Davis at 515-232-4185 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional State and local agencies are located in the Human Services Center, including the Story County Department of Human Services (State agency), Juvenile Court Services (State agency) and BooSt Together for Children. Contact information for each of these is listed below.
Story County Department of Human Services
A dropbox is available at the Human Services Center for individuals to use. To protect you and team members, services are shifting from local field offices to serve the public by appointment only.
Service Mailing Address: Story County DHS, 126 South Kellogg, Suite 101, Ames, IA 50010
Juvenile Court Services
Juvenile Court Services can be reached by calling 515-233-3346, further instruction will be directed upon you calling.
Story County Closing Buildings to the Public on March 18th at Noon
Released March 17. 2020
On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, at 12:00 p.m. noon, Story County will close buildings to the public as a precautionary measure to help slow the spread of COVID-19. This closure applies to all County buildings and facilities excluding the Justice Center in Nevada and Human Service Center in Ames, which will remain open, however, the Community Services and Veterans Affairs offices will be closed to public access.
Complete building closures include:
- Administration Building, 900 6th Street, Nevada
- Animal Control and Shelter, 975 W Lincoln Highway, Nevada
- Conservation Center, 56461 180th Street, Ames
- Engineer and Secondary Roads, Main Office at 837 N Avenue, Nevada (closure applies to all sheds throughout Story County)
All County services will remain operational and available to the public either online or via phone or email. Offices and Departments are making every effort to ensure minimal disruption to public services during this time. “We need to do all we can to protect the public and our employees in the midst of this expanding public health crisis,” Supervisor Linda Murken said. “Story County remains open to provide services, but access to our buildings and facilities will be limited following guidance by local, state, and federal officials. While our facilities may be closed to the public, Story County offices and departments are all open to serve.”
Below is a list of County Offices and Departments closed to public access. The public is encouraged to phone and/or email County Offices and Departments. We will utilize options for in-person when needed to maintain essential functions and no other options exist. Story County is also compiling a list of services accessible online and will be published on the County website at www.storycountyiowa.gov. This list is continuously being updated.
Animal Control and Shelter (515) 382-3338
Attorney (515) 382-7255
Auditor’s Office (515) 382-7210
Board of Supervisors (515) 382-7200
Community Services (515) 663-2930
Conservation (515) 232-2516
County Assessor (515) 382-7320
Emergency Management (515) 382-7316
Engineer (515) 382-7355
Environmental Health (515) 382-7240
Facilities Management (515) 382-7400
Geographic Information Services (515)-382-7327
Recorder’s Office (515) 382-7230
Human Resources (515) 382-7204
Information Technology (515) 382-7300
Planning and Development (515) 382-7245
Sheriff’s Office (515) 382-6566
Administration (515) 382-6566
Support Services (515) 382-7473
Jail (515) 382-7464
Treasurer (515) 382-7340
Veterans Affairs (515) 956-2626
COVID-19 Update from Story County
Released March 12, 2020
Story County government is working closely with local, state and federal partners to stay up-to-date regarding the transmission of the Novel Coronavirus, known as COVID-19. If COVID-19 transmission becomes an issue in Story County, we will activate our emergency plans as needed to continue to provide essential services.
As part of our prevention planning, we are encouraging our customers to conduct their business with the County by mail or electronically when possible, rather than in person. We enjoy serving you in person but know that using the following options can help protect your health and reduce opportunities for transmission of COVID-19 in Story County:
- You may pay property taxes that are due March 31st by visiting Iowa County Treasurers website. Payment can also be mailed in to Story County Treasurer, P.O. Box 498, Nevada, IA 50201 or there is a drop box in the southeast portion of the main parking lot of the County Administration Building, 900 6th St, Nevada. We also have a payment over the phone option (515 382-7330) with an additional fee of 2.25%.
- All applications and policies regarding road permits and policies through Story County Secondary Roads are available online.
- Land record searches can be done online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, using Beacon. Real estate documents may be recorded electronically through Iowa Land Records.
- Development applications (including zoning permits, subdivisions, conditional use permits, home business permits, floodplain permits, grading/demolition permit applications, and variances) for property in unincorporated Story County can be submitted online to email@example.com and payment via credit card can be made online.
- Or pick up the phone and call us. The phone numbers of our Offices and Departments, and information about services they provide, are under Government on our website.
For information about COVID-19: The Iowa Department of Public Health is the most accurate, timely and informative resource for information about COVID-19 in Iowa. Their website provides guidance for businesses, schools, healthcare, long-term care, general public, and travelers. We encourage residents to visit the Iowa Department of Public Health’s website for ongoing updates or call 2-1-1 to have your questions answered.
Preparing for COVID-19: It is important to prepare for COVID-19 in the same way you prepare for severe weather or other events that could disrupt your normal routine. Make a plan and discuss it with your family. What would you do if you could not go to work or school because of illness? What if your daycare provider was ill? How would you get groceries if you were ill? These are all questions to think about.
Prevention of COVID-19: Precautions are the same as for other respiratory illnesses (like flu):
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper arm/elbow
- Clean your hands frequently with soap and water
- Contain germs by staying home when ill
- Avoid crowds
For the most current information from the CDC, visit the CDC website.
We look forward to continuing to serve you, whether on-line, by phone or in person.