LIBERTY — Amite County Supervisors discussed courthouse proceedings Monday at their regular meeting, moved upstairs to the larger courtroom to allow more space between those in attendance.
While supervisors usually can bank on receiving a handful of visitors to their meetings, no spectators were present Monday morning.
The doors to the courthouse are locked and signs indicate visitors should call the phone number of the department they need to contact.
Courthouse employees had installed a doorbell on the east and west entrances to notify employees, but supervisors and board attorney Reggie Jones said it should be removed, having deemed its use impractical.
While most things in and around Amite County have slowed to a crawl, supervisors noted state road work on Highway 24 through Liberty and asked Jones if their respective allocations of state road funding would be diminished because of fallout from coronavirus. Jones said the funding should not be affected.
Youth court, scheduled for April 16, will be held as planned, Jones said. Proceedings will be held upstairs in the county courtroom with only the judge, prosecutor, youth court administrator, chancery clerk or a department deputy, a representative of child protective services, a guardian of each minor and a bailiff.
Those who are ordered to appear are asked to wait in their cars in the courthouse parking lot until they are called in, one at a time, by court employees. Courtroom seating and desks will be disinfected after each case is handled.
While the state has given judges and courts the ability to use discretion in terms of the scheduling and conducting of official proceedings, regulations on youth court are not relaxed in order to ensure due process is afforded to those in child protective services cases, Jones said.
And supervisors learned that the water account for the county health department building was over billed by $685 in April. The account balance was adjusted for the difference, Jones said.
In other business, the board:
• Authorized tax assessor Eunice Blake to publish notice that personal property retention, homestead sign-up and deadlines to pay 2019 taxes are extended until May 1.
• Approved constable Murry Toney’s annual financial report.
• Approved an extension from May 1 to June 1 for county engineer David Cothren to update county tax maps.