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Census Response Deadline Extended to October 31

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-Press Release, Granville County Government

The U.S. Census Bureau has announced that, due to COVID-19 and the temporary suspension of field operations, the 2020 Census response deadline has been extended to Oct. 31. A previously-extended deadline date had been announced for Aug 14, which has now been rescheduled. This most recent extension will help ensure that all households have an opportunity to be counted.

Most households received their initial invitation to respond to the 2020 Census in March. By the middle of that month, the Census Bureau had started the process of hand-delivering paper questionnaires in rural areas; however, the temporary suspension of field operations, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulted in a delay.

As of May 13, Area Census Offices and 2020 Census field operations have been re-opened in nine states, including North Carolina. This means that more households – especially those who are known to have poor internet service in their area –  should expect to find paper questionnaires left outside their front doors in the coming weeks. All Census workers are expected to be trained in preventing the spread of the virus, with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control.

There are three options to respond to the 2020 Census – by phone, by mail or online. Households can respond safely from home by using the online form on the U.S. Census website at www.census.gov; by phone at 844-330-2020; or by mailing back the paper questionnaire being sent/delivered to their homes. 

Approximately 86 million households have already responded to the U.S. Census, with the national self-response rate at just over 58 percent, as compared with North Carolina’s rate of 55.1 percent. Granville County’s response total was reported at 58.1 percent as of May 12, with the Town of Butner falling in at 55.1 percent; the City of Creedmoor at 58.6 percent; the City of Oxford at 53.6 percent; the Town of Stem at 64.9 percent and the Town of Stovall at 14.9 percent.

In August, in-person visits to non-responsive households are scheduled to begin. A quick response to the Census by one of the three available methods will reduce the need for door-to-door visitation.

The U.S. Constitution mandates that a census of the country’s entire population be conducted every ten years. Results of this survey are used to determine how many congressional seats and Electoral  College votes each state gets through 2030, as well as guiding the distribution of an estimated $1.5 trillion a year in federal funding for hospitals, health clinics, fire departments, schools, roads and other public services in local communities.

The 2020 Census marks the 24th time that the United States has counted its population since 1790.

To learn more about the 2020 Census, visit www.census.gov.

Thornton Library Welcomes New Adult Services Librarian

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 -Press Release, Granville County Government

The Granville County Library System welcomes Melanie Baldwin to the Richard H. Thornton branch in Oxford.

As Adult Services Librarian, Baldwin will be responsible for developing, promoting, presenting and evaluating programs and displays for adult patrons, as well as assisting in the development of the materials for the collection of books/resources and other duties.

Baldwin began work in her new role on April 1.

The Granville County Library System welcomes Melanie Baldwin to the Richard H. Thornton branch in Oxford. Baldwin began work in her new role on April 1, 2020. (Photo courtesy Granville Co. Govt)

A native of Vance County, Baldwin lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan for seven years before returning to the area. She is a graduate of the North Carolina School of Science and Math and attended the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and North Carolina State University, where she earned her undergraduate degree. While working at the college library at UNC Wilmington, she decided to pursue a career as a librarian, later earning her Masters degree in Library Science from North Carolina Central University.

“I wish I had been able to meet our patrons in person,” Baldwin said, “but, unfortunately, we are all doing our best to slow the spread of COVID-19. I hope everyone is taking care at this time, and I hope to be able to bring some library services to you over the internet.”

A fan of young adult fiction and fantasy books, Baldwin is married and resides in Henderson. She can be reached online through “Ask a Librarian” on the Granville County Library System website (https://granville.lib.nc.us) and at melanie.baldwin@granvillecounty.org. A new “chat” option is also available at https://granville.lib.nc.us/chat/.

While the four branches of the Granville County Library System continue to be closed to the public, Baldwin offers a reminder that curbside pickup service has again been made available from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Thornton Library in Oxford and at the South Branch library in Creedmoor.

Those wishing to reserve materials can simply call in or message either library branch with a list of requested materials, park at a curbside library space and give the library a call. Your materials will be placed on an outside table to be conveniently retrieved. (Limit five books, five DVDs and five audiobooks.) Contact the Thornton Library at 919-693-1121 and the South Branch at 919-528-1752 to make your materials requests.

Granville’s Spring Recycle & Collection Event Scheduled for Sat., May 16

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-Information courtesy Granville County Government

The Spring Recycle and Collection event is still scheduled for Saturday, May 16, 2020, at the Granville County Expo and Convention Center. The hours are from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.

To ensure proper social distancing and precautionary measures, those bringing items in to be properly disposed of and/or recycled will be directed to designated areas and will be assisted with their items.

Accepted items: documents for shredding, scrap metal, junk lawnmowers, broken appliances, broken bicycles, medications, sharps, inhalers, laptops/computers, cell phones, flares, ammunition, fireworks, hardback books, household batteries, pet items, packing materials (no packing peanuts) and more.

Backyard compost bins and countertop caddies will be available for sale.

The Granville County Expo Center is located at 4185 US Hwy 15 in Oxford, NC.

 

Granville Co. Govt. Welcomes Two New Hires to Human Resources Team

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-Press Release, Granville County Government

Granville County Government introduces two new Human Resources professionals, who have joined its administrative team.

Angela Miles began her new role as Human Resources Director on March 16, coming to Granville County Government by way of Vance County Public Schools’ Human Resources Department where she served as Assistant Director.

Angela Miles (pictured) began her new role as Human Resources Director for Granville County Government on March 16, 2020. (Photo courtesy Granville Co. Govt.)

An East Carolina University graduate, Miles earned her degree in Business Management and was a Computer Specialist with the Department of the Navy for two years before joining Vance County Public Schools in 1994. She is married and currently resides in Henderson. She and her husband have two adult children.

Barbara Burwell is Granville County’s new Human Resources Specialist. Burwell was also employed by Vance County Public Schools, where she worked for the past four years as Administrative Assistant/Human Resources Specialist.

Her prior experience includes a 15-year career with Granville County Public Schools. A Granville County native and a graduate of J.F. Webb High School, Burwell is working towards her degree in Business Administration from Liberty University. She is married and has four daughters and five grandchildren.

Barbara Burwell (pictured) is Granville County’s new Human Resources Specialist. (Photo courtesy Granville Co. Govt.)

Together, Miles and Burwell will be responsible for all aspects of personnel management, administering all County-sponsored employee benefits for a workforce of more than 300 staff members. They will also oversee Worker’s Compensation, ensure that the County is in compliance with all applicable Federal and State labor laws, and act as the primary source of information pertaining to payroll deductions, retirement, disability, etc. for employees and retirees.

Offices of the Human Resources Department are located at 141 Williamsboro Street in Oxford.

Low Income Energy Assistance Program Offers One-Time Supplement

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-Press Release, Granville County Government

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will be issuing a one-time supplement payment for all households that were approved for Low Income Energy Assistance (LIEAP) benefits during the 2019-2020 application period.

The supplement amounts will be based on household size and approved LIEAP benefit amounts and will be paid directly to the household’s primary heating vendor.

The one-time supplements are scheduled to be issued by NC Fast on the night of May 11, 2020. A notice will be mailed to households informing them of the supplement payments.

For more details, please contact the Granville County Department of Social Services at 919-693-1511.

Granville Athletic Park Begins Phase III Expansion

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-Information courtesy Granville County Government

The Phase III expansion of Granville Athletic Park (the GAP) is underway! Plans include the addition of tennis courts, an inclusive playground, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, nine additional holes for disc golf, a picnic area, fitness stations, open spaces and additional walking trails.

Phase III will join the existing Phase I and Phase II areas, making the GAP an 80-acre recreational park.

Granville Athletic Park is located at 4615 Belltown Road in Oxford, NC and is the county’s largest recreational area.

Granville’s Spring Recycle & Collection Event Moved to May

THIS STORY IS PRESENTED IN PART BY DRAKE DENTISTRY

-Press Release, Granville County Government

The annual Spring Recycle and Collection event, originally scheduled for April 25, 2020, has been rescheduled for Saturday, May 16 at the Granville County Expo and Convention Center. The hours are from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Vendors will be on-site offering document shredding services; the collection of electronics, scrap metal, hardback books and other items; and proper disposal of medications, sharps, inhalers, flares, ammunition and fireworks.

Polystyrene/styrofoam – not including packing peanuts – will also be collected during this event, as well as pet supplies for the Granville County Humane Society.

“The spring recycle and collection event gives residents an opportunity to protect our environment while spring cleaning,” said Granville County Recycling Coordinator Teresa Baker. “Shred Ace, GFL, the Granville County Sheriff’s Office, the Humane Society and other vendors and organizations will be on-site and ready to take unwanted items for recycling, shredding, re-purposing or proper disposal.”

To encourage backyard composting – another way to recycle by turning organic materials into soil nutrients – compost bins and countertop caddies will be available for sale during this event.

The Granville County Expo Center is located at 4185 U.S. Hwy. 15 South in Oxford. For more information about this event, contact Baker at 919-725-1417 or email her at bakertd@gcs.k12.nc.us.

Granville County Government Operational Changes – Updated March 26

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-Press Release, Granville County Government

Granville County Government continues to work closely with Granville-Vance Public Health and to take precautionary measures, following guidance from the local health department and from the CDC. With everyone’s safety in mind, these operational changes have been implemented in response to COVID-19:

Granville County Senior Services: All three Senior Centers (Oxford, Creedmoor and Stovall) are closed to participants until further notice. Group activities, classes, group meetings and special events have been canceled. Because the tax deadline has been changed to July 15, the tax assistance program has been temporarily suspended and will restart on Thursday, May 14 from 5 until 8 p.m., ending on July 9. Appointments currently on the books will be rescheduled and new appointments will be taken.

Home delivered meals continue and congregate meals (on-site) are available as a drive-through option. Those not able to use the drive-through option should call the Senior Center at 919-693-1930 to ask about being placed on a home-delivered route. KARTS has also made the decision to temporarily discontinue the around-town shuttle until further notice.

Granville County Library System: All four branches of the Granville County Library have been closed to the public as of March 21, but curbside service is available Monday through Friday at the Richard H. Thornton Library in Oxford and at the South Branch in Creedmoor. Library patrons can call or email either library to request materials for pickup between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., then give the library a call upon arrival. (Limit five books, five DVDs and five audiobooks.)

In addition, all scheduled events and programs have been canceled and meeting rooms will not be available for public use until the state of emergency is lifted. All services to nursing homes and assisted living centers have also been postponed until further notice. Deadlines for all materials currently checked out will be automatically extended. The Thornton Library can be reached at 919-693-1121 and the phone number for the South Branch is 919-528-1752.

Department of Social Services: To better serve residents who need assistance, the Department of Social Services is also accepting applications for Food and Nutrition assistance, Medicaid, Work First Family Assistance or any other economic service program through DSS online, by phone or by mail. To apply by phone, please call 919-693-1511. To apply online, please visit https://www.granvillecounty.org/residents/social-services/. To apply by mail, send the application to P.O. Box 966, Oxford NC, 27565.

Granville County Animal Management: For safety precautions, please call the Animal Shelter at 919-693-6749 to make an appointment for adoptions, rescue pulls and viewing of lost animals. For a limited time, all fees for pet adoptions and rescue pulls will be waived. A majority of volunteers are also being asked to not visit at this time, but to please continue to support the Animal Shelter by sharing animals available for rescue and adoption, as well as notices for lost animals. Rabies vaccinations for owned animals have been suspended until further notice.

Animal Control officers continue to be on the job. Please call 919-693-6749 during normal operating hours of Monday through Friday, noon until 4:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., as most animal control concerns can be addressed over the phone. If you have an animal-related emergency, please call 9-1-1 to have Animal Control Officers contacted, who are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

Granville County Courthouse: As of March 23, the Granville County Clerk’s Office will be interacting with the public through their cashiering window. Residents are encouraged to call 919-699-4800 before coming to the courthouse, as there are a number of matters that can be handled over the phone or through the N.C. Courts’ website at www.nccourts.gov. By order of the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, many court matters are being continued and rescheduled until after April 13, 2020.

Exceptions are proceedings necessary to preserve statutory and constitutional rights in criminal cases, such as first appearances; and proceedings necessary to obtaining emergency relief, such as protective and restraining orders. Matters that fall into these exceptions will proceed as necessary and required by law before the Court.

Cases that will be continued and rescheduled until after April 13, 2020, include 1. Magistrate’s and Small Claims Court; 2. Regular Civil and Criminal District Court; 3. Civil and Criminal Superior Court; and 4. Most Estate and Special Proceedings Hearings before the Clerk. The Clerk’s Office will mail notice of a new hearing date for all matters that are continued and are rescheduled.

Granville County Sheriff’s Office: As of March 23 and until further notice, only one person will be admitted inside the front lobby of the Sheriff’s Office at a time. Visitation in the Granville County Jail is also restricted until further notice. Fingerprint services have been suspended until April 13. Effective immediately, crime reports of a non–violent nature will be taken over the phone or by email, if at all possible. These reports include, but are not limited to, misdemeanor theft, harassing communications, lost property, identity theft, computer/phone/mail scams.  The phone number for the Sheriff’s Office is 919-693-3213 and the email address is granville.sheriff@granvillecounty.org. For more serious concerns, all residents are asked to call 9-1-1.

Granville County 9-1-1: Residents should be aware that telecommunicators are screening all calls for COVID-19 symptoms. Any “yes” answers to the questions asked will be relayed to emergency responders so that they will be prepared and aware.

Inspections and Planning: As of Monday, March 23, the Planning and Inspections Department will be closed to the public. Residents can reach staff members by phone or by email. Appointments that are necessary will be made. In addition, a drop box will be located in the hallway for plan and application submittals. Field inspections will continue but may be limited. Online payment access is also available. Call 919-603-1326 to have an online payment link sent to your email address.

Tax Department: The Granville County Tax Office encourages all taxpayers to call for an appointment prior to their visit. Online payments are also accepted at https://www.granvillecounty.org/residents/online-payments/. Call 919-693-4181 for assistance.

Granville County Board of Elections: The Granville County Board of Elections is closed to the general public but will be taking calls at 919-693-2515 for information and appointments.

Granville County Office of N.C. Forest Service: The Granville office location is temporarily closed to the public until further notice. Burning permits will be made available online at ncforestservice.gov. Residents should be aware that staffing adjustments may increase response times for inquiries and assistance. To reach a staff member, call 919-482-2301. For emergencies, please dial 9-1-1.

Parks and Recreation: Although tournament play has been canceled, Granville Athletic Park remains open. With the exception of playground equipment, the walking trails and other open spaces are available for public use. Residents are asked to follow health recommendations, including the practice of social distancing. Remember that gatherings should be limited to 50 people or less.

Soil and Water Conservation: The Soil and Water Conservation office is closed to the public until further notice; however, the Natural Resource Conservationist continues to work in the office and in the field and can be reached at 919-693-4603 or at byron.currin@granvillecounty.org.

Meeting cancellations: Several committee meetings and meetings of independent boards have been canceled or postponed. For a listing of canceled/postponed meetings and events scheduled through Granville County Government, please visit www.granvillecounty.org for notices.

Granville County Government Declares State of Emergency

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-Press Release, Granville County Government

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with increasing confirmed cases in North Carolina, the Granville County Board of Commissioners has approved the issuance of a Declaration of a State of Emergency.

Signed by Chairman David T. Smith, this declaration is also in response to the March 10, 2020, Executive Order No. 116 to coordinate response and to take protective actions regarding the prevention of the spread of the Coronavirus in our communities.

At the time of this document, Granville County has one confirmed case of COVID-19.

The Declaration includes all five municipalities of Granville County and goes into effect at 4:30 p.m. today, March 23, 2020.

The Declaration reads:

WHEREAS, COVID19 is a respiratory disease that can result in serious illness or death and is a new strain of coronavirus previously unidentified in humans which can spread from person to person; and 

WHEREAS, the World Health Organization declared COVID19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on January 30, 2020; and 

WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned of the high public health threat posed by COVID19 globally and in the United States and has deemed it necessary to prohibit or restrict travel to areas designated by the CDC, and 

WHEREAS, on January 31, 2020, the United States Department of Health and Human Services Secretary declared a public health emergency in the United States for COVID19 under Section 319 of the Public Health Service Act; and 

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020. the President of the United States, due to the spread of COVID19, declared a national emergency under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act and corresponding regulations of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); and 

WHEREAS, on March 10, 2020, the Governor of the State of North Carolina by Executive Order No. 116 declared a state of emergency to coordinate response protective actions regarding the prevention of the spread of COVID19 within the State of North Carolina and has since issued Executive Orders 117, 118, 119, and 120 dealing with the COVID 19 emergency and may issue additional Executive Orders in the future; and 

WHEREAS, in consultation with health care professionals and based upon guidance from the CDC and NCDHHS, arrangements must be made immediately to take such actions that are deemed necessary and appropriate to ensure that COVID-19 remains controlled and that residents in Granville County remain safe and secure; and 

WHEREAS, the spread of the disease poses an imminent threat to property in the County due to illnessrelated absenteeism, particularly among public safety personnel, healthcare personnel, and persons engaged in activities and businesses critical to the economy and infrastructure of the County; and 

WHEREAS, at the time of this documents creation, Granville County has confirmed cases of Covid-19, and 

WHEREAS, Article 1A of Chapter 166A of the North Carolina General Statutes and, more specifically N.C. Gen. Stat. $166A19.22, authorizes counties and municipalities to declare a state of emergency and exercise the powers and duties set forth therein to direct and aid in the response to and mitigation against emergencies; and 

WHEREAS, the undersigned, in accordance with and on the basis of the foregoing, finds that an emergency exists within Granville County, North Carolina, and its municipalities, due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, and further finds that it is necessary and appropriate to exercise the authority cited hereinabove by issuing this Declaration in order to address said emergency and to protect the health and wellbeing of the citizens of Granville County; and 

WHEREAS, by and with the consent of the mayors of the municipalities within Granville County this Declaration applies within the municipal limits of the Town of Butner, the Town of Stem, the Town of Stovall, the City of Creedmoor and the City of Oxford, and 

WHEREAS, this Declaration is in addition to the executive orders referenced above and should any provision hereof be declared to be invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such declaration shall not affect the validity of this Declaration as to any part thereof which is not specifically declared to be invalid or unconstitutional. 

NOW, THEREFORE, pursuant to the authority contained in Article 1A of Chapter 166A of the North Carolina General Statutes, Article 36A of Chapter 14 of the North Carolina General Statutes, and Chapter 20 of the Granville County Code of Ordinances, I, David Smith, Chairman of the Granville County Board of Commissioners do hereby proclaim

A State of Emergency exists within the County of Granville and by the request of the mayors of the Town of Butner, the Town of Stem, the Town of Stovall, the City of Creedmoor and the City of Oxford, within the corporate limits of those municipalities (the Municipalities“). 

The prohibitions and restrictions contained herein are necessary in order to maintain an acceptable level of public order, services, protection of lives, safety and property during this emergency. 

Restrictions on Long Term Care Facilities. All nursing homes, long term care facilities and assisted living residences (including adult care homes and family care homes) shall follow any applicable guidance issued by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (“NCDHHS”), the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (“CMS”), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (“CDC”). 

Restrictions on the use of playgrounds: Effective March 24, 2020, the use of publicly and privately-owned playground equipment is prohibited except as set out below. This prohibition does not apply to playground equipment at residences owned or leased by one or more people for their own living quarters or to the areas surrounding playground equipment including greenways, walking trails or other amenities of open spaces or parks. The foregoing notwithstanding, the county and each town, city, board of education, or charter school within Granville County may set its own rules in compliance with all state and federal laws for the operation of its playgrounds during the duration of this Declaration. 

Restrictions on Access to Public Buildings and Facilities: No person shall access any building or facility owned or occupied by any county, town, city, board of education, or charter school within Granville County except in compliance with any restrictions which may be posted on the main entrance on such building or facility. Each county, town, city, board of education, or charter school may set its own rules in compliance with all state and federal laws for its hours of operation during the duration of this Declaration. Citizens are strongly urged to conduct all public business via internet or phone until further notice. Citizens with specific questions should contact the county, town, city, board of education, or charter school or department thereof with which he/she has business. 

General Recommendations: All persons residing or present within Granville County, including its municipalities, are highly encouraged to comply with all recommendations of the Granville-Vance District Health Department, NCDHHS, CMS, and CDC for the testing, reporting, prevention, and control of COVID-19. These recommendations are updated frequently, and all persons are urged to stay up to date on the most recent recommendations. 

All law enforcement officers, emergency management employees and all other county personnel employed by Granville County are directed to cooperate in the enforcement and implementation of the provisions of this Declaration and of all applicable provisions of local ordinances, state and federal laws and emergency declarations, and the Granville County Emergency Operations Plan. 

I hereby delegate to the Granville County Manager, and/or his designee, all power and authority granted to me and required of me by Article 1A of Chapter 166A and Article 36A of Chapter 14 of the North Carolina General Statutes, and by Chapter 20 of the Granville County Code of Ordinances, for the purpose of implementing the referenced Emergency Operations Plan, and to take such further action as is necessary to promote and secure the safety and protection of those dwelling in the County.

I further proclaim that the Emergency Operations Plan adopted by the County of Granville, and all applicable mutual assistance compacts and agreements are in effect and shall remain in effect until this Declaration is rescinded. All emergency management personnel subject to my control are hereby ordered to cooperate in the implementation of the provisions of the County’s Emergency Management Plan and all applicable mutual assistance compacts and agreements and to furnish assistance thereunder. 

Granville County recognizes and acknowledges that it and each of the Municipalities are likely to incur substantial economic damage from the issuance of this Declaration and do hereby request that they receive any and all available federal and state financial aid and other assistance for which they may be eligible in connection with the same. 

I direct that copies of this Declaration be disseminated to the mass communications media for publication and broadcast and that a copy of this Declaration be posted in Granville County Courthouse and other public buildings as appropriate. 

Pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. $166A-19.31(h), any person who violates this Declaration shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor in accordance with G.S. 14 288.20A

This Declaration shall be effective immediately and shall remain in effect until rescinded pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. $166A-19.22(c). 

Proclaimed this the 23rd day of March at 4:30 p.m.

David T. Smith 

David Smith Chairman, Granville County Board of Commissioners

Granville Co. Government Continues to Make Operational Changes – Updated March 24

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-Press Release, Granville County Government

Granville County Government continues to work closely with Granville-Vance Public Health and to take precautionary measures, following guidance from the local health department and from the CDC. With everyone’s safety in mind, these operational changes have been implemented in response to COVID-19:

Granville County Senior Services: All three Senior Centers (Oxford, Creedmoor and Stovall) are closed to participants until further notice. Group activities, classes, group meetings and special events have been canceled.

Because the tax deadline has been changed to July 15, the tax assistance program has been temporarily suspended and will restart on Thursday, May 14 from 5 until 8 p.m., ending on July 9. Appointments currently on the books will be rescheduled and new appointments will be taken.

Home delivered meals continue and congregate meals (on-site) are available as a drive-through option. Those not able to use the drive-through option should call the Senior Center at 919-693-1930 to ask about being placed on a home-delivered route. KARTS has also made the decision to temporarily discontinue the around-town shuttle until further notice.

Department of Social Services: To better serve residents who need assistance, the Department of Social Services is also accepting applications for Food and Nutrition assistance, Medicaid, Work First Family Assistance or any other economic service program through DSS online, by phone or by mail. To apply by phone, please call 919-693-1511. To apply online, please visit https://www.granvillecounty.org/residents/social-services/. To apply by mail, send application to P.O. Box 966, Oxford NC, 27565.

Granville County Library System: All four branches of the Granville County Library have been closed to the public as of March 21, but curbside service is available Monday through Friday at the Richard H. Thornton Library in Oxford and at the South Branch in Creedmoor. Library patrons can call or email either library to request materials for pickup between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., then give the library a call upon arrival. (Limit five books, five DVDs and five audiobooks.)

In addition, all scheduled events and programs have been canceled and meeting rooms will not be available for public use until the state of emergency is lifted. All services to nursing homes and assisted living centers have also been postponed until further notice. Deadlines for all materials currently checked out will be automatically extended. The Thornton Library can be reached at 919-693-1121 and the phone number for the South Branch is 919-528-1752.

Granville County Animal Management:  For a limited time, fees will be waived for pet adoptions and rescue pulls. For safety precautions, visitors to the shelter can only come into the facilities for purposes of adoption or rescue, or if looking for lost animals. In addition, rabies vaccinations for owned animals are being suspended until further notice. For questions, please call 919-693-6749.

Granville County Courthouse: As of March 23, the Granville County Clerk’s Office will be interacting with the public through their cashiering window. Residents are encouraged to call 919-699-4800 before coming to the courthouse, as there are a number of matters that can be handled over the phone or through the N.C. Courts’ website at www.nccourts.gov.

By order of the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, many court matters are being continued and rescheduled until after April 13, 2020. Exceptions are proceedings necessary to preserve statutory and constitutional rights in criminal cases, such as first appearances; and proceedings necessary to obtaining emergency relief, such as protective and restraining orders. Matters that fall into these exceptions will proceed as necessary and required by law before the Court.

Cases that will be continued and rescheduled until after April 13, 2020, include 1. Magistrate’s and Small Claims Court; 2. Regular Civil and Criminal District Court; 3. Civil and Criminal Superior Court; and 4. Most Estate and Special Proceedings Hearings before the Clerk. The Clerk’s Office will mail notice of a new hearing date for all matters that are continued and are rescheduled.

Granville County Sheriff’s Office: As of March 23 and until further notice, only one person will be admitted inside the front lobby of the Sheriff’s Office. Visitation in the Granville County Jail is also restricted until further notice. Fingerprint services have been suspended until April 13.

Effective immediately, crime reports of a non–violent nature will be taken over the phone or by email, if at all possible. These reports include, but are not limited to misdemeanor theft, harassing communications, lost property, identity theft, computer/phone/mail scams. The phone number for the Sheriff’s Office is 919-693-3213 and the email address is granville.sheriff@granvillecounty.org. For more serious concerns, all residents are asked to call 9-1-1.

Granville County 9-1-1: Residents should be aware that telecommunicators are screening all calls for COVID-19 symptoms. Any “yes” answers to the questions asked will be relayed to emergency responders so that they will be prepared and aware.

Inspections and Planning: As of Monday, March 23, the Planning and Inspections Department will be closed to the public. Residents can reach staff members by phone or by email. Appointments that are necessary will be made. In addition, a drop box will be located in the hallway for plan and application submittals. Field inspections will continue but may be limited. Online payment access is also available. Call 919-603-1326 to have an online payment link sent to your email address.

Granville County Office of N.C. Forest Service: The Granville office location is temporarily closed to the public until further notice. Burning permits will be made available online at ncforestservice.gov. Residents should be aware that staffing adjustments may increase response times for inquiries and assistance. To reach a staff member, call 919-482-2301. For emergencies, please dial 9-1-1.

Parks and Recreation: Although tournament play has been canceled, Granville Athletic Park remains open for public use. Residents are asked to follow health recommendations for gatherings, including social distancing. Avoid being closer than six feet from anyone, whenever possible, and limit physical contact. Remember that gatherings should be limited to 50 people or less. Reservations for picnic shelters and other amenities can still be made by calling the GAP at 919-693-3716.

Soil and Water Conservation: The Soil and Water Conservation office is closed to the public until further notice; however, the Natural Resource Conservationist continues to work in the office and in the field and can be reached at 919-693-4603 or at byron.currin@granvillecounty.org.

Meeting cancellations: Several committee meetings and meetings of independent boards have been canceled or postponed. For a listing of canceled/postponed meetings and events scheduled through Granville County Government, please visit www.granvillecounty.org for notices.