By Ronda Wertman

Tribune Correspondent

RIDGELEY - The Mineral County Courthouse is undergoing modifications to provide a safe working environment for employees and patrons as the county prepares to reopen the courthouse in two weeks.

With all employees returning this week, Mineral County Commissioner Dr. Richard Lechliter told Ridgeley residents that shields are being built to provide separation in the small offices with close contact.

Currently those having business in the courthouse need to make an appointment and check in with security upon arrival before proceeding to the offices.

In two weeks residents can visit offices without an appointment, but must still check in with security, which will continue to monitor the number of people in each area.

Given the close proximity in the offices, wearing a mask will be needed.

In other updates, Lechliter noted that the planning office has been moved to the health department on Harley O. Staggers Drive and that John Delsignore is continuing training as county planner.

Lechliter added that building permits in the county have been steady and increasing during COVID-19 restrictions as many have been working on projects, while at home.

He reported on efforts by Kevin Clark and the development authority including working on deals to fill the Keyser and Fort Ashby industrial parks and potential development in Carpendale.

Lechliter noted that Clark has also been assisting businesses with provisions under the payroll protection program.

On a final note, Lechliter reported that people have been steadily paying their property taxes, which will help with keeping the budget stable.