The Waitsfield Select Board is advancing plans to reopen the town in keeping with the state’s Vermont Forward Plan.
The select board, at a May 10 meeting, discussed and adopted a reopening plan put forth by town administrator Annie Decker Dell’Isola. Like many towns, Waitsfield’s town office has been open by appointment only with staff working remotely and in person. Those working and with appointments have been masked and rentals of the conference room have not been allowed.
The current town office closure (extended by the select board on April 26, 2021) expires on May 31, 2021. The board approved the plan with the proviso that people continue to make appointments to enter the town office.
Dell’Isola outlined a soft reopening that would allow no more than three members of the public in the office at any time, one at the counter, one in the lobby and one by the back door. That will allow all four town employees to work with adequate distancing. The floor will be marked to indicate where people should stand and visitors will be encouraged to wear masks. People will be encouraged to use the drop boxes and mail for transactions. Windows will be open as much as possible.
Additionally, access to the planning and zoning office will remain primarily by phone and email. If appointments are needed they will occur in the second-floor conference room. Individual visitors only will be encouraged except where marriage licenses are sought. In those cases, access is limited to the couple.
Staff will continue to wipe counters and other common surfaces with a sanitizing wipe as often as possible or necessary. During peak periods of activity this may occur in 30-minute increments. Staff may temporarily close the office for the purposes of sanitizing surfaces.
Rental of the conference room may resume, pending assurance that all Vermont Forward guidelines are being met. Those guidelines call for masking and distancing until July 1. Bathrooms at the town office will remain closed to the general public.
Notary services may be offered by appointment to be managed by the town clerk, who will prioritize the completion of statutory tasks over notary services (which are not a statutory requirement).
Decisions on whether or not to require masks at the Joslin Memorial Library will be made by the library’s board of trustees.