The Worthington Selectboard voted to declare a State of Emergency at its regular meeting, held Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 6:30pm.
This was done in order to best prepare and protect the residents of Worthington in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This declaration eases some procurement requirements, allows the Town to overspend line items, and gives the Police and Fire Chiefs more flexibility in staffing.
In an effort to protect the health of everyone, including town officials and employees, to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus, and to continue essential town government operations, all Worthington government buildings will be closed to the general public effective today, March 15, 2020. The town government buildings include the Town Office, Police Station, Fire Station, Highway Department and R. H. Conwell School. In addition, the Worthington Public Library is closed until further notice. All town employees will continue to work in their departments / offices serving the public and performing essential government functions.
What does this mean?
- Government town buildings will be locked at all times.
- The R. H. Conwell School is closed beginning March 16, 2020, with a tentative opening of May 4, 2020, as are Hampshire Regional schools per state order.
- Employees will not be meeting with the public, but will continue to communicate with residents, vendors and outside folks by phone, email and regular mail.
- There is a locked dropbox outside the door at town hall for leaving any communications, tax payments etc.
- All board and committee meetings after today will be closed physically to the public. The Governor has amended the Open Meeting Law to suspend the requirement for a physical quorum. That means that board or committee members can participate remotely and still be included in the quorum. Public meetings will also be open to the public to participate remotely by internet or phone. All meeting postings will include instructions for joining the meeting remotely.
- The best place to check for any meeting information is the Community Calendar at https://worthington-ma.us/aec-calendar/.
- The Board of Assessors have suspended their Tuesday meetings and hours until further notice.
- The Building Inspector/Commissioner will be working her regular hours, but as with other town offices, she will not be meeting with the public. She can be reached by email or phone and will return messages. Forms and permits can be left in the town dropbox outside the Town Office door.
- Yoga and exercise programs are suspended at town hall.
- The COA office at the Corners Grocery will be closed.
- There will be no outside programs or events held at the town government buildings.
- The Transfer Station will remain open. Residents are asked to move along quickly and not stay and visit. Residents are being asked to punch their own cards at home or mark them out with a marker. (Cards are for sale from the attendant if needed.)
- If you haven’t already created an account for emergency notifications, we strongly encourage you to do so at www.worthington-ma.us/ebs. You can also logon there to verify that we have the correct contact information for you and your family. You can add additional email addresses and telephone numbers for text and/or calls to your account as well.
This notice will also be posted as an official notice at Town Hall, the Post Office and on the town website.
We understand that this temporary government building lock-down is going to make things more difficult and slow down some projects; however, the Board of Selectmen feels it is a necessary precaution under the rapidly changing environment we are living in with the spread of the Coronavirus. The Board of Selectmen, Board of Health and working group of town leaders are monitoring the Coronavirus situation closely and are meeting regularly. We will communicate any additional information as soon as it becomes available and will continually reassess the building situation.
Thank you for patience and understanding. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Charley Rose, Selectboard Chair