BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Libraries and administrative offices in Botetourt County are, once again, opening their doors to the public starting on Tuesday.
This comes after the county’s libraries and offices spent more than 14 months providing public services online, over the phone, or curbside since closing their doors on March 16, 2020.
“The pandemic has taught us all how to do things in new and better ways. We are going to continue the new services that have been developed and that have really become a convenience for many people,” stated Botetourt County Administrator Gary Larrowe on May 3 when announcing the reopening plans.
According to county officials, facilities and offices that provide direct services to the public — including libraries, development services (building and permitting), and planning and zoning — will follow Virginia’s COVID-19 guidance and encourage people to follow public health recommendations.
In a Facebook post, Botetourt County Libraries announced they will continue to offer no-contact curbside services even after the library reopens to the public on Tuesday, June 1.
The libraries say their public meeting rooms will continue to be closed for the continued storage of quarantined items and furniture to promote social distancing.
“We look forward to reopening our doors to the public,” said Library Director Julie Phillips in a statement from early May. “Libraries provide resources for learning and leisure, but they are so much more. They are places where people connect and form relationships. They are defining spaces within the community. We are really looking forward to having the public back in our branches.”
Besides libraries, the county’s Development Services (inspections and permitting) and Planning and Zoning offices — which also provide direct service to the public — have been closed to walk-in traffic since the start of the pandemic.
“We have appreciated the patience of the public and the development community as we shifted our service model,” said Nicole Pendleton, Community Development Director and the person who manages the aforementioned offices. “We have been able to serve a lot of folks without the need to come into our offices and to keep the community building, for which we are proud. We look forward to continuing to remotely serve those who wish to do business online or by phone, but we are excited to begin to offer walk-in services again.”
If you plan on visiting Botetourt County’s Development Services and Planning and Zoning offices, keep in mind that those offices moved during the pandemic from Fincastle to the new county Administration Center in Botetourt Center at Greenfield, which is located at 57 South Center Drive in Daleville.