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A new exterior dropbox has been added to the conveniences to county residents that come with the new courthouse. The box is located adjacent to the traveled portion of the parking lot and near the southeast corner of the courthouse, making it easily accessible by vehicles and foot traffic. This new addition allows patrons to remain in their vehicle and not enter the courthouse where masks are required and social distancing is expected. The box is checked daily and items deposited there will be processed as quickly as possible. The public is asked to loop through the parking lot by heading north nearest the old courthouse, depositing the envelope in the box, then exiting along the eastern-most travel aisle.

Keeping in mind the difficulties and cautions inherent in today’s “Covid era,” Tricia Poulsen, Bear Lake County Treasurer, announced the new dropbox has been installed primarily for real or personal property tax payments which are due the 4th Monday of November each year. However, Ms. Poulsen added that items for other county departments can be left in the dropbox as well. In either case, it is imperative that patrons include their own contact information for questions that may arise and specify to which county department the item should be directed.

County Commission Chair Rasmussen reiterated that Idaho’s positive test numbers have risen sharply recently, endangering hospitals’ and medical workers’ ability to not only treat those hospitalized with the virus but also to provide urgent care for patients suffering from ailments such as heart attacks, broken bones and other medical problems requiring prompt attention. In addition, patient load has forced several area hospitals to transfer patients elsewhere to maintain open beds and some hospitals have already reached full capacity. The commissioners agreed that the dropbox arranged by Ms. Poulsen will help reduce visits inside the courthouse which can help limit virus exposure to both county residents and county employees and they encouraged the public to take advantage of the dropbox feature.

In other measures designed to better serve the public, Ms. Poulsen and Heber Dunford, County Assessor, have teamed up to offer online access to several databases that have previously been accessible only via personal visits to the courthouse. The new system will produce as much information from the Treasurer’s and Assessor’s office as possible in an attempt to not only provide 24/7 access but to help patrons obtain information without calling or visiting the county courthouse in person. The new online access will be in the beta test stage shortly. Ms. Poulsen and Mr. Dunford are anxious to announce when the new programs will be available to the public.

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