COVID closes Middlesboro City Hall until Sept. 10

Middlesboro City Hall is closed to the public – although city services are still available – until Sept. 10.

Middlesboro Mayor Rick Nelson explained the decision was made because of the recent upward spiral in the number of new COVID-19 cases in Bell County.

“First of all, nobody’s off work, we’re all still here working,” Nelson said. “Bell County went into the red and we’re having what seems like a lot more cases than we did last year. We wanted to do that to protect our up-front workers here.”

Nelson advised while the building may be closed, city services are still available to the public.

“If you want to talk to Codes (Code Enforcement) or you need to talk to me, you can still do that,” Nelson said. “Codes will still come out and look at any violations. If you need a building permit, they will work with you. We’ll do it in a safer manor, but we’ll work with you. Services will still be provided.”

Nelson said he and his staff felt closing the building was the best approach under the circumstances.

“We felt this was the best way to go,” he said. “Hopefully this surge will calm down and we will be able to resume activities soon.”

Nelson also suggested people take advantage of ways to pay their water bills remotely.

“We want to encourage all the people paying water bills – and most people are doing this anyway – to use the yellow box that’s outside…pay it online or mail it in,” Nelson said. “We’re still doing everything we normally do, but we just thought for the next couple weeks it would be safer for everyone to close it down for the general public.”

The Middlesboro City Police Department also has made some changes to address the current COVID-19 situation.

“I know the police department closed the lobby down,” Nelson said. “They will still meet you out front for different things if you need to do that. The vehicle inspections that the Sheriff’s Department does will be at the clerk’s office on KY 25E for the next couple of weeks. If you need a vehicle inspected, go there from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., that’s next to the State Farm building.”

Nelson mentioned the Fire Department and Street Department are also still providing normal services.

“We’re just trying to stay away from each other and get through this second round so we don’t have anybody die. We don’t want that to happen,” Nelson said.

To contact City Hall call 606-248-5670.