By: Monica Casey | WCTV Eyewitness News
May 20, 2020
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Leon County Tax Collector's Offices have been closed since March 19; now employees are training with a soft reopening to prepare for a target date of June 1.
Leon County Tax Collector Doris Maloy is still asking residents, if you are able to conduct your business remotely, that's the best option.
If you do head into the office on June 1, things will look different.
Everyone, employees and customers, will be required to wear a face mask.
"We're requiring all customers to wear a mask, much like the one that I have on. This is being worn all day by our staff and anyone else that's coming into the building," said Maloy.
Socially distanced lines are marked on the carpet, clear barriers have been installed between employees and customers, and hand sanitizer and hand wipes are available in multiple locations.
Maloy says she wants to protect her employees as much as possible during the pandemic. She says the office meets many of the criteria for being high risk.
"Number one, the environment, we're in an enclosed environment. Another risk factor, the number of individuals. We anticipate seeing over 500 per office of individuals. And the third thing would be the activity that's going on in an office; everyone is speaking," said Maloy.
Appointments will be distributed to customers when they enter the building if there is a wait.
"The difference is instead of waiting in the office, the person will wait outside or in their car, and they will come back at their appointment time," said Maloy.
However, those appointments will not be available ahead of time; Maloy says she's trying to keep procedures as close to normal as possible.
Latweet Gardner is a customer service representative at the Leon County Tax Collector; she directed customers who visited the office during the soft reopening.
"No, never experienced this!" she said of the pandemic.
Gardner was pleasantly surprised by the soft opening.
"It's been going pretty good! It's better than I expected," said Gardner.
Jeffrey Shivers visited the office to register a new vehicle, checking off errands on his list.
"That's what we've been doing for six weeks, all those things you never get around to! Let's go get the burden of things done today," said Shivers.
Shivers said he appreciated the office's efforts.
"I think that they've done a really good job in being proactive and considerate of others," said Shivers.
Hours at the Leon County Tax Collector's office will be different beginning June 1st; it will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
In addition, only the person transacting business is allowed inside; you cannot bring other people into the office with you.
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