Greene County commissioners

From left are Greene County commissioners Mike Belding, chairman; Betsy McClure, vice chairman; and Blair Zimmerman, secretary.

At their meeting on Thursday, the Greene County commissioners formalized their emergency declaration in response to the spread of COVID-19. They had originally signed the declaration on March 15.

“Our intent with the declaration was to establish a date and time where, fiscally, if we expend county resources that were not budgeted and not planned for, we could eventually go back to state and federal fiscal reimbursement for those expenses,” Commission Chairman Mike Belding said.

The commissioners also announced at their meeting that the county office buildings would close to the public to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

In a press release, the county said it will continue to conduct normal business but ask the public to interact via email, telephone, or mail through the U.S. Postal Service.

“Individuals with an absolute need to visit in person can schedule an appointment with the specific office in which they intend to conduct business,” the release said.

During the meeting, Commissioner Betsy McClure expressed support for Pennsylvania to postpone the upcoming primary on April 28.

Belding said the state has presented three potential options to counties – for them to encourage mail-in ballots, for the primary to be entirely mail-in or to postpone it entirely.

“That will be a state decision, and we will fall in line with that,” Belding said.

Currently, the county is asking that voters go to votes.pa.com to access an online application to vote with a mail-in or absentee ballot.

The commissioners will meet again April 1 for their agenda meeting. Belding said they will decide later if that meeting will be open to the public. If it is not, the commissioners stream their meetings live on their Facebook page.

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