AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – Aiken County Government buildings are back open to the public. However, access will be limited and carefully controlled.
The Aiken County Administrator’s Office released the following statement concerning the re-opening,
The public should continue accessing County services as much as possible in the same fashion they have been since the initial closure of facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Citizens are encouraged to continue transacting business with the County through online portals, telephone calls and the use of the drop boxes and drive thru window at the Government Center. The Aiken County website, www.aikencountysc.gov/Notices/ACGNotice.php contains a great deal of information about current County operations and citizens should refer to that page for updates.
The Government Center will have access through the rear entrance only, which will be staffed with Code Enforcement Officers and other employees to monitor the number of individuals in the facility at any given time. Before coming to a County office, citizens should call ahead to ensure they have everything they need to avoid having to make an additional trip. Please be patient as wait times will vary depending upon the number of individuals seeking entry.
If you must enter a building, citizens are encouraged to wear a proper face mask. If anyone is exhibiting flu or severe cold-like symptoms, please do not come to conduct your business in person. You will be denied access to the facility if you have any symptoms that cause concern. Additionally, only one member of a family or group will be allowed to enter. Please keep that in mind and plan accordingly when coming to visit a County facility.
The Register of Mesne Conveyance office will allot blocks of time in two-hour increments to researchers that need access to the facility. However, it is preferred that research be done online as much as possible before scheduling a visit to the office. You must call ahead (803-642-2072) to schedule your time in the office. Only one person from a firm or practice will be allowed in the facility at any given time. All documents requiring recording should continue to be placed in the drop box at the rear of the Government Center as is currently being done. Recordings will not be accepted in person. The e-recording option is also available and should be utilized whenever possible.
The Treasurer’s Office will accept cash and credit card payments at the drive thru window. Checks should be placed in the drop box on the drive-thru island or mailed to Aiken County Treasurer, P.O. Box 636, Aiken, SC 29802. Credit card payments can be handled online (www.aikencountysc.gov/Tegov2) or over the phone by calling 1-833-640-8732. For all other questions for the Treasurer’s Office, please call 803-642-2092. Vehicle registration stickers, receipts or other documentation will be mailed as soon as it is processed. Current vehicle registrations are valid through the end of June.
Landfill and Emergency Medical Services payments can be made by U.S. Mail at Aiken County Finance, Collections Division, 1930 University Parkway, Suite 3200, Aiken, SC 29801 or by phone using a credit card. The number to dial is 803-642-2067. There is also a drop box located at the rear entrance to the Government Center where non-cash payments can be placed. If there is a need to enter the building or if there are inquiries about your bill, please dial 803-642-2067 before visiting the Government Center.
The Aiken County Veteran’s Affairs Office will operate by appointment only. No walk-in traffic will be allowed. Veterans seeking service should dial 803-642-1545 to schedule an appointment. If no answer, please leave a message and someone will get back with you to schedule a visit. The VA Office also has checklists located at the entrance to the office or they can be mailed, emailed or faxed to anyone requesting. These checklists are designed to make your visit go quicker and allow the staff to assist you better.
The Aiken County Courthouse is also open, but for very limited purposes. Citizens should call the office or department they need to do business with prior to coming to the Courthouse.
The Aiken County Animal Shelter remains closed to the public, but anyone interested in adopting or fostering a pet may contact the Shelter for an appointment. The number to call is 803-642-1537 to schedule a visit. Code Enforcement staff is still available to respond to animal calls and complaints.
All County parks and recreation programs remain closed with the exception of walking tracks and trails. Citizens utilizing the walking facilities should maintain an appropriate distance from others and not exercise in large groups.
Magistrates’ Offices are open, but anyone needing to conduct business should call ahead or follow the instructions posted on the door of the office they need to visit.
Aiken County Council meetings, as well as other Boards and Commission meetings, will be conducted via a virtual platform. Only those with a particular interest in an agenda item will be admitted for meetings of these bodies. There will be methods provided for citizens to provide input on agenda items of each meeting held.
Visitors entering any facility should maintain appropriate social distance from others while in the facility and stay only as long as needed to complete their transaction. These restrictions will remain in place at least until the Governor lifts all executive orders dealing with closures and social distancing.
The County has taken extra steps to clean and sanitize frequently touched services such as door handles and counter tops and will continue this practice until the pandemic subsides to keep citizens and employees safe. However, it is still safer for all concerned to conduct your business with County online, by phone or mail as much as possible. Citizens should only visit a County facility when it is absolutely necessary.
If you have delinquent tax payments, they can be made through mail, online at www.aikencountysc.gov/Tegov2, by phone (803-642-2081), or payment can be made at the drop box located at the back entrance of the Government Center.