All three buildings on the Christian County courthouse campus are closed to the public, but that doesn’t mean everything is shut down.
In response to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Christian County Commission announced that all county government offices will be closed to the public beginning Monday, March 30. Elected officials and their respective staffs will continue to perform their jobs, with public interaction limited to telephone and email. This action applies to the Historic Courthouse, Resource Management Building, Recycling Center and all highway department facilities.
City Hall buildings in Christian County, like the ones in Nixa and Ozark, have also closed to the public in effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Presiding Circuit Judge Laura Johnson made a similar announcement with regard to the judicial buildings saying the Circuit Court of Christian County is temporarily closed to the general public. That doesn’t mean court is canceled. The courts in Christian County will continue to process cases, and they will also accept paper and electronic filings. Any questions should be directed to the Circuit Clerk's office.
“The functions of the courthouse will not change,” Christian County Sheriff Brad Cole said.
That includes the Christian County Jail, which had 69 inmates on March 26. That population is below average, but still a concern for the sheriff.
“It’s business as usual with a little extra precaution in place. People are being screened when they come in. If they are arrested, they are being screened for symptoms, a series of questions, their temperature taken and just meeting the same guidelines that are in place from the CDC,” Cole said.
Assessor Danny Gray has one of the most visited offices in downtown Ozark, situated on the third floor of the Christian County Historic Courthouse.
Many people tend to visit the assessor, then the collector’s office directly after that, and then walk across Church Street to the Ozark License Office. The Missouri Department of Revenue announced that there is a 60-day extension in place for all valid drivers whose licenses are set to expire. The Ozark License Office is also closed, until at least April 6, according to a sign on the door.
Gray estimated that 9 out of 10 visitors to his office are there to set up the necessary property tax payments to renew their driver’s licenses.
“They don’t need to be here. They’ve got an extension on all that,” Gray said.
Whatever your business might be in the Historic Courthouse, whether you need to go to the recorder, assessor, collector or commission office, you are asked to call ahead before you visit in person.
“We’re open and we’re here to serve,” Gray said. “Call us, we’ll figure out something.”
This policy is intended to correspond to the county’s stay at home order and will remain in effect for the duration of that order unless the measure is withdrawn or removed by the county commission.
For additional information regarding the availability of services for specific offices, please visit http://www.christiancountymo.gov, where you may find a list of contact information for each office.