Ricker Memorial Library Director Joanne Messer returns a book Wednesday afternoon after the library reopened this week after being shut down for the coronavirus pandemic. “It is certainly different and there are a lot of things we can’t do right now but everyone seems to be adapting very well,” Messer said. When books are returned, the patron puts them in a plastic tub where it stays for three days before being touched and returned to the stacks. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

POLAND — Town offices and public services have started to reopen.

Local officials discussed the easing of restrictions at their Tuesday meeting, Town Manager Matthew Garside said Wednesday.

Aside from the fire and public works departments, which remained fully open since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, other departments have begun to open to residents, he said.

Ricker Memorial Library opened Monday, allowing up to five patrons at a time inside. They are asked to wear a mask while in the building and, if there is a line, patrons will be asked to check out materials and make room for others after a period of time, he said.

The copier hasn’t been made available and won’t be until the staff can determine the best way to make it safe for public to use without risk of spreading the virus. Only two computers are available because of social distancing measures.

Garside said he talked to the town’s library staff earlier this week.

“They were doing just fine with customers and people are just glad to be able to do something normal again,” he said.

The transfer station fully reopened Friday, he said, including all recycling, the metal bin and the brush pile. Patrons are asked to wear masks on site.

A fully staffed recreation department is discussing “how they might open some summer programs,” which ones to open and how they can be done safely, he said.

The Town Office was opened to walk-in customers Tuesday, but was publicized Wednesday, Garside said.

The customer service desk is open for registering vehicles, taking tax payments and other business, he said.

There’s a limit to two people allowed in the lobby at any given time. There are signs and rope barriers to help people know where they need to go and where to wait while following the guidelines for social distancing, he said.

“It seems to be working pretty good,” he said.

In the coming weeks, he said the town will be looking to the state in seeking guidance on further easing of restrictions.

“If we can find a way to relax those restrictions, not just the library, but here at the town office, as we go forward, we will,” he said. “But we had to start somewhere and we’re just happy that we’re able to be serving the residents of Poland again.”


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