After being closed since mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lobby of Sumrall Town Hall is now reopen to the public.
Mayor Heath Sumrall said the decision to reopen was made after Gov. Tate Reeves’s “Safe Return Order” – which, in part, allowed gyms, fitness centers, and indoor and outdoor arenas to open with limited seating capacity – and made official at the following meeting of the Sumrall Board of Aldermen.
During the time of the closure, drive-thru service was still available to pay bills and conduct other needs for clients.
“We had business as usual – nothing really changed,” Sumrall said. “All of our essential workers came to work; city hall was open for bill pay.
“The only thing we did was adjust the water bill payment schedule – we allowed people to waive late fees for a month or so. But we’re going back to the normal billing cycle, and the normal late fee and cutoff policies. We weren’t cutting anybody’s water off or charging any late fees during that corona stuff.”
Board meetings still were conducted during the closure with social distancing measures and reduced capacity in effect.
“We had one board meeting where everybody was spaced, and they only allowed so many people in at a time,” Sumrall said. “But we don’t have a lot of people at board meetings; you know unless there’s a controversial issue, we don’t have 10 people there.
“We didn’t have one board meeting due to a lack of a quorum, because nobody showed up due to the coronavirus. I called a special meeting to just pay the bills, and that’s all we did, and we put all our other business off until the next meeting.”
Other projects also continued during the closure, including public works endeavors, and work on the water main near town hall has resumed.
“We’re still waiting on the county to come work on our road, but I talked to the road foreman (this week) and they’re coming back up here soon to try to finish the roadway,” Sumrall said. “So we’re picking back up with all our projects that were underway.
“There was a pause in there for a little while, so now we’re going to get going full steam again.”