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As the Vigo County court system prepares to reopen to the public next month, an agreement has been made for spaces large enough to allow for social distance during jury selection.

On Tuesday, county commissioners Brad Anderson, Judy Anderson and Brendan Kearns learned a facilities use agreement will be signed for the gymnasium at McLean Learning Center and the conference center at West Vigo Elementary School.

The agreement runs through Aug. 3.

Jury selection can begin with 75 or more people gathered for the questioning process. No courtroom in the Vigo County Courthouse is large enough to accommodate social distancing for such a large group.

Multiple trials are currently scheduled for next week, but postponements are common.

County attorney Michael Wright said the court staff and court information technology team is working on the setup for the space.

The plan calls for the school corporation to be notified on Fridays if the school facility will not be needed the following Monday for a trial.

Other business

In other business from Tuesday’s meeting, which was broadcast via YouTube, the commissioners:

• Learned the next sale of properties with delinquent taxes will be conducted in October with an online auction format. That sale will include unsold properties from the 2019 tax sale. The unsold properties would normally have been offered in a “certificate” sale in April, but that sale was canceled due to COVID-19.

• Heard county offices will reopen Monday, but some public access limits could remain in place depending on new directives from state and local health officials.

• Approved county membership in the Indiana 811 program that locates buried utility lines prior to digging projects. The county engineer will be notified any time a request for a utility line location is made through 811. The county can then better track projects that should receive a construction permit. The cost of the program is $3,000 for the remainder of 2020, and $6,000 for 2021.

The commissioners meet each Tuesday at 9 a.m.

Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or at lisa.trigg@tribstar.com. Follow her on Twitter at TribStarLisa.

Lisa Trigg has been a reporter at the Tribune-Star since 2009. With more than 30 years of newspaper experience, she now covers general news with a focus on crime and courts.

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