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County asks Johnstonians to do business online

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SMITHFIELD — County Manager Rick Hester last week made a plea to his fellow Johnstonians.

To combat spread of the coronavirus, he asked them to conduct business with the county online when possible.

“We’re requesting that Johnston County residents use our vast array of online services and information instead of coming in person to county facilities, if possible,” Hester said in a statement before County Commissioners during a special meeting on March 17.

The county’s online services are many, Hester said. “Our website has ways to pay online, answers to frequently asked questions, emails to reach all of our departments, and we’ve set up a hotline to take all of your COVID-19 questions (at) 919-989-5400,” he said.

The county is committed to helping Johnstonians do business online, Hester said. “Our dedicated staff are continuing to work for you and coming up with new ways for you to conveniently conduct business without physically having to go into government buildings,” he said. “We’re also daily updating our social media and sharing new information and resources for our residents.”

Johnstonians can find the county online at johnstonnc.com, facebook.com/jocogovNC, facebook.com/JoCoEmerServ/ and twitter.com/jocoemerserv.

At their special meeting last week, commissioners gave Hester the authority to combat coronavirus infections among county employees. Specifically, commissioners gave him the authority to:

• Offer flexible work situations for day-to-day operations.

• Place restrictions on job-related travel for county employees.

• Offer flexibility on county personnel policies, including types of leave.

Separately, commissioners temporarily suspended water cutoffs for failure to pay. The suspension runs through at least April 13, though commissioners gave Hester the authority to extend that.

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