Berrien County Closure

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SERVICES, OPERATIONS, & PROCEDURES DURING CLOSURE

The following list represents the Berrien County continuity of operations plan under the conditions of reasonable staffing levels but not public access to County facilities except by appointment (Does not include Trial Court (all divisions) and Sheriff)

County COVID-19 Response Plan (PDF) Opens in new window

11-13-2020 County Press Release (PDF) Opens in new window

ADMINISTRATION/BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS/CORPORATE COUNSEL 

  1. Phone Number: 269-983-7111, ext. 8095
  2. Fax Number: 269-983-5788
  3. Email Address: akrieger@berriencounty.org

ANIMAL CONTROL

  1. Phone Number: 269-927-5648 / after-hours call Dispatch
  2. Email Address: animalcontrol@berriencounty.org
  3. Website: Facebook or County website
  4. Appointments must be made in advance with office staff.
  5. Description of Services available: 
    1. High priority calls only.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

  1. Phone Number:  269-983-7111 ext. 8617 
  2. Email Address: commdev@berriencounty.org
  3. Website:
  4. Access to Community Development by appointment only.
  5. Description of Services available during Emergency:
    1. Berrien Bus will continue to provide demand-response service for essential needs including scheduled medical appointments, employment and grocery shopping.  Additional service changes may be implemented based on guidance from MDOT or County Health Officials.
    2. We will continue to process home improvement/FHBLI loan programs.  Applications will be accepted by mail and email.
    3. We will continue to receive and review local zoning applications.  Applications from local Planning Commissions should be sent by mail or email.  Review of such applications will be conducted administratively by staff.
    4. We will continue to process business loan payments, PA 185 bond payments and vendor invoices.  Payments and invoices should be sent by mail and/or email.

COUNTY CLERK – VITAL RECORDS

  1. Phone Number:   (269) 983-7111  Ext. 8233
  2. Email Address:  vitalrecords@berriencounty.org
  3. Website:  www.berriencounty.org                          
  4. Access by appointment only 
  5. Description of Services available:
    1. All vital record orders can be done online/phone from the County Clerk’s Page on our website through Vitalchek or sent in by regular mail.  The phone number for Vitalchek is:  1(888)243-0055
    2. Renewal CPL Applications (only) can be done online at the Michigan State Police website:  www.michigan.gov/cplrenewal
    3. DBA/Co-Partnership forms can be printed off the County Clerk’s page on our website and sent in by mail after being notarized.
    4. We will still be filing death records electronically from the funeral homes and can issue certified copies through Vitalcheck or by mail.
    5. A drop box is available outside the Administration Building for:
      1. Original birth records for filing.
      2. Vital record requests (mail instead of mailing them in)
      3. Payments for copies

DRAIN COMMISSIONER

  1. Phone Number:  269-983-7111 Ext. 8261
  2. Email Address:  draincommissioner@berriencounty.org
  3. No public access

EQUALIZATION

  1. Phone Number: (269) 983-7111 Ext: 8215
  2. Email Address: wparrish@berriencounty.org
  3. Website: https://www.berriencounty.org/274/Equalization
  4. Access to Equalization Department by appointment only. 
  5.  Description of Services available: 
    1. General inquires related to Equalization may be made by phone or email.

GENEALOGY

  1. Phone Number: 269-983-7111 x8233 or x8265
  2. Email Address: vitalrecords@berriencounty.org
  3. Website: https://www.berriencounty.org/152/County-Clerk
  4. No public access
  5. Description of Services available during Emergency:  
    1. Mail/email/phone/internet requests only

GIS/LAND DESCRIPTION

  1. Phone Number: 269-983-7111 Ext. 8300
  2. Email Address: lwinans@berriencounty.org
  3. Website: http://www.berriencounty.org/276/Geographical-Information-Systems-GIS
  4. No public access
  5. Description of Services available:
    1. Coding Deeds (Drop offs or Electronically)
    2. Writing & Mapping Splits/Combinations
    3. Address Changes/Changing Taxpayer Names
    4. Mapping for the EOC
    5. Customer Service by Answering Phone Calls

HEALTH DEPARTMENT

  1. The Health Department offices and clinics in Benton Harbor and Niles remain open to the public, although all services are available by appointment only; walk-ins are no longer being accepted except in limited instances as noted below. 
  2. The Three Oaks office will be closed effective Monday, November 16, 2020 until further notice. 
  3. Program and service changes include: 
  4. Clinics are only accepting clients via appointment for immunizations, birth-control supply visits, and STD testing/treatment; walk-ins will no longer be accepted. Public Health Nurses are available via telephone for questions from clients.  
  5. Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) will continue client appointments, but will move to as many tele-health visits as possible and will authorize and/or extend benefits over the phone.
  6. Water filters/replacement cartridges are still available for Benton Harbor residents to pick-up in office, but all distribution events are canceled. Residents can call 1-800-815-5485 (select option #2) to have a filter/cartridge mailed to them.
  7. Home visiting services and Children’s Special Health Care Services are shifting to tele-health visits/consultations only.
  8. All Hearing and Vision pre-school screenings are canceled through the end of April.
  9. Unless otherwise noted, all community coalition meetings, events, classes, and other community gatherings are canceled until further notice.

All clients are asked to call to reschedule appointments if they are feeling ill. Any clients who are exhibiting symptoms may be asked to wear a facemask. Client appointments have been spaced throughout the day to maintain appropriate distancing for those visiting and working in the clinic.

As offices remain open, the public is encouraged to call with further questions about services that are available at this time. BCHD staff are working day and night to monitor this evolving situation with COVID-19 and will continue to provide new information to the community as things change. A hotline has been established to answer questions from the public at 1-800-815-5485 and more information can be found at the Berrien County Health Department website at www.bchdmi.org or by following BCHD on social media. To contact the Health Department via email, email: publichealth@bchdmi.org

HUMAN RESOURCES

  1. Phone Number: 269-982-8616
  2. Fax Number: 269-983-5788
  3. Email Address: sjasper@berriencounty.org
  4. Descriptions of Services available:
    1. Employment applications will still be accepted via email to bsteltner@berriencounty.org, drop box at the Administration Center, 701 Main St., St. Joseph, or fax.

MSU EXTENSION

  1. Phone Number: 269-927-5674
  2. Email: styburs1@msu.edu
  3. Fax: 269-944-4128
  4. Website:  https://www.canr.msu.edu/berrien
  5. Access by appointment only. 
  6. Description of Services available:   
    1. In order to follow the directive of social distance by closing the office to the public, Berrien County residents can still get assistance from MSU Extension by contacting the office via phone, email or website or by contacting individual staff members.

PARKS AND RECREATION

  1. Phone Number:  983-7111 Ext 8435
  2. Email Address: parks@berriencounty.org
  3. Website:  www.berriencounty.org/parks
  4. The Parks Office at the Administration Center is available by appointment only. 
  5. Description of Services available:  
    1. See the Parks page of the website for access to County Parks

PUBLIC DEFENDER (100 CHURCH ST, S/J)

  1. Phone Number:  269-982-8698
  2. Email Address: pjancha@berriencounty.org
  3. Website: https://www.berriencounty.org/293/Public-Defenders-Office
  4. Public Access by Appointment Only
  5. Edgewater Annex:  No public access
  6. Description of Services available: 
    1. We will staff any arraignments, ongoing court proceedings with counsel appointed, that continue to be processed by the Trial Court. 
    2. If there are no scheduled court appearances, but our office remains open to employees, our staff will continue to investigate and prepare cases to move forward once matters are rescheduled. 
    3. We will remain available by telephone and email. 
    4. If our office is directed to be closed, our attorneys will remain email available and continue, to the extent possible, to prepare our cases to move forward once matters are rescheduled.

PURCHASING/FINANCIAL SERVICES

  1. Bid Inquiry Phone Number: 269-983-7111, ext. 8020
  2. All other Finance Inquiries Phone Number: 269-983-7111, ext. 8916
  3. Email Address: djames@berriencounty.org
  4. Description of Services available during Emergency:
    1. Financial Services will continue their processes.
    2. Bids are still being accepted and can be left in the drop box at the Administration Center, 701 Main St., St. Joseph. **If the bid is too big to fit into the drop box, contact the number above and someone will come down and receive the bid.

REGISTER OF DEEDS

  1. Phone Number: 269.983.7111 ext 8562
  2. Email Address: rod@berriencounty.org
  3. Website: regofdeeds.berriencounty.org
  4. No public access
  5. Description of Services: 
    1. Both paper and electronic documents will continue to be processed as received. 
    2. A drop-box is available for paper documents outside of the Administration Building located at 701 Main Street, St. Joseph. **Do not leave cash in the drop-box. 
    3. Call the office for questions on public search terminals or obtaining a copy of a previously recorded document.

ROAD DEPARTMENT

  1. Phone Number: 269-925-1196
  2. Email Address: Permit requests and permit questions: weighmaster@bcroad.org
  3. Job openings and applications can be found on the County’s website: www.berriencounty.org/581/Employment;
  4.  Website:  www.bcroad.org
  5. Access by appointment only, 
  6. Description of services available during emergency:  
    1. Normal operations.  
    2. Public is reminded that they may submit road service requests online through our website or by phone

SHERIFF’S OFFICE RECORDS DEPARTMENT

  1. Mailing Address: 919 Port St., St. Joseph, MI 49085
  2. Phone Number: 269-983-7141, ext. 7211
  3. Fax: 269-982-8650
  4. Email Address: sdrecords@berriencounty.org
  5. No public access
  6. Descriptions of Services available:
    1. Pistol Sales Records and licenses to purchase can be mailed when they are completed and the gun has been purchased.
    2. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests along with most requests for information can be handled by mail, fax, or email. Responses will be returned to the requestor in the same manner as received.
    3. General questions may be asked by phone Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

TREASURER’S OFFICE

  1. Phone Number: 269-983-7111 x 8569
  2. Email Address: sweich@berriencounty.org 
  3. Website: www.berriencounty.org
  4. No public access
  5. Description of Services available:  
    1. Respond to emails, payments can be made on line or at the drop box outside the administration center.

TRIAL COURT

  1. For details regarding Trial Court operations, view the Trial Court Page

VETERANS

  1. Phone Number: (269) 983-7111 Ext. 8224
  2. Email Address: veterans@berriencounty.org
  3. Website: www.berriencounty.org/veterans
  4. Access to Veterans Office by appointment only.
  5. Description of Services available: 
    1. Contact our office for further instructions