Dorchester County declares state of emergency

Dorchester County
Dorchester County(Dorchester County)
Updated: Mar. 16, 2020 at 9:04 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Dorchester County Council declared a state of emergency Monday night.

The declaration will remain in place until 6 p.m. on Monday, April 13, 2020, or until otherwise rescinded, the county said.

“At 6:00 PM today, Monday, March 16, Dorchester County transitioned to Operating Condition (OPCON) 2, partial activation of the emergency operations center,” county government officials said.

The county released the following additional information:

Government Facilities

Beginning, Tuesday, March 17 Dorchester County Administrative Office will be closed to the public. All offices will be available by phone and email. Residents and businesses are encouraged to use online services.

All Dorchester County Courts will remain open for the following critical functions

  • Acceptance of filings
  • Receipt of payments, including traffic tickets
  • Emergency hearings
  • Bench warrant hearings
  • Bond hearings (twice daily)

All Circuit Court jury trials, jury hearings and non-jury hearings are postponed for the weeks of March 16 and March 23. Jurors who are summoned for these weeks are excused and should not report. More information on court operations is available on the county website.

All County Convenience Sites are open.

Rosebrock Park remains open; however, the bathroom facilities are closed until further notice.

Dorchester County Drug and Alcohol is closed to the public, until further notice. Staff is available by phone and email.

The Summerville Commissioners of Public Works (SCPW) lobby is closed to the public, until further notice. SCPW is providing all services to customers via phone and through the drive-up windows, including payment collections, new accounts, closing accounts and account inquiries.

Online Services

At the Monday, March 16 County Council Meeting, Council unanimously approved waiving convenience fees for certain online transactions beginning, Tuesday, March 17 – Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

The waiver includes convenience fees for the following online payments/services:

  • Property Taxes
  • Dorchester County Water & Sewer transactions
  • Building Permits
  • Permit Reviews
  • Encroachment Permits
  • Business Licenses
  • Hospitality Tax Payments

Online payments for traffic citations and all other associate court fees and programs are provided on a state level. Dorchester County Council cannot waive those fees.

Building Permits and Inspections

For the safety of the citizens of Dorchester County as well as staff, Dorchester County encourages the use of the County’s online Permitting, Inspection and Licensing Portal. This portal can be accessed via the County website. Once you have created an account, you will be able to submit for permits, request inspections and pay fees through the Evolve Portal. The 2.6% convenience fee will be waived as soon as possible and will remain waived through Tuesday, March 31, 2020. For information regarding building inspections and certificates of occupancy please visit the County website.

Student Meals Programs

Beginning, March 17, Dorchester School Districts 2 and 4 will begin providing free student meals, Monday – Friday, until further notice. More information and a full list of locations are available at

Closures and Events Postponements

A full list of canceled and postponed special events is available on the County website.

Dorchester County Library

Beginning Monday, March 16, all in-person library services other than materials pick-up are suspended.

While both library locations will be open for normal hours of operations, there will be no prolonged use of the library including computer use, meeting room use, program attendance or extended browsing.

Dorchester Senior Centers and Services

Dorchester Seniors, Inc. will close both senior centers to the public effective Tuesday, March 17 - Friday, March 27.

Seniors who participate in the Home-Delivered Meal Program will continue to receive meals with no changes.

Seniors who participate in the Group-Dining Program will also continue to receive meals, either by delivery to their home or pre-arranged pickup at the senior center. Meal reservations are required 1-day in advance of lunch by calling (843) 871-5053 Summerville or (843) 563-3709 St. George.

Summerville YMCA

The Summerville YMCA will close all facilities and suspend all programs/operations beginning Wednesday, March 18 - Sunday, March 29. will serve as the central information hub for Dorchester County. Dorchester County recommends saving this link and following Dorchester County Government on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

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