Catawba County News

Catawba County Operational Changes

Catawba County Operational Changes

Published: March 30, 2020

During the Governor’s reopening plan, Catawba County Government will continue to provide essential services to citizens. Where possible, county government offices are conducting business by phone and online to enable citizens to stay at home and limit public contact. Social distancing practices have been implemented to minimize contact when in-person business takes place. We encourage all citizens to help protect themselves and others by following the Governor’s order and minimizing contact with others.

Citizens are encouraged to visit our Online Services tab in the navigation menu across the top of this page to access some of our most frequently used online services. To contact a department directly, visit our Departments & Divisions page to find phone numbers for every county service area. Citizens who have questions or aren’t sure whom to call may dial (828) 465-8500 to be connected to someone who can help.

The following county government operational changes are currently in effect. All operations updates will be on this website post. Residents are encouraged to check back regularly and to follow Catawba County on Facebook (@catawbacountync) and Twitter (@catawbacounty) for related updates. Information is subject to change.

Animal Shelter
The Catawba County Animal Shelter in Newton has reopened to the public. Shelter hours are 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays (the shelter is closed Sundays and Mondays). To encourage social distancing, staff are assisting one customer at a time in the front lobbies. 

Board of Commissioners
The Board has resumed its usual meeting schedule following current social distancing guidelines.

Cooperative Extension
The Catawba County Extension office is operating on a reduced schedule from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with the office closed from noon to 1:00 p.m. Extension agents are still available by email, phone and other technological means. Find contact information and details regarding N.C. Cooperative Extension's Catawba County center operations on their website at https://catawba.ces.ncsu.edu/people/.

Landfill & Convenience Centers
The Catawba County Landfill and five county Convenience Centers are open and operating on a normal schedule. In observance of social distancing recommendations, the Catawba County Landfill is making the following temporary changes to its operations:

  • Landfill offices will be closed to the public. A phone number will be posted at all office access doors. Visitors may call the number to get in touch with an employee for directions or answers to questions.
  • Scale attendants will operate as usual except for the provision of safety vests. Prepackaged safety vests will be handed out unopened and will not need to be returned.
  • Operators will perform load inspections and provide instructions from their cabs. As a result, this process may take longer and/or require customers to go to another dumping area.

Landfill and convenience center operational days and hours have not changed and are listed below as a reminder. Please call (704) 462-1348 with any questions or concerns.

Landfill Hours:
4017 Rocky Ford Road, Newton

Municipal Sanitary Landfill (Household Garbage)
Monday through Friday 7:00 am – 4:00 pm and Saturday 8:00 am – 11:30 am

Construction & Demolition Landfill
Monday through Friday – 7:00 am – 4:30 pm and Saturday 8:00 am – 11:30 am

Grinding/Mulch Area
Monday through Friday – 8:00 am – 4:30 pm and Saturday 8:00 am – 11:30 am

Convenience Center Hours:
Blackburn Convenience Center

3864 Rocky Ford Road, Newton
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Bethany Church Rd. Convenience Center
2436 Bethany Church Road, Newton
Tuesday through Saturday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Cooksville Convenience Center
3659 Rhoney Farm Road, Vale
Friday and Saturday: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm

Oxford Convenience Center
4637 Lookout Dam Road, Catawba
Wednesday through Sunday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Sherrills Ford Convenience Center
8876 Sherrills Ford Road, Sherrills Ford
Thursday through Sunday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Library System
The Catawba County Library has reopened all seven locations with their regular business hours. The Library to Go is not currently making visits.

Contact-free curbside service remains available at all branches except for Claremont and Conover. Call your local library for specific details about picking up materials.

To accommodate visitors safely at all locations, the library has implemented the following procedures:

  • Limited and Timed Access: In order to maintain social distancing and sanitizing guidelines, a certain number of patrons is permitted to enter the library at any given time. Each one checks in with a staff member for a one-hour period of access and is provided a paper mask. When the hour is up, that patron exits, and the next person in line is admitted. Patrons are encouraged to call ahead to check on availability and potential waits. Customers with COVID-19 symptoms are asked not to visit the library at this time.
  • Signage and Markings: To help with social distancing and the formation of orderly lines, signage and painted/taped guides have been installed at the entrances to the buildings and inside each branch.
  • Enhanced Safety: The library has also installed service desk shields and has provided face masks and face shields to staff members. Employees sanitize high-touch surfaces (computers, keyboards, mice, printers, copiers, furnishings, etc.) between customer use. Customers are encouraged to wear masks and to use sanitizing supplies provided at the library.
  • Meeting Spaces and In-House Library Programs: These will be reintroduced at a later date as safety restrictions allow.

Digital Resources Reminder: The library continues to offer a robust selection of digital resources that are available 24/7 from any location where patrons have an Internet connection. A library card and PIN number are typically needed to sign in and electronically borrow books, movies, music, graphic novels, magazines, and more. Free databases can also help with career and job development, training and certification, legal forms, ancestry searches, personal learning and research, language learning, and early childhood literacy. In addition, the library has laptop computers and Wi-Fi hotspots available for checkout; customers can place a hold or contact their library about availability. Library team members are ready to help with information needs by telephone as well.

The library will continue issuing automatic renewals and isolating returned materials for 96 hours, with no late fees incurred.

For more information about the Catawba County Library’s resources and services, visit www.catawbacountync.gov/library, call 828.465.8665, email mylibrary@catawbacountync.gov, or visit @catawbacountylibrarysystem on Facebook.

Parks (Bakers Mountain, Riverbend and St. Stephens)
All Catawba County Parks remain open following usual operating hours. All rentals and group use of Catawba County Parks education facilities and picnic shelters have been suspended until further notice.

Register of Deeds 
The Catawba County Register of Deeds is open to the public following regular business hours, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with social distancing practices in place. For in-person office visits, the Register asks individuals to wear a mask and limit transactions to one person at a time where possible. Most services are also still available online, and citizens may call (828) 465-1573 with any questions.

While in-person transactions are welcomed, the following service options remain in place for the public’s convenience:

Recording Real Estate Documents: For those who have online access, electronic recording, or eRecording, of all real estate documents is strongly encouraged. Information about eRecording can be found on the Catawba County website at www.catawbacountync.gov/rod. There will be no difference in how documents that are eRecorded or mailed are handled. Some eRecording vendors have agreed to waive all startup fees and annual costs during this time. Please check online to contact vendors or call (828) 465-1573 for more information. Title searchers are also encouraged to use the county website as much as possible.

Birth, Death and Marriage Certificates: All certified copies of birth, death and marriage certificates are available for purchase in person, online or through the mail. Beginning July 1, the on-site drop box will no longer be available and the online service charge will no longer be waived. At that time, online purchasers be charged the regular cost of the certificate at $10 per certified copy and a third party convenience fee of $3.50. To purchase a certificate, visit https://www.getcertificatenow.com:8443/Catawba

Funeral home requests may be made online, by mail or in-person. If made online, the requestor can choose the pickup option and certificates will be placed in a marked tray at the front of the Register of Deeds office for signature. All requests made by 4:00 p.m. will be responded to by mail the same day.

Marriage Licenses: Marriage licenses will be handled in-person by appointment only during regular business hours. Appointments can be made by calling (828) 465-1573. Prior to making an appointment, it is required that all marriage applications be submitted online at www.catwabacountync.gov/rod. Applicants will need to bring all required documents and payment of $60 (credit/debit preferred). The Register asks that only the couple to be married come to the appointment at the scheduled time wearing masks. If applicants are sick or unable to make it to scheduled time, they are asked to cancel the appointment and reschedule when they are well and able to attend.

Notary: Notary oathswill be handled in-person by appointment only during regular business hours. Appointments can be made by calling (828) 465-1573. Applicants are required to bring ID and payment of $10 (credit/debit preferred). If applicants are sick or unable to make it to scheduled time, they are asked to cancel the appointment and reschedule when they are well and able to attend. Notarizing of documents remains suspended during this time.

Sheriff’s Office
The Main Lobby of the Sheriff’s Office will reopen Tuesday, May 25 following usual operating hours (8am-5pm). Lobby visitors will be limited to five people at a time. The Detention Center lobby remains closed until further notice. Pistol Purchase applications, Concealed Carry Permit and CHP renewal procedures are available online through the Sheriff’s Office page on the county website, www.catawbacountync.gov/county-services/sheriffs-office/gun-permits/ . Detention Center Visitation will be available online via Homewav.com.

Social Services
Catawba County Social Services reminds residents that online applications are available for Food and Nutrition Services (formerly Food Stamps) and Medical Assistance (Medicaid and NC Health Choice or CHIP). Applications can be found online at ePass.nc.gov.

Additionally, residents may request applications by mail, e-mail or fax by calling (828) 695-6326. To return a completed application, use one of the following options:

  • Mail completed applications to PO Box 669 Newton, NC 28658
  • E-mail completed applications to karenm@catawbacountync.gov
  • Fax completed applications to (828) 695-5700
  • Drop off completed applications in the drop box located in the parking lot at Catawba County Social Services, 3030 11th Ave Dr SE, Hickory, 28602

Medical Assistance (Medicaid, and NC Health Choice or CHIP) applicants may also complete an application over the phone by calling (828) 695-6326.

Social Services/Meals on Wheels and Seniors Morning Out: Starting Monday, March 16, Catawba County Meals on Wheels clients will receive five frozen meals every Monday and check-in phone calls every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. This schedule will remain in operation until further notice. Catawba County Senior Nutrition Services temporarily closed all Catawba County Seniors Morning Out (SMO) sites effective Monday, March 16. During this time, all SMO participants still have the ability to receive meals and will receive daily phone calls from Senior Nutrition Services staff.

Social Services/Children’s Advocacy and Protection Center: Effective Monday, March 16, The Children’s Advocacy and Protection Center has postponed all large gatherings until a later date. 

Soil & Water Conservation District
District offices are closed to the public except by appointment until further notice. Office hours are 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 1:00-4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you would like to make an appointment during these times, please call (828) 465-8950. In addition, field visits have been restricted to those required for payment certification only.

Tax Office
Citizens are encouraged to use the county’s online tax payment service, which can be accessed from the Tax Office page on www.catawbacountync.gov. For in-person payments, a secure drop box has been provided at the Government Center for check or money order payments. If paying with cash, citizens are encouraged to bring exact change or use the phone in the lobby to contact tax office staff. Credit card payments can be made by phone by calling 1-877-835-6102. Callers will need to provide the 18-digit abstract number on their tax bill and their mailing zip code.

Veterans Services
The Veterans Services office has suspended in-person appointments and is conducting all appointments by phone. Veterans requesting appointments may call the Veterans Services Office at (828) 465-8255 Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. for assistance.