Crawford County adopts recommendations instead of enforceable restrictions

County recommending state reopening plan to local businesses, residents

CRAWFORD COUNTY, Kan. – The sound of wedding bells have been vacant from The Barn at Timber Grove for months.

“It is very difficult owning this huge building and not being able to have people in it. I couldn’t come out here for a few weeks because I was so upset it was just empty,” says Jordan Muter, part-owner of The Barn.

The Barn is a family-owned wedding and event venue in Pittsburg that’s been vacant of both for months due to stay at home orders because of COVID-19. Weddings for the last four months have had to be postponed and rescheduled.

“Some people are going to the summer, some people are doing to this fall, others have moved it to next year. We’re just very thankful that we’ve had good clients that understand,” says Muter.

But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

“There’s not a lot of need to put more restrictive stuff in place,” says Crawford County Commissioner Jeremy Johnson.

On May 26th, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly ended the state’s stay at home order and gave power back to the counties when it comes to restrictions.

So, after discussions with the Crawford County Health Department, the county commission ended all restrictions, and on May 29th, and adopted the state’s reopening plan as recommendations for businesses as they reopen. It’s been a month since the county has had a new positive case of COVID-19.

“I mean, obviously we have the recommendation out there just because having people continue to be precautions is gonna be valuable,” says Johnson. “Really the thinking is from medial experts is come the fall is when it’s gonna become most critical. That we’re not done, that we’re just kind of in a lull.”

So The Barn is getting ready to see weddings again, with one coming on June 20th and even a senior prom and craft show in July. All while following CDC recommendations and the state’s reopening timeline.

“I’m really excited that there’s no restrictions. We’re kind of just leaving our guidelines up to what the CDC is recommending and what the clients are comfortable with,” says Muter. “We’re ready to get back to getting people married and having weddings and receptions out here too.”

The county commission also approved some changes at the courthouse. Starting next week, they will stop doing temperature checks and requiring visitors check-in. Hours will also be extended by 30 minutes to 4:00 pm.