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Decatur City Commission will consider extending open container ordinance

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Decatur City Commission will consider extending open container ordinance

Decatur City Hall. Photo by Dean Hesse.
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Decatur, GA — The public on Jan. 19 will have a chance to weigh-in on whether the Decatur City Commission will continue to allow open container alcohol sales on the weekends.

The ordinance expired on Jan. 3. The City Commission at its Jan. 4 meeting temporarily extended it until midnight on Monday, Jan. 18, to maintain what is currently in place. The ordinance will be reconsidered at the City Commission’s Jan. 19 meeting. The original proposal was to extend the ordinance through Feb. 28. The ordinance only allows open container consumption on the weekends. The open container ordinance was first approved back in October. The ordinance wasn’t originally on the City Commission’s Jan. 4 agenda and was added at the last minute, prompting Commissioner Lesa Mayer to recommend postponing the vote to extend it.

Mayer, citing comments made on social media, wanted the public to have an opportunity to comment before the ordinance is extended. The proposal being considered on Jan. 19 would extend the ordinance through April 18.

The Jan. 19 Decatur City Commission meeting will begin with a closed-door executive session at 5 p.m. to discuss real estate matters. That will be followed by a work session at 5:45 p.m. to discuss the city’s most recent audit, followed by a second work session to discuss the city’s communications audit. The regular meeting begins at 7:30 p.m.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all meetings will be held virtually. Here are the instructions for people who want to attend the meetings:

There will not be a physical location for members of the public to attend. Members of the public may access the meeting in one of two ways:

1. View the live broadcast of the Decatur City Commission meeting at   https://www.decaturga.com/citycommission/page/streaming-video

2. Register in advance to participate during either the “Public Comment” or “Requests and Petitions” portions of the meeting at https://zoom.us/j/92199332549. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. You may also participate by phone by calling (929) 205-6099 and entering the meeting ID (The 11-digit number shown in the Zoom registration link.)

If you are unable to participate in the virtual meeting, you may email your “public comments” on agenda items or submit “requests and petitions” by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 19th    to: Andrea Arnold, City Manager, andrea.arnold@decaturga.com

In other business:

– The City Commission will consider extending Decatur’s face-covering ordinance, also known as a mask ordinance, through Feb. 15. The ordinance requires masks to be worn to slow the spread of COVID-19, with certain exceptions. People who violate the ordinance face $100 fines. Masks are not required to be worn inside personal vehicles, inside households that contain only members of that household, during outdoor exercise, while drinking or eating, when a healthcare worker determines that a mask aggravates a health condition of an individual, when complying with instructions given by a law enforcement officer or other individual – like a pharmacist – to verify a person’s identity, or when the individual is under the age of 10. For more details about the ordinance, click here.

– The City Commission will consider setting qualifying fees for the upcoming municipal elections. Elections will be held on Nov. 2. There are three seats on the School Board and two seats on the City Commission that will be on the ballot.

The School Board seats on the ballot this year will be District 1, currently held by Lewis Jones; District 2, currently held by Heather Tell; and the At-Large seat, currently held by Jana Johnson-Davis. The City Commission seats on the ballot are District 2, currently held by Mayor Patti Garrett, and District 1, held by Commissioner Kelly Walsh. It is not yet known which commissioners will be running for reelection.

Commissioners will consider setting qualifying fees of $360 to run for City Commission and $35 to run for School Board.

– The City Commission will consider approving a $42,667 change order for construction of the city’s fiber-optic network, bringing the total contract amount to $2,065,137.

This is the second change order for the project. The first change order was $56,240. The latest change order will pay for:

For more details about this change order, click here.

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