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Decatur City Commission to discuss face mask ordinance, Atlanta Avenue change order

COVID-19 Decatur

Decatur City Commission to discuss face mask ordinance, Atlanta Avenue change order

Commissioners, pictured left to right, are: Mayor Pro Tem Tony Powers, Lesa Mayer, Kelly Walsh, Mayor Patti Garrett, and George Dusenbury. Photo obtained via the city of Decatur

This story has been updated.

Decatur, GA — The Decatur City Commission will meet on Monday, Sept. 27 at 7:30 p.m. for a regular meeting. The meetings are held in person at Decatur City Hall, 509 N. McDonough Street, as well as Zoom.

To access the meeting, follow these instructions: 

Participants must register in advance through Zoom to receive the meeting link. To register, click here.

The meeting will also be livestreamed on the city’s website.

To view the meeting agenda, click here.

During the meeting, the City Commission will consider extending the city’s face mask ordinance until Nov. 1. The board reinstated the ordinance on Aug. 16.

The ordinance requires residents and visitors to wear face masks while in any business, store or other place where goods and services are sold. The requirement does not apply to places of worship.

Employees of establishments in the city are also required to wear a mask and those who are in outdoor public spaces are required to wear a mask when they cannot social distance.

Businesses in the city must post a clearly visible sign near the front entrance notifying patrons of the face mask ordinance and a potential civil penalty.

Businesses, however, can opt out and not consent to enforcement of the ordinance on their property. Establishments that opt out will have to post a sign informing customers they do not consent to enforcement of the ordinance.

Individuals who don’t comply with the ordinance can face a civil penalty of up to $25 on the first offense, and up to $50 on the second offense and any subsequent offenses, according to the ordinance.

The City Commission will also consider adopting a COVID-19 leave policy that would provide paid leave for city employees that is separate from the city’s current sick, medical sick and vacation policies.

Under the policy, eligible employees include full-time and part-time employees who are fully vaccinated.

Full-time employees are entitled to up to two weeks of COVID-19 leave. Part-time employees are entitled to the average number of hours the employee works over a two-week period.

According to the policy, an employee can use the leave if they are subject to quarantine or isolation orders related to COVID-19; if they have tested positive for COVID-19; if they are experiencing symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; the employee has been exposed to the virus; if they are caring for someone else who has tested positive; and if the employee is caring for a child or dependent if their school or childcare has been closed.

The policy will expire on June 30, 2022.

Additionally, on the agenda:

– The city commission will discuss a large change order for the Atlanta Avenue railroad crossing improvements project. The city commission will consider an increase of  $455,000, which would bring the total project budget to $850,000 for master planning and design of the Atlanta Avenue Railroad Crossing Improvements. The change order is a result of “unanticipated” factors, according to a memo from Deputy City Manager Hugh Saxon, including expanding the project to include traffic calming, a relocation of the entire crossing, expanded civic engagement on the process and delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. To see the full memo, click here.

– The City Commission will discuss establishing a project budget of $1.5 million and awarding a contract of about $1.3 million from Magnum Paving for milling and repairing local streets. The streets that will be repaired are Sycamore Drive, from East Ponce de Leon Avenue to the city limits, and Merrill Avenue, from Scott Boulevard to Coventry Road.

The project will also include sidewalk repairs on Sycamore Drive and Merrill Avenue, as well as asphalt patches on North Parkwood Road, South McDonough Street, and Kirk Crossing, and speed tables on Avery Street.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has provided about $192,000 as part of its Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant program.

Other agenda items include the budget for the front yard tree program.

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