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Posted on: January 8, 2021

Chamblee Operations Plan -- January 8, 2021

CV19 Illustration

The COVID-19 pandemic is worsening in Georgia. Recent data from the state indicates that 90% of Intensive Care Unit beds are in use statewide, and 85% of those within our region are in use. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 patients exceed 5,000, which is 60% higher than the previous peak for this illness in August. According to Health & Human Services, as of 1/5/21 Georgia leads the nation in new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100 beds. Additionally, it has been reported that a new variant of COVID-19 that is more highly contagious is now in Georgia. 

Vaccinations are ramping up. The good news is that the vaccine is in Georgia, and it is being administered to more Georgians every day. To learn more about Georgia’s vaccination efforts, please visit https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine. The vaccine brings a great deal of hope for returning to a sense of normalcy, but we are not there yet. Please be patient as the vaccine is rolled out to higher risk groups first, and please be patient in retiring your masks. We ask everyone to continue to wear masks and stay six feet apart when in public. The vaccines will make a difference and a return to some normalcy is within the near future, but as noted above the number of virus cases is currently actively climbing and filling our hospitals.

Based on the current status of the virus and climbing hospitalizations, the City of Chamblee is taking the following actions: 

All City of Chamblee offices are closed to the public until further notice. City staff have implemented teleworking procedures to minimize the number of staff in the office. In cases where staff need to be in city facilities, alternative schedules and flexible hours have been implemented to minimize contact and exposure. In addition, staff who operate in the field are required to limit interactions and practice social distancing.

City Council will continue to meet in the civic center with limited seating, temperature checks and masks required. The city will provide notice via our social media and website if there is any change to the normal Council meeting schedule and procedures.

Each department within the City of Chamblee government has identified programs that are essential and will be continued at the same service level during this city emergency. Other programs may see a reduction in levels of service due to the efforts to sustain essential services. Some services may be temporarily discontinued for the same reason or due to the nature of this emergency. Those services will resume when staffing levels are appropriate and based on guidance from national health policies. View the department sections below for additional information on services that will and will not be maintained. Administrative and emergency management staff will continue to actively monitor, plan and communicate about this situation in the coming weeks. The health and welfare of our community is the city’s top priority.

Planning & Development Department is operational. Building inspectors, land development inspectors and code enforcement officers continue to work as before. All other staff members are working remotely. We can accept all applications and inspection requests electronically.

Parks and Recreation

  • Areas open to the public include:
    1. Rail Trail
    2. Keswick Nature Trail
    3. Park Trails at Keswick and Dresden
    4. Open Playing Fields (non-athletic) at all parks
  • All athletic fields are open for Chamblee programming only. No rentals. 
  • Tennis/Pickleball courts are open for programming and open play. No rentals.
  • All restrooms, playgrounds, pavilions and the Rail Trail Game Zone are open.
  • All programs are required to meet social distancing requirements.

Municipal Court will continue to operate with COVID protocols.

Police Department:

  • Make all requests for reports via e-mail at policerecords@chambleega.gov.
  • Walk-in fingerprinting services and criminal history checks are discontinued. Fingerprinting for massage and spa licenses are available by appointment only. If you need to speak to someone, contact 770 986-5005. 
  • If you need to make a non-emergency police report, contact them at (770) 986-5005. As always, if it is an emergency, please call 911.
  • Police officers are still working normal 24hrs a day schedules and responding to calls for service but implementing CDC safety guidelines as situations dictate.
  • Criminal investigation detectives are still investigating cases with modified teleworking. 
  • The holding cells in the Chamblee Police Department are currently closed. All detainees will be housed at DeKalb County Jail.
  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests can be submitted via the city online portal: https://chambleega.govqa.us/WEBAPP/_rs/(S(gawkjo02goekuxvl4vu10jif))/supporthome.aspx. All follow up communications are handled thru this portal, including any clarifications and/or cost estimates. For questions on police department requests, contact Julie Shrader at jshrader@chambleega.gov.

City Administration:

  • Staff is teleworking and only coming into city hall on alternating schedules.
  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests can be submitted via the city online portal: https://chambleega.govqa.us/WEBAPP/_rs/(S(gawkjo02goekuxvl4vu10jif))/supporthome.aspx. Most FOIA requests will be sent back electronically. Returns that cannot be sent electronically will be mailed to the recipient. For questions on general requests, contact Emmie Niethammer at eniethammer@chambleega.gov.
  • Occupation Tax Licensing: The city is working with a new company, HdL, to process Occupation Tax Licensing which will provide better online renewal options to businesses. The implementation will finish in early February. If you do not have a business need for renewing your Occupation Tax, please wait until then to do so. However, if you need to renew, see the city webpage for updates and options to process renewals without coming to city hall. https://www.chambleega.com/149/Occupational-Tax-Certificates. Questions may be sent to taxlicensing@chambleega.gov.
  • Alcohol Licenses: Forms are on the city website. Any updates or changes will be posted on the city alcohol licensing webpage: https://www.chambleega.com/148/Alcohol-Licenses. Questions may be sent to AlcoholBusiness@chambleega.gov.
  • Checks are being mailed to vendors and employees without disruption. Vendors cannot pickup checks at City Hall.

Community & Economic Development

  • The City of Chamblee is continuing to coordinate small business support efforts through the Community and Economic Development team. Laura Linman, the Interim Director, is the point person for businesses needing assistance. The city asks all business leaders to sign up for the business e-newsletter (bit.ly/39ZSCxn) and to join the Chamblee Business Community Facebook page (https://bit.ly/CBCFB2020) to stay up to date with communications and resources, as well as to connect with other businesses in our community. Laura is available to talk through resources and can be reached by calling (770) 349-5258 or by emailing llinman@chambleega.gov.
  • The University of Georgia Small Business Development Centers are providing updates on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. More info: https://www.georgiasbdc.org/2nd-round-covid-funding-webinars/ 
  • Community and Economic Development is operational, and staff are teleworking.
  • All city sponsored events are suspended, and no special events permits are being issued.
  • The most-up-to-date information is posted on the city’s social media.

Public Works

  • Trash pickup is the top priority and will continue as scheduled.
  • Sanitation crews are limiting person-to-person interactions to prevent exposure to and the spread of the Coronavirus.
  • Commercial sanitation services are provided by private waste haulers selected by the business owner. Contact those companies directly regarding any changes to schedules.
  • Recycling will continue as scheduled. Collection schedules may be altered in the future if staffing levels are affected by the emergency.
  • Bulk pickup and yard waste removal services have been suspended and staff will be redirected to trash pickup. Any changes to this will be noticed on the website and social media.
  • All other services are lower priority and may be suspended or operate at limited capacity.

The Mayor, Council, and city staff continue to talk with experts related to COVID-19 and the state of emergency that was declared on March 16, 2020. Further policies may be put in place to continue to keep our community and employees safe. We ask the public to please be careful with their health and be mindful of the health of others. Thank you for your understanding.

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