Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Public Parks in the City of Decatur remain open. Adherence to the following guidelines is imperative to protect the safety and health of our community during this public health emergency:

  • If you are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, stay home, and avoid public parks and other public spaces.
  • Adhere to social distancing requirements and remain 6 feet away from others or you may be asked to leave the park.
  • Do not engage in contact sports or games, such as playground soccer, basketball, etc.
  • Bring hand sanitizer as bathrooms may be closed.
  • Bring water as water fountains are temporarily unavailable.
  • The playgrounds are closed.

Exercise provides much needed stress relief. Walking, running, skateboarding or cycling can be done while still maintaining a safe 6-feet of distance from others. Thank you for continuing to do your part in ensuring our community remains as safe as possible during this time.

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We’ve received questions about the availability of PAYT bags. The City is continuing to supply the retail stores listed below with Pay As You Throw bags on a weekly basis. We’ve recently ordered additional bags from our supplier to insure adequate supplies. We do not anticipate any disruptions to service and are monitoring the situation daily. The cost of the PAYT bags covers the fee the City must pay to dispose of waste at the County landfill.

Most of the locations are offering curbside pick-up. Contact the business directly for details.

If you have any questions or difficulty in purchasing PAYT bags call the City of Decatur Public Works Department at (404) 377-5571 or email sanitation@decaturga.com. Please visit decaturga.com/publicworks for updates.


PAYT Bag Cost 

  • 8 gallon (green) – $4.07/10 pack
  • 15 gallon (yellow) – $6.96/10 pack
  • 33 gallon (blue) – $14.45 /10 pack

Where to Purchase PAYT Bags 

  • Intown Ace Hardware, 1404 Scott Blvd.
  • Kroger, 720 Commerce Dr.
  • Kroger, 2875 N. Decatur Rd.
  • Kroger City Center, 3479 Memorial Dr.
  • Publix, 2155 N. Decatur Rd.
  • Publix, 3870 N Druid Hills Rd.
  • Toco Hills Ace Hardware, 2983 North Druid Hills Rd.
  • Kelly’s Market, 308 East Howard Ave.
  • Hop N Shop, 710 E. Lake Dr.
  • Oakhurst Market, 650 East Lake Dr.

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On Thursday, March 19, City of Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett issued a Public Health Emergency Order that prohibits on-premises dining at restaurants; allows take-out and delivery services between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. daily; and allows restaurants with a current alcoholic beverage license to sell beverages for off-premises consumption in sealed containers; and prohibits gatherings of more than 50 persons.

Several City of Decatur restaurants have already voluntarily transitioned to a take-out and/or delivery model, closing their in-person dining facilities in order to reduce community transmission of the COVID-19 virus in response to CDC guidelines.

At the March 16, 2020 meeting, the City Commission passed a Resolution declaring a Public Health State of Emergency in the City of Decatur which grants the Mayor certain powers to protect the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the City. In introducing the Resolution Mayor Patti Garrett noted that while there has been a State of Emergency declared at both the state and the national level, an emergency declaration by the City ensures that the city is able to work at the local level in a very quick and expedient manner if necessary.

Residents are encouraged to continue to support our local businesses, including taking advantage of pick-up and delivery services.

Visit the City’s website to view the Order.

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By now you should have received your 2020 Census notification information in the mail and it may have made you wonder why certain questions were asked. Here is a breakdown on several of the questions as taken from the 2020census.gov website:

  1. What is your telephone number?

Why we ask this question: The Census Bureau asks for your phone number in case there are any questions about your census form. We will only contact you for official census business, if needed.

  1. What is Person 1’s name?

If there is someone living here who pays the rent or owns the residence, start by listing him or her as Person 1. If the owner or the person who pays the rent does not live here, start by listing any adult living there as Person 1. There will be opportunities to list the names of additional members of your household. See more about answering this question ….

Why we ask this question: The Census Bureau asks a series of questions about each member of your household. This allows us to establish one central figure as a starting point.

  1. What is Person 1’s sex?

Mark ONE box: male or female.

Why we ask this question: This allows us to create statistics about males and females, which can be used in planning and funding government programs. This data can also be used to enforce laws, regulations, and policies against discrimination.

  1. What is Person 1’s age and what is Person 1’s date of birth?

Note Person 1’s age as of April 1, 2020. For babies less than 1 year old, do not write the age in months. Write 0 as the age.

Why we ask this question: The U.S. Census Bureau creates statistics to better understand the size and characteristics of different age groups. Agencies use this data to plan and fund government programs that support specific age groups, including children and older adults. (Read more about Counting Young Children.)

  1. Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin?

NOTE: Please answer both Question 8 about Hispanic origin and Question 9 about race.  For this census, Hispanic origins are not races. Hispanic origin can be viewed as the heritage, nationality, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the person’s parents or ancestors before arriving in the United States. People who identify as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish may be any race.

Why we ask this question: These responses help create statistics about this ethnic group. This helps federal agencies monitor compliance with anti-discrimination provisions, such as those in the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act.

  1. What is Person 1’s race? 

Mark one or more boxes AND print origins: White; Black or African American; American Indian or Alaska Native; Chinese; Filipino; Asian Indian; Vietnamese; Korean; Japanese; other Asian; Native Hawaiian; Samoan; Chamorro; other Pacific Islander; some other race. See more about answering this question ….

Why we ask this question: This allows us to create statistics about race and to analyze other statistics within racial groups. This data helps federal agencies monitor compliance with anti-discrimination provisions, such as those in the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act.

Census web badge

The breakdown for Questions 1 through 4 were posted on The Decatur Minute last week and the remaining questions will be posted next week.

And as a reminder, here are the things that the Census Bureau will never ask you:

  • Your Social Security number.
  • Money or donations.
  • Anything on behalf of a political party.
  • Your bank or credit card account numbers.

Additionally, there is no citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

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On Wednesday, March 11, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic.

Based on that declaration and guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the City and its Emergency Response Team took action to protect its employees and community members, including execution of its pandemic response plan.

Essential services, including police, fire and sanitation are fully operational although city buildings are closed to the public at this time.

For the most up-to-date information regarding steps the City of Decatur has taken in response to this pandemic, please visit our website at decaturga.com.

We are monitoring the situation daily. Know that our decisions made and actions taken are based on guidance from public health experts with the best interest of our community at the forefront in a time of uncertainty and within an extremely fluid situation.

I am calling on the community to stand together figuratively as we practice social distancing, avoid crowded places, and maintain distances from gatherings of more than 10 people for everyone’s safety.

We are a strong and resilient community. The City Commission and staff are here for you. We are working tirelessly to provide services and make the best decisions we can in an ever-changing situation in coordination with our partners at the state and county levels.

I ask you to continue to do your part as we ensure Decatur is safe place live, work, and play.

-Mayor Patti Garrett

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The City and SP+ now provide 30-minute free parking on all on-street metered parking in downtown Decatur as part of our COVID-19 response plan. This allows patrons to pick up a to-go order from one of our many fine restaurants and shops.

To receive 30-minute free parking from a meter, download the free ParkMobile App on your phone; enter “7801” in the Zone Number; and enter the promo code “BESAFE.”

By using the ParkMobile App and the BESAFE promo code, you will receive 30 minutes of free parking and do not have to touch the pay stations. The ParkMobile App is free and you are able to use it in Decatur and anywhere else ParkMobile has a presence, such as the City of Atlanta (But the free parking only is valid in downtown Decatur).

Currently the 30-minute free parking is only available through the ParkMobile App. It is not available if you use coins or a credit card at the individual pay stations. So use the ParkMobile App and activate 30-minutes free parking with the BESAFE promo code.

For questions contact decaturonstreet@spplus.com.


From SP+…

SP+ Offers Free Off-Street Parking Options in Downtown Decatur

SP+ also now provides free off-street parking options at the following locations for those who need to pick up items from retailers or restaurants:

Decatur Conference Center

0-20 minutes Free

West Court Square

0-20 minutes Free

160 Clairemont Avenue

0-20 minutes Free

Artisan – 101 West Ponce de Leon

0-15 minutes Free




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In order to continue to protect the health and safety of our employees and community, City of Decatur office buildings are closed to the public beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17. Police, Fire and other city services will remain fully operational during this time.


Patrol functions and response to 911 calls will operate as normal.

  • Incident reports that do not involve a suspect present at a scene or the processing of evidence will be handled by phone.
  • The Police Department is closed to the public. However, if you need to visit in-person, please press the button on the intercom at the front door and an officer will meet you.
  • Open records requests for police matters should be made via email to Deputy Chief Scott Richards at richards@decaturga.com.
  • We strongly urge you to obtain accident reports through https://buycrash.com/.
  • Background check services, alcohol server permits and door-to-door solicitation permits are not being provided at this time.
  • All classes, meetings, events, ride-a-longs and tours are temporarily suspended until further notice.

For all non-emergency questions and concerns call 404-373-6551.


Sanitation and Recycling services will remain as scheduled with the following exceptions beginning Thursday, March 19:

  • Curbside pickup only. Please call 404-377-5571 if you are unable to bring your trash to the curb.
  • Curbside collection of yard waste has been suspended during the COVID-19 emergency. Please do not place bundled and bagged yard waste at the curb until further notice. Instead, identify a place on your property away from roads, creeks, and drainage ditches to store any collected materials until curbside collection of leaves, sticks, and grass clippings resumes.
  • Neighborhood Clean Up days have been rescheduled for the fall.

Design, Environment & Construction (DEC)

All DEC services will continue during the building closure.  Services will require the following modifications:

  • Permitting Questions and Trade Permitting (Electric, Plumbing, HVAC)- Call 404-377-6198. For now, payments shall be made by check only until other options become available.  Checks should be made payable to the City of Decatur.
  • Construction-Tree-Engineering Questions- For all inquiries and pre-application meetings, contact staff directly to arrange a phone call or teleconference.
  • Plan Submittal- For now, plan submittal will be carried out on an appointment basis or by email depending on the scope of work.

Contact staff at 404-377-6198 to arrange for drop-off or email submissions to:

  • Bell@decaturga.com (Engineering)
  • Evanovich@decaturga.com (Trees)
  • ABrumbalow@safebuilt.com (Building)
  • As Built Plan Submittal- Plans can be emailed to Hedgebeth@decaturga.com
  • Inspections- Inspections will be handled as usual by online requests only at decaturga.com/inspections

Call 404-377-6198 with all other questions.

Municipal Court

Municipal court sessions are canceled through April 13. If you have a court session scheduled from now through April 13, it will be rescheduled for at least 60 days out. Court staff will contact defendants via mail with new court dates. Defendants for court sessions related to the School Bus Crossing Arm will be contacted by American Traffic Solutions via mail with new hearing dates.  However, the ability to pay a citation online remains available in most cases.  Continue to check the city’s website for updated and on-going information regarding court operations. You may also contact the court at 678-553-6655.

Visitors Center

Decatur Visitors Center is closed until further notice.

Active Living and Children & Youth Services

  • Ebster and Decatur Recreation Centers are closed until further notice.
  • Oakhurst Indoor Pool are closed until further notice
  • Glenlake Tennis Center is closed until further notice
  • Playgrounds are off-limits until further notice.
  • After school activities are canceled until further notice.


Now is a good time to make sure you are registered for Smart911, Decatur’s emergency alerting system. To register, visit smart911.com.

And don’t forget to take a few minutes to check on the seniors in your neighborhood.

Additional updates and closures will be posted here,  the city’s website, and all official City of Decatur social media platforms.


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Recognizing the need to govern the City while also following the guidance from public health officials for responsible social distancing, at their Monday, March 16 meeting, the Decatur City Commissioners will limit their participation to a quorum of three City Commission members, encourage community members to watch the meeting live online and submit any questions and comments to be considered at the meeting to the City Manager in advance of the meeting.  Mayor Patti Garrett stated, “We are taking the guidance for social distancing seriously and encourage all residents to do the same in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.”
For future City Commission meetings, the City plans to have technology in place to allow community members to participate remotely during the meetings.  The Mayor has been working closely with State officials, the Georgia Municipal Association, DeKalb County, the DeKalb County Health Department, and the Mayors in the DeKalb Municipal Association to ensure a coordinated community effort to the COVID-19 outbreak.  Mayor Garrett will provide more detail about the City’s coordinated response during Monday’s City Commission meeting.

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The City Commission meeting for Monday, March 16 will remain scheduled as planned, however, we encourage interested parties to view the live broadcast at https://www.decaturga.com/streamingvideo. In lieu of in-person “Public Comment on Agenda Items” and “Requests and Petitions”, you may submit questions and comments via email by 5 p.m. on Monday, March 16 to Andrea Arnold, City Manager, andrea.arnold@decaturga.com. The meeting remains open to the public, but extra caution is recommended- especially for vulnerable populations. Visit the city’s website for meeting agendas and updates.

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This message has been updated.

The health, safety, and well-being of our community are our top priorities.  The City’s Emergency Management team is coordinating with and following the guidance of the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), DeKalb Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  While essential public services such as Police, Fire, and Public Works are continuing normal operations, certain community events, meetings, and programs are being cancelled and/or rescheduled in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The City’s after-school programs have been cancelled pending the status of City Schools of Decatur, and Active Living programs at Decatur Recreation Center and Ebster Gym have been suspended until future notice. Updates can be found at decaturga.com as they become available.

For a comprehensive list of community events cancellations, visit the City’s calendar of events at https://www.decaturga.com/calendar.

Other actions that we are taking to protect the ongoing health and well-being of all our community members include:

  • Twice daily cleanings of all city facilities and equipment. Soap and sanitizing gel are available for public use at offices and facilities.
  • Reinforcing CDC disease prevention guidelines and best hygiene practices in all city facilities. Anyone with recent international travel to target areas or with symptoms of illness is encouraged to remain at home.
  • Closely monitoring guidance from the CDC and state health officials and adjusting our plans as needed.
  • Updating continuity procedures for all areas of city service and preparing to implement these procedures should regular operations be disrupted.

As additional information and guidance become available, we will keep you informed as to any changes affecting city services.

Thank you for your continued support and know we are focused on maintaining normal operations with a keen focus on the health and safety of all, while ensuring that we deliver great city services.

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