Archive for the ‘emergency management’ Category

Stay at Home Graphic

Effective immediately, lawn maintenance services will be categorized as an Essential Business for the purpose of the current ‘Stay at Home’ order if they meet the following conditions:

  • No beautification services such as flower plantings
  • Social distancing is required at all times
  • Grass clippings may not be placed at the curb

For a full list of essential businesses, visit decaturga.com/covid19.  All businesses that remain open need to allow employees to travel to and from work safely, practice a six foot separation during work and have adequate access to hand-washing and personal protective equipment as necessary.

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The April test of the Tornado Outdoor Warning Siren System will happen tomorrow, April 1st at 5 p.m. The test should last approximately one minute. Should the weather become inclement, the test will be postponed until Thursday, April 2nd.

If you have questions or want more information about the siren system, check out the Siren page on the City’s website or contact Police Lt. Barry Woodward at 404-373-6551.


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Now is a good time to register and/or update your profile. Decatur implemented the national safety database Smart911 to improve 911 services for residents and business owners. Smart911 allows residents to create a safety profile of vital personal and household data, including household members, photos, medications or medical conditions and even pets, which will be displayed to 911 call takers immediately when a resident places an emergency call.

Currently, Smart911 Profile and Alert registrants will be asked two additional questions regarding their quarantine and health status. This information will be presented to 9-1-1 call-takers with an inbound call and public health/emergency management officials will be able to actively query and notify individuals in their community who are at risk or under quarantine.

Smart911 is a free service available to all residents and business owners and is private and secure. Safety profiles can be created through the Smart911 website.

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Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett issued an emergency order on March 27, 2020 that extends the grace period for paying the first installment of Decatur 2020 property taxes to July 15, 2020. Tax bills will be mailed the week of March 30 and due June 1, 2020. With the extended grace period, no penalties and interest will be applied if the principal is paid by July 15, 2020.

Mayor Garrett stated, “We know families and businesses are struggling financially while also being concerned about their health and the health of their loved ones. This extension will provide property owners some extra time to make this payment.”

The City is assessing the consequence of the public health emergency on its finances and will be developing a budget that reflects the anticipated impacts while continuing to maintain quality services including police and fire protection, emergency management, and sanitation services. Property taxes also support our local school system.

City staff are ready to assist residents and property owners, to answer questions and to help provide the community support needed to weather this crisis.

View a copy of the order here.

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Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett issued an Emergency Stay At Home Order in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible. The Order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on March 25, 2020 and stays in effect for 14 days until 11:59 p.m. on April 7 unless extended further or rescinded.

Since March 16 the number of cases of COVID-19 officially reported in DeKalb County has increased exponentially and is expected to continue to do so if significant measures are not taken immediately, said Mayor Garrett. Multiple cities in Georgia, including the City of Atlanta, following the advice and recommendations of infectious disease and public health experts, have issued similar orders for residents to shelter in their homes and have banned gatherings.

The Order directs that individuals living within the City of Decatur may leave their residences only for essential activities, essential governmental functions, or to operate essential businesses.  Additionally, when individuals are using shared or outdoor spaces, they must maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person when they are outside their residence.

The definition of essential businesses may be found in the Order and include businesses and activities related to health and safety including the delivery of those services and supplies to others such as food, medicine, and products essential to the operation of residences as one example. Examples of essential businesses include grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, gas stations, auto supply and repair, and restaurants offering to-go orders only.

The intent of the Order is to ensure that the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible, while enabling essential services to continue, to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible.

Mayor Garrett said, “I urge the community to work together as we help stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and keep everyone safe during this time.”

For more information and to read the full Order, visit www.decaturga.com/covid19.

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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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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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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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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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