City of Athens updates COVID-19 protocols for court, recreation, disconnects

City of Athens updates COVID-19 protocols for court, recreation, disconnects
Athens City Hall (Source: WAFF)

ATHENS, Ala. (WAFF) - The following are a list of updated COVID-19 protocols related to the city of Athens.

City of Athens facilities

City of Athens facilities, unless otherwise specified, will remain closed to the public until June 1. Each facility has contact information listed on the door, and contact information for each department is available online at www.athensal.us.

City officials say this will allow them to make improvements to its facilities to limit exposure risks for staff and citizens, such as installing glass barriers at counters.

Athens City Council and Athens Planning Commission meetings

The city will continue to live stream these meetings on the city’s YouTube channel.A phone number for citizen input will be provided during these meetings. Citizens who attend must sit in designated seats that are 6 feet apart. In addition, due to COVID-19 protocols, those who meet the following criteria are prohibited from attending in person:

  • Persons who have been, within the last 14 days, in any area identified by the CDC as subject to a Level 3 Travel Health Notice or as a place of “Widespread sustained spread and restrictions on travel to the United States,” see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html. This list may update.
  • Persons who reside or have had close contact with someone who has been in one of the areas listed above within the last 14 days.
  • Persons who have been asked to self-quarantine by any doctor, hospital or health agency.
  • Persons who have been diagnosed with or have had contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or the flu.
  • Persons who have a fever 100.4 degrees or higher, cough, have trouble breathing, or are obviously unwell, and have not been free of those conditions for 48 hours.

Athens Municipal Court

Municipal Court Judge Don Mansell said the suspension of all in-person court proceedings, as ordered by the Alabama Supreme Court, are extended through June 30. This suspension also applies to the city’s defensive driving course. The Court set a tentative date to resume proceedings on July 7.

In addition, any person who has been sentenced and ordered to make monthly payments toward their fine, costs or other court-related fees, will be given a 60-day grace period to make the payments. This will encompass payments for March and April. No one should be penalized if they are unable to make payments for these months. The clerks will accept payments of any amount for those able to make a payment. This applies to previously sentenced defendants. Please contact Municipal Court if you cannot pay a citation by sending an email to court@athensal.us or faxing a request to 256-233-6889.

Those who need to contact Municipal Court staff or make a payment can send an email to court@athensal.us or call 256-233-8733.

Athens Parks and Recreation

Tennis courts, trails and pavilion bathrooms are open. Director Bert Bradford asks users to please adhere to social distancing and sanitation guidelines. Other recreational facilities, including playgrounds and the Rec Center, remain closed per the State of Alabama Health Order.

Athens Utilities

Athens Utilities is again extending its suspension of the practice of disconnecting utility services for nonpayment.

Customer accounts manager Bill Vaughn said the new extension date is June 1. Customers will be responsible for the full bill amount accrued until payment is made. Vaughn urges customers to pay what they can on their bills to help keep their balances low.

Payments:

  • Drive-thru at 508 S. Jefferson Street. Lane is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Pay online at www.athens-utilities.com. The online company that provides this service does charge a fee.
  • Mail bill stub with payment to City of Athens Utilities, P.O. Box 830200, Birmingham, AL, 35283-0200.
  • Place bill stub with payment in the night box at the facility at 508 S. Jefferson Street.
  • Pay by phone by calling toll free 1-855-760-0921. The company that provides this service does charge a fee.
  • Pay by bank draft (no fee). Forms are available:

o By calling 256-233-8750

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