City Hall, Fire stations temporarily close lobbies in Athens due to COVID-19 protocols

City Hall, Fire stations temporarily close lobbies in Athens due to COVID-19 protocols
Athens City Hall (Source: WAFF)

ATHENS, Ala. (WAFF) - The City of Athens and Mayor Ronnie Marks announced changes to some city operations on Monday due to COVID-19.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, Limestone County is a high-risk county with 1,042 cases in the last 14 days. Athens-Limestone Hospital reported at the end of December it had 28 positive in-patients.

“I have asked department heads to reiterate with employees the importance of wearing masks, social distancing and sanitizing,” Marks said. “In addition, I have asked each department to set protocols in place regarding public access to their facilities.”

CITY HALL

Offices are closed to walk-in traffic through January 15, when this procedure will be re-evaluated.

Employees are working, and each department is offering ways for citizens to remotely access employees, information, and forms.

  • Mayor’s Office 256-233-8730
  • Building Department 256-233-8715
  • City Clerk 256-233-8720
  • Business Licenses 256-233-8003
  • Fire Prevention Bureau 256-233-8723
  • Human Resources 256-233-8737
  • One Stop Shop 256-262-1525

The City of Athens cannot by state law close public meetings, such as Council meetings, but is offering options to view them online by live stream via YouTube. Citizens who attend in person will undergo a temperature check.

Citizens who meet these criteria will be prohibited from attending meetings:

  • 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
  • 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.

FIRE STATIONS

Fire Stations in Athens will be closed to walk-in traffic and visitors until further notice.

To obtain a burn permit, call Station One at 256-233-8710 and set up a time for personnel to check the proposed burn site. Once approval is given, personnel will call the applicant to provide the permit number and send an email with the permit attached.

To obtain a fire report, call Station One at 256-233-8710 to request a copy be emailed.

Athens Utilities Customer Accounts

The office is open, and employees are behind a barrier. Customers must wear a mask. A temperature check station is being installed to check those who enter.

Athens Police Department and Municipal Court

The front lobby is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for those who have business with police or court. Those who enter must wear a mask. No more than three people are allowed in the lobby at the same time. Chief Floyd Johnson encourages citizens to communicate by phone or email if possible. The main police number is 256-233-8710. Courtroom COVID-19 procedures remain the same.

Athens Parks/Recreation/Cemetery

League basketball restarts January 4. Racquetball is limited to two people per court, and pickleball is limited to four people per session, and both require reservations. Fitness classes are being held, and participants are asked to adhere to restrictions that are in place for each activity. Currently, the Rec Center is not renting rooms. These protocols are subject to change as needed.

Stay updated by following on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/AthensRecreationCenter

Athens Utilities on Wilkinson Street

The front lobby is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to those who have business with one of the utility departments. There are instructions at the front desk on who to call to be escorted to the appropriate office. Visitors must wear a mask.

Athens Public Works

Offices are closed to walk-in traffic. Numbers are listed on the front door. Please call 256-233-8725 for information.

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