City Council Declares Local Emergency
During a special-called meeting on Saturday, March 21, the Mayor and City Council voted unanimously to pass an emergency ordinance declaring a local emergency due to the coronavirus 2019 global pandemic.
The Mayor and Council passed the emergency ordinance following the health guidelines from the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Gwinnett County Health Department (GCHD).
The City’s charter empowers the Mayor and City Council to establish procedures for determining and proclaiming that an emergency situation exists and to make and carry out all reasonable provisions deemed necessary to deal with or meet such an emergency for the protection, safety, health and well-being of its citizens.
“The ordinance recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic is a public emergency affecting and threatening our citizens,” said Mayor Mike Mason. The ordinance is intended to prevent or minimize the further spread of the virus to all those who live or work in our community. We continue working closely with county, state and federal leaders during this unprecedented time in our nation’s history and are prepared to take additional steps should the need arise.”
The emergency ordinance provides:
- Emergency Authority: The City Manager, with the Mayor’s approval, has authority to take such actions as necessary or appropriate for the public health and safety of Peachtree Corners residents and stakeholders.
- Bidding on Contracts: The ordinance suspends the bidding of contracts and competitive purchasing policy and authorizes the City Manager to use the single-source authority. The City Manager is required to provide written justification of each procurement.
- Public Hearings: To minimize delays that require a public hearing before a city-affiliated board, such as the Planning Commission, the Downtown Development Authority or the Zoning Board of Appeals and a hearing cannot be timely scheduled due to the COVID-19, city staff will work directly with applicants to ensure that financial impact and/or disruptions to business function is kept to a minimum until a public meeting can be scheduled.
- Conducting Meetings by Teleconference: The City Council and all other city boards, commissions, authorities and agencies may conduct meetings and take votes by teleconference, so long as notice is given and simultaneous access is provided to the public to the teleconference meeting.
- Alcohol Take-Away Permitting: While the city’s emergency ordinance is in effect, businesses that possess a city-issued alcohol license to sell alcohol for on-premises consumption, are authorized to sell unopened bottles, or appropriately sealed containers, of alcohol for take-away consumption off premises.
The emergency ordinance was in effect on Saturday after the council’s vote of approval and will remain in effect for thirty (30) days from the date it was approved. The ordinance does provide that the ordinance may be renewed for one (1) or more additional periods of thirty (30) days (or repealed) at a meeting called by the mayor or three councilmembers.