By: Holly Hollman
The State of Alabama is preparing to re-open in phases, and the City of Athens is updating its local COVID-19 protocols in coordination with the Safer-At-Home Health Order.
Gov. Kay Ivey and State Public Health Officer Scott Harris said the Safer-At-Home Health Order will start April 30 at 5 p.m. and go to May 15 at 5 p.m. The order relaxes some of the stringent requirements of the April 3 order but not all of them.
A copy of the order can be found at:
Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks discussed the new order with city attorney Shane Black and department heads and updated protocols for the City of Athens.
City of Athens COVID-19 updated protocols
- City of Athens facilities will remain closed to the public through at least May 15. Several facilities are undergoing changes to limit exposure between employees and citizens, such as installing plexiglass windows at counters. “We also want to ensure we have a reliable supply of personal protection equipment, sanitizer, and cleaners before we open back up to the public,” Marks said.
- Athens Utilities will suspend the practice of disconnecting utilities for non-payment until May 15. Customers will be responsible for the full bill amount accrued until payment is made. Customer Accounts Manager Bill Vaughn urges customers to pay what they can on their bills to help keep their balances low.
- The spring sports season at Athens Parks and Recreation is canceled. The Safer-At-Home Order continues to prohibit sport activities such as baseball and softball, the use of playground equipment, rental of pavilions, etc. Cemetery/Parks/Recreation Director Bert Bradford said his staff is preparing for volleyball season in June and planning small summer camps in various sports. He is coordinating these efforts with his staff and will announce a more detailed plan soon.
- Municipal Court – Municipal Court staff are waiting to see if there is an update in the Supreme Court mandate, which currently suspends in-person court hearings through April 30. Driving school will not be held in May. Those who planned to attend need to make sure court staff have their correct contact information. To update contact information or for other court-related questions or to make court-related payments, call 256-233-8733 or email email@example.com during these hours:
- Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- The City will continue to encourage citizens to participate in public meetings such as Athens City Council, Athens Planning Commission, and Zoning Board of Adjustments by watching the live stream on the City’s YouTube channel at CityofAthensAla and calling in comments on the phone number provided at each meeting.
- The City’s recycling services still are suspended. Sanitation Director Earl Glaze said he has not received a date for the return of state inmates who help operate the facility in Decatur that processes our recycling.
- Per the updated state health order, Senior Centers remain closed.
- Athens employees will continue working and offering ways for citizens to remotely access employees, information, and forms. The City’s website is www.athensal.us which lists contact information for each department as well as information on payments, forms, and services. Each city building has a note on the door listing contact information for that department.
City of Athens phone numbers
Utilities Customer Accounts 256-233-8750
Water Services 256-232-1440
Gas Department 256-232-1440
Electric Dept 256-232-1440
One Stop Shop 256-262-1525
Athens Municipal Court 256-233-8733
Building Department 256-233-8715
Cemetery Department 256-233-8743
City Clerk 256-233-8720
Fire & Rescue 256-233-8710
Fire Prevention Bureau 256-233-8723
Human Resources 256-233-8737
Mayor’s Office 256-233-8730
Parks & Recreation 256-233-8740
Police Department 256-233-8700
Sanitation Department 256-233-8747
Street Department 256-233-8747
Way to make payments to Athens Utilities
- 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:
- Online at www.athens-utilities.com
- By calling 256-233-8750
- By emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Citizens can stay updated on City of Athens protocols related to the Limestone County Pandemic Standard Operating Guidelines through these options:
- City of Athens, Alabama (Public Relations) on Facebook.
- City of Athens website at www.athensal.us and look for the updates link on the homepage under “Athens News.”
- Sign up for Nixle alerts at https://local.nixle.com/register/ and follow “City of Athens and Utilities.”
By: Holly Hollman – City of Athens Communications Specialist