THOMASVILLE – City Manager Alan Carson has announced a reopening plan for city of Thomasville administrative buildings and facilities. The City Administrative Building and other facilities closed to the general public in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic will re-open on July 13, the day after Georgia’s Public Health State of Emergency is set to expire.
“Throughout the pandemic, our city of Thomasville staff have continued to work through very challenging circumstances in order to continue meeting the needs of our community,” Carson said. “Closing our buildings and facilities was a difficult decision but one that was necessary to protect the health and safety of our customers and our staff. While we know this situation has been difficult for many, we are appreciative of the patience our customers have shown, and we look forward to serving them face to face again very soon.”
Carson said that all city buildings will re-open with new, enhanced safety and social distancing measures in place.
“During our initial re-opening, we may have some different procedures in place from what our customers are used to, but these changes are necessary to maintain a safe environment for all,” he said.
For the Administrative Building, customers are encouraged to schedule an appointment for assistance with their accounts.
“We will initially have limited seating available in our lobby, so making an appointment will allow us to better accommodate customers who need to visit with us to manage their account,” Sheryl Sealy, executive director for marketing and customer services, said. “Customers are also encouraged to wear a mask, and we will also require temperature screenings before entering our buildings.”
Meetings of citizen boards also will resume after July 13.
“Our goal is to return these very important boards to a regular meeting schedule,” Carson said. “However, we must continue to observe social distancing in order to remain in compliance with the governor’s Executive Orders. Meeting dates and locations will be announced on Thomasville.org when scheduled.”
Utility disconnections for non-payment will resume on Aug. 1. Late fees and penalties for nonpayment also will be assessed after Aug. 1.
“We know this has been a tremendously difficult time for our community, and we are pleased that we were able to work with our customers to suspend utility disconnections for the last four months,” Sealy said. “As we move toward resuming our regular operating procedures, we are committed to continuing to work with our customers.”
Sealy said that customers with an outstanding balance will be contacted directly to discuss payment arrangements.
“Customers also are welcome to call our office to make a payment on their account or to discuss establishing a payment arrangement,” she said. “Customers are welcome to visit us after July 13 to discuss their accounts or they may call us at (229) 227-7001 for assistance.”
Other operational updates that were announced include:
♦ City of Thomasville playground equipment in public parks was to re-open on Monday. Parkgoers are encouraged to observe enhanced sanitation measures, including the use of disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer before utilizing equipment.
♦ Park reservations was to resume Monday for gatherings of groups of less than 50. All social distancing measures outlined in Gov. Kemp’s Executive Orders must be observed. Special event permit requests also resumed on Monday.
♦ Merchandise sales in Country Oaks Golf Course was to resume on Monday with continued social distancing measures in place.
♦ Recycling centers were to re-open on Monday for aluminum/metal cans and cardboard only.
♦ Rental applications for the Municipal Auditorium and the Ritz Amphitheater will resume for dates after July 13. Implementation and adherence to all requirements for live performance venues must be followed by any group or individual renting the facilities.
“We want to thank our customers and our community for the incredible amount of cooperation we have received throughout the COVID-19 crisis,” Carson said. “Thomasville has proven to be a resilient community, and we are looking forward to transitioning our service to our regular operations.”