March 26, 2020 Marietta: The Marietta City Hall is open for business, but the lobby is mostly quiet and a six foot barrier seperates Marietta Police Officer Chris Rader from visitors on Thursday, March 26, 2020, in Marietta. A patchwork of local officials, not the governor or president, this week ordered the closure of businesses across the state and forced people to shutter inside their homes over fears of COVID-19. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: Curtis Compton/Curtis Compton
Photo: Curtis Compton/Curtis Compton

Cobb County and coronavirus: A guide to service delivery

Cobb County and its cities are responding to the novel coronavirus pandemic by adjusting hours and services to curtail the spread of the virus while providing essential services to the public.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has compiled this list of important information on some of those changes.

Keep in mind that the situation is fluid and some information — particularly dates for closures — may be too.

Cobb County

The county has activated its Emergency Operations Center at Cobb County Police Department headquarters and is running essential operations from that location. Only essential personnel are at the center, and other employees who can work from home are doing that, said County Commission Chairman Mike Boyce.

County residents are still being billed for water service and can make payments online. Anyone who needs a building inspection can schedule one by visiting the county’s website

According to the county’s website, employees will not be conducting inspections inside occupied homes for issues such as remodels in order to minimize the risk of exposure. For necessary on-site inspections, inspectors will maintain the social distancing recommendation of 6 feet from other workers.

RELATEDCobb declares State of Emergency for coronavirus

County spokesman Ross Cavitt said the county is processing business license renewals normally, but any penalties normally imposed April 1 for late payments have been extended to June 1.

For home and property owners, no changes have been considered in how the county will collect and bill property taxes, which are normally due in October, Boyce said.

Austell

Mayor Ollie Clemons said City Hall will be closed through April 10, but city staff has “limited availability by phone and email.” Austell residents are still billed for city service. However, Austell’s drive-through window that accepts water bill payments is closed, so residents must make payments online or by phone.

Austell officials are still processing building inspections and permits. Request an appointment by calling (770) 944-4309 or emailing permits@austellga.gov.

SEE ALSO | More Cobb cities limit restaurant service during coronavirus pandemic

Austell’s Municipal Court is closed until April 13, but Clemons said that’s subject to change.

Property taxes aren’t due until later in the year, but Clemons said he does not expect any changes in that process at this time.

Acworth

Acworth City Hall is maintaining regular hours for employees to perform services, but residents are strongly encouraged to call ahead of time. 

Residents are still being billed for water and sanitation bills, and the city is maintaining its garbage pickup schedule, said Mayor Tommy Allegood. City staff is also issuing permits and conducting building permits as expected, but asks residents and builders to make appointments online or by calling 770-974-2032.

READCobb County closes all parks due to coronavirus pandemic

Business license renewals are due June 30, but Allegood said the city will extend that date by 30 days. Acworth Municipal Court’s April 2 session has been delayed to Tuesday, May 14. The March 19 court date was rescheduled for Tuesday, May 7 and the March 26 session was postponed to May 21.

The city’s property taxes are due in November, and at this point Allegood said there are no plans to extend the deadline.

Kennesaw

City spokeswoman Rebecca Graham said City Hall is closed to the public, but the government is continuing operations with limited services and staffing. Kennesaw residents are still being billed for water service, and payments can be made online, over the phone, by mail or at the drop box at City Hall. 

Kennesaw has also extended its deadline for business license renewal to May 29 without penalties. Business owners can pay for renewals by phone, mail, the drop box at City Hall or online (online renewals are not available to any business with a privileged license such as massage therapy, bail bonds, pawnbroker, precious metals and temporary use).

Sanitation collection is still running normally. Anyone who needs to apply for building permits and schedule inspections can visit the city’s website or contact the Building Services department at 770-429-4554 or sbanks@kennesaw-ga.gov.

RELATEDKennesaw orders residents to stay home, limits restaurants to take-out

The city is collecting business license renewal fees as usual and owners are encouraged to submit their payments online or by phone. Municipal Court is also closed. Annual property taxes will be mailed Oct. 1 and due Dec. 1.

Marietta

The county seat remains open during normal business hours at City Hall and other municipal buildings. Marietta city spokeswoman Lindsey Wiles said the city has temporarily stopped service disconnections for Marietta Power and Water residential and commercial customers until April 6. This date could potentially be extended, Wiles said. No changes have been implemented for sanitation pickup.

Anyone who applies for or requests an inspection can use the city’s online system, which has been in place for two years. The platform also allows anyone to communicate with city staff without having to make the trip to City Hall.

RELATEDMarietta limits restaurants to take-out, keeps city parks open

Marietta Municipal Court sessions have been postponed until April 13, but residents can make payments for citations using the city’s drive-through window at the front of the building. Property taxes are due Oct. 31, and Wiles said no changes in that deadline have been considered at this time.

Powder Springs

Powder Springs has closed City Hall and other city buildings, but its government continues to provide services. City Manager Pam Conner said the city is working with a skeleton crew, so residents may experience a delay in services.

Residents are being billed for sanitation services, and they can make payments online, by mail, over the phone or using a drop box next to City Hall. Residents should note that brush and limb removal has been suspended. Powder Springs is able to coordinate permits and inspections requests online and through email. Any appointments can be made by calling 770-943-8001 ext. 307.

READKennesaw Mountain Battlefield Park closes to help fight coronavirus

Conner said the city has not placed a moratorium on business licence payments since most of the holders have submitted their renewals for the year. For anyone who submits a late payment, the city will temporarily suspend any interest or penalties, she said.

Property tax bills will be mailed in September and will be due in November. Conner said the city does not expect any changes in this function.

Smyrna

Smyrna’s buildings, including City Hall, are closed to the public, but governmental operations are happening behind the scenes, city spokeswoman Jennifer Bennett said. Most employees are working remotely and responding to calls and emails during normal business owners. 

The Water Department’s drive-through payment window on the side of City Hall is also open and residents can make utility payments there. Of course, you can also make payments online.

Residents are still being billed for services. However, starting March 16, the city has suspended any disconnections for non-payment for 60 days. It also put a halt to late fees for unpaid bills for the next 60 days. No changes have been made to trash and recycling services, Bennett said.

SEE ALSOSmyrna mayor orders salons to close, but keeps parks open

Anyone who needs to obtain a building permit or schedule an inspection can visit the city’s website dedicated to the COVID-19 pandemic. No changes have been made in the timeline for business license payments. 

The Municipal Court session for the month of March will be rescheduled for future dates. Anyone with a pending court date will be notified by mail of the change. You can also call 770-431-2804 or, alternatively, pay citations online.

Smyrna property taxes bills are issued in September, and bills are due in November. No change in the process has been considered at this time.


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