Sandy Springs gives $25K to nonprofit and conducts more business on busy night

Sandy Springs City Council addressed several matters, Tuesday, at the final regular meeting to be held while the U.S. experiences the coronavirus pandemic. City Council declared a state of emergency for Sandy Springs postponing public hearings and usual meetings for 60 days. Like other North Fulton cities, City Council members can conduct public meetings by teleconference. The city is required to provide public notice and access, such as through online viewing.

“Our meetings are going to be somewhat sequestered,” said Mayor Rusty Paul. “Maybe within a couple of weeks, progress in working though this situation...may give us enough information...that we can make adjustments [to allow for public comment].”

Although the city continues to conduct official business, all public buildings are closed.

City Council approved $25,000 in emergency support to Community Assistance Center (CAC), which is providing pre-packaged meals to food insecure families and individuals. Sandy Springs gave $100,000 to CAC in both 2019 and 2020 fiscal years.

Councilman Andy Bauman requested there be conditions on the $25,000 for CAC. Believing there is a moratorium on evictions in Fulton County, he asked that the funds assist only Sandy Springs residents and not be used for rental assistance.

“It’s not that I don’t care about that issue, but that issue is mute right now,” said Bauman.

The landlord-tenant eviction calendar in Fulton County Superior Court has been suspended until April 13 due to the coronavirus.

Separately, Council members voted to extend the due date for business license fees. The due date for businesses to pay their occupational tax to the city was extended from March 31 to May 31.

In other business, City Council approved the purchase of 6.58 acres of land on North Island Ferry Road adjacent to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. The property was bought at a price of $750,000 for future park use.

On Wednesday, Sandy Springs issued a request for proposals for a consultant to provide a housing assessment for Sandy Springs. The study will examine existing housing conditions, demographics and unmet housing needs, officials said.

“This assessment has been characterized as an affordable housing study,” said Paul. “It’s really looking at the total housing picture in Sandy Springs to determine what we have, what we don’t have, where the gaps are and then that will guide future policy-making decisions by this body.”