The Thomasville City Council met for a called meeting via teleconference on Wednesday, April 15, 2020. The agenda for the meeting included a resolution of emergency that authorized the first and second reading of an amendment to the ordinance that declared a local state of emergency that was passed on March 25, 2020. The amendment to the ordinance, which passed by a vote of four to one, extends Thomasville’s local state of emergency through 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13, 2020.
Alan Carson, Thomasville City Manager, noted that the amendment to the declared local state of emergency aligns with Governor Brian Kemp’s Declaration of Emergency for the State of Georgia that was extended on April 8, 2020. He also said that extending Thomasville’s local state of emergency is important to maintain the City’s eligibility for any potential emergency funding.
“The local state of emergency maintains our eligibility for any emergency funding that may be available through the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA),” said Carson. “That could be very important for our community. Our local state of emergency may also be extended or discontinued at the discretion of the Thomasville City Council.”
Through the extension of the local state of emergency, the moratorium for utility disconnections for non-payment will also remain in place and be extended through May 13, 2020. “The local state of emergency allows us to continue working with our customers who are facing financial hardships right now due to the COVID-19 crisis,” said Carson. “Utility services will not be disconnected for non-payment, and we will also continue to hold any late fees or penalties. We remain committed to assisting our customers throughout this crisis.”
The City of Thomasville will continue to generate utility bills and send them to customers. “If customers are able to pay their bills, even a small portion, we encourage them to do so,” he said. After the COVID-19 crisis is resolved, the City of Thomasville will work with customers who have had issues paying their bills to establish a payment arrangement for their outstanding balance. “Paying even a small portion, if you are able, will help to lessen that repayment balance later.”
Carson reminds citizens that they play a vital role in the safety of our community by continuing to follow all recommended guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Governor Kemp’s Executive Order to shelter in place. “We need our citizens to remain at home unless participating in Essential Services,” said Carson. “We all share the responsibility of following the CDC’s guidelines that will hopefully help slow the spread of the coronavirus and help us get back to our normal lives.”
A recording of last night’s meeting of the Thomasville City Council is available on Thomasville.org. Additionally, the City of Thomasville has established a special page on Thomasville.org dedicated to the City’s COVID-19 response. For more information visit Thomasville.org or call 229-227-7001.