On Monday, April 20, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp announced plans to reopen businesses previously ordered closed by Executive Order. After careful, measured consideration, City Manager Alan Carson said that the City of Thomasville’s recent operational changes that were made in response to COVID-19 would continue in place for now.
“Like many other businesses, the City of Thomasville is eager to resume our normal operations,” he said. “However, with health and safety in mind, we will continue to operate as we have for the last several weeks. We want to assure our community, citizens and customers that although our manner of service may have changed, we remain committed to providing the excellent customer service and access to important utilities that the community has come to expect of us.”
Carson said that all City facilities will remain closed to the general public, as previously announced. For assistance, customers are encouraged to utilize the City’s website, Thomasville.org, or call 227-7001. In addition, solid waste collection will continue as a curbside service only, and recycling services will also remain suspended. “We realize these changes may be an inconvenience for some of our customers, but it is necessary for the safety of our citizens and staff.” said Carson. “We want our community to be assured that throughout this crisis, our staff is continuing to report for duty and remains ready to serve the citizens of Thomasville.”
Previously, a moratorium for utility disconnections for non-payment was announced and will remain in effect through May 13, 2020. “During this period, utility services for customers will not be subject to disconnection for non-payment and unpaid balances will not incur late fees or penalties,” said Carson. “We will continue to send utility bills and we encourage everyone to pay their bill. After this crisis resolves, we will work with customers who have had issues paying to work out payment arrangements for their outstanding balance.” Carson reiterated that if customers are able to pay their bills, they are encouraged to do so to minimize their repayment balance when this crisis is over.
In accordance with recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and as outlined in President Donald Trump’s Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, Carson said that special care will be given to resuming any large special events. “For these types of events, we will make decisions based on the advice of our local health officials,” he said. “With this in mind, we have made the decision not to hold the June First Friday Sip and Stroll.”
Carson said that while many are eager to get back to normal activities, it is important that care is given as to how quickly those activities resume. “We’ve made a great deal of progress in our community to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to make sure that we continue moving in that same direction,” he said. “Taking slow, measured steps forward is the best way to ensure that we don’t see a resurgence or spike in the number of the virus cases.”
As local businesses begin resuming operations, Carson said that the City will continue to support their efforts. “Our local small businesses are important to our local economy, and many have been hit very hard by the COVID-19 crisis,” he said. “We want to help support them as they move forward while also encouraging actions that will maintain the health and safety of our citizens. Handwashing stations placed by the City in the community will remain in place to help foster good hygiene practices and we will also continue offering designated parking spaces for curbside pickup in our public parking areas.”
“We understand this has been a very hard time for many in our community,” said Carson. “Some have fought the disease and won, while others have lost loved ones to COVID-19. Still more have lost their jobs or faced financial difficulties resulting from this crisis. Everyone in our community has been impacted in some way. The City of Thomasville wants to be sure we do our part to support our community as we navigate our way forward as safely as possible.”
The City of Thomasville has established a special page on Thomasville.org dedicated to the City’s COVID-19 response. Additional information will be shared on the City’s social media sites and CNSNext Channel 6. For more information visit Thomasville.org or call 229-227-7001.