ACCGov & Area Service Updates
Updated September 2, 2020
The Athens-Clarke County Unified Government will begin to re-open some public spaces and offices for limited public interaction starting June 1, 2020. Additional opening procedures will take place in the coming weeks.
GENERAL PROVISIONS FOR ACCGOV BUILDINGS & FACILITIES
- Departments and offices will continue to provide many services via phone, telecommuting, and online. Residents are encouraged to contact departments virtually through www.accgov.com or by phone whenever possible.
- Visitors are encouraged to wear face covers when visiting ACCGov buildings and facilities. Some face covers will be available at certain sites for those who are unable to bring their own.
- Buildings and facilities will have additional hand sanitizer stations for public use. Visitors are reminded to wash hands for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer frequently.
- Building spaces and public areas will be cleaned on a more frequent basis.
- Visitors should limit close contact and practice physical distancing of six feet from other people whenever possible. New customer counter windows are being installed at some locations to help limit close contact.
GENERAL PROVISIONS FOR ACCGOV PUBLIC MEETINGS
- Public meetings of the Mayor and Commission; boards, authorities, and commissions; and other ACCGov-related bodies continue to be held virtually at this time.
- Live and on-demand recordings of Mayor and Commission meetings are available on YouTube (www.youtube.com/accgov), on ACTV Cable Channel 180, on Facebook, and on www.accgov.com/videos. Links to other live and on-demand meeting streams on YouTube are available through individual meeting links on the ACCGov online calendar at www.accgov.com/events.
SPECIFIC ACCGOV BUILDINGS
- City Hall will remain closed at this time except by appointment with specific offices.
- The Dougherty Street Government Building will be open 8:00 a.m. - noon for Building Inspections & Permits and Planning access (front side) and 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (rear side) for Transportation and Public Works access.
- The Satula Avenue Government Building will remain closed at this time except by appointment with specific offices.
- The Courthouse will open to the public with access to courts and other ACCGov offices with increased entrance procedures. See information about specific courts below.
Some specific provisions for departments and offices are detailed below.
- Open to essential aircraft business only.
- For more information, visit www.accgov.com/airport.
- Animal Services remains closed to the public except by appointment only.
- For more information, visit www.accgov.com/animalservices.
BOARD OF ELECTIONS
- For more information, visit www.accgov.com/elections.
BUILDING PERMITS & INSPECTION
- Building Permits and Inspection will be accessible to in-person customers from 8:00 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. Other services will be available remotely.
- The public is encouraged to continue to submit applications online by using the new Citizen Self Service Portal available at www.accgov.com/buildinginspection.
CLERK OF COURT FOR SUPERIOR & STATE COURTS
- Office: The Clerk of Superior & State Court office is open.
- Public Terminals: The Clerk of Superior & State Court office is allowing one person at a time to use the one public terminal fin a one hour increment.
- Copies or Filing Documents: Customers wanting copies or filing documents should come to the office door for service.
- Court Records: Residents should use our online docket at www.athensclarkeclerkofcourt.com to research and print court records..
- Filing Civil or Criminal Cases: Anyone wishing to file in a civil or criminal case are encouraged to e-file.
- Real Estate Recordings: All real estate recordings should also be e-filed.
- Deed Room: The Deed Room is open by appointment only and the sign up sheet is located at the Office door. We are allowing two persons at a time to use the Deed Room for one hour increments and they must wear masks, gloves and social distance. Deed, lien and plat indexes and images are available at www.gsccca.org.
- We are answering phones and emails, and you may drop off hard copy filings at the door.
- Emergency protective orders will find information and forms at the door with instructions on how to file.
- During this period of limited office use, we are sharing our 1962-1988 Grantor/Grantee Indexes at www.athensclarkeclerkofcourt.com. 1988 to present is available at www.gsccca.org. Many deed images are available on www.gsccca.org, even if the index does not exist.
- Agricultural and Natural Resources
- Monthly gardening classes will continue to be offered remotely. Recordings will be available on the UGA Extension YouTube Channel/Athens-Clarke County playlist available at www.youtube.com/ugaExtension.
- Client questions will continue to be handled via email and phone.
- Soil and water samples are accepted via drop off box and by appointment.
- Virtual summer program centered around Environmental Education is being offered to Athens-Clarke County 5th-12th grade students.
- Family and Consumer Sciences and SNAP Ed
- Virtual classes offered when possible.
- SNAP Ed outreach provided at farmers markets, whenever possible.
- Agents are available to clients by appointment and virtual meetings.
- For more information, visit www.accgov.com/extension.
- Finance will not be open to the public at this time except via phone and email remotely.
- An exterior drop box is provided for materials that need to be dropped off at the office.
- For more information, visit www.accgov.com/finance.
HOUSING & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
- Housing and Community Development (HCD) is currently closed to in-person public visitations, except by appointment.
- HCD is beginning their annual agency monitoring process that typically takes place on-site at funded agencies’ offices. The procedures are being modified to provide this service remotely.
- For more information, visit www.accgov.com/hcd.
- Human Resources is currently closed to in-person public visitations, except by appointment.
- Job applications are accepted online through www.accgov.com/jobs.
- Interviews and orientation procedures are conducted remotely.
- For more information, visit www.accgov.com/hr.
- All persons not of the same household are required to maintain a safe physical distance in the waiting area and the courtroom. Masks are encouraged to be worn, and may be provided upon request. Masks are required if maintaining a physical distance of six feet is not possible.
- All court matters may be joined remotely, and information on how to join a particular hearing is available from the Juvenile Court clerk.
- When necessary, hearings may be held in the courtroom where there is very limited seating capacity, and the option to join remotely will be available for all hearings.
- Children need not be transported for dependency cases. Requests to have children present should be filed in writing, with notice and opportunity to be heard by all parties, including foster parents
- No child shall be admitted to a Regional Youth Detention Center without judicial approval.
- Appearances for dependency adjudications and dispositions may be waived by consent of all parties and presentation of a written consent order containing stipulated facts.
- Foster parents, Court Appointed Special Advocates and Guardians Ad Litem may file written reports and may attend by video conference.
- To contact the Juvenile Court, call 706-613-3300. To contact the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), call 706-369-5610. To contact Department of Family & Children Services (DFCS), call 706-227-7021.
- All summer camps have been cancelled.
- Facilities will operate with limited public access dependent upon occupancy and based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Athletic fields and gymnasiums will be open, but no competitive play will be allowed due to physical distancing concerns.
- Pickleball and tennis courts will open.
- Dog parks will open, but access will be limited.
- Facility rentals are cancelled until further notice.
- Virtual programs continue at www.accgov.com/leisure.
- The following areas remain closed at this time:
- Morton Theatre
- Pools and splash pads
- Unsupervised amenities, including playgrounds, outdoor basketball courts, volleyball courts, and the beach at Sandy Creek Park.
- For more information, visit www.accgov.com/leisure.
- Magistrate Court Clerk’s Office has re-opened to the public with reduced capacity due to social distancing. Please be patient when waiting for service.
- Masks are required to enter the Clerk’s Office.
- All bond hearings will take place at 8:30 a.m. by video conference in the Magistrate Court courtroom.
- Some civil cases have resumed with reduced capacity in the courtroom. Masks are required to enter the court and will be provided by the Sheriff, if needed.
- You may call the Clerk between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at 706-613-3310 ext. 5.
- The Municipal Court of Athens-Clarke County schedule until further notice:
- When court is in session: Municipal Court is open to the public
- When court is not in session: Appointment only from noon - 5:00 p.m. Please email email@example.com or call 706-613-3690 to make an appointment.
- The Clarke County Sheriff’s Office will screen individuals prior to their entry to the Courthouse. The screening will consist of questions related to COVID-19 exposure and/or symptoms. The Sheriff’s Office will conduct contactless temperature checks during the screening. Anyone with Municipal Court business who does not meet the screening protocol will not be allowed to enter the Courthouse and will be directed to call Municipal Court for directions.
- Members of the public will be required to wear masks within the Municipal Court of Athens-Clarke County. All other courtroom participants will be required to wear masks, unless they are in a location where they can maintain appropriate social distancing.
- In order to maintain social distancing, and provide a healthy court experience, court dockets will be restricted to 20 cases for any one court session. The majority of court sessions will be scheduled throughout the day at 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
- Due to the restricted court dockets it will be important for Defendants to arrive at their court hearing on the specific date and time for which their case is scheduled, and in a timely manner. It is recommended that Defendants arrive at the courthouse 30 minutes prior to their court session to ensure completion of the screening process prior to the beginning of the court session.
- In order to maintain social distancing in the courtroom, people should not come to the courthouse unnecessarily. Defendants should refrain from bringing family members to their court hearing, unless they are a necessary witness.
- Defendants who have concerns about attending their court session should contact the Municipal Court Clerk’s Office to inquire about Changing a Court Date or attending their court session via our Video Conferencing Court Option.
- All court sessions will be available for viewing by the public via livestream on YouTube. The livestream will only be available during active court sessions.
- Defendants should contact Municipal Court if their contact information has changed or if they have questions about a case. Municipal Court’s phone number is 706-613-3690, but email communication is preferred. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org with full name, complete mailing address, and a telephone number for receipt of text messages.
- Contact information can also be submitted through the Court Date Reminder System enrollment form available at www.accgov.com/municipalcourt.
- Fines can be paid online at www.athensgatix.com or by calling 855-873-9708.
- The lobby will open each day from 8:00 a.m. - noon to allow customers to access the window of the Planning Department to submit plans, fees, and other applications.
- The public is encouraged to continue to submit applications online using the new Citizen Self Service Portal available at www.accgov.com/planning.
- New and renewal Weapons Carry License applications are being accepted again as of June 15, 2020 by appointment only. Renewal applications for licenses issued by Athens-Clarke County may be mailed in for processing. Appointments for applications for a new license or for a license originally issued by another county must be made in person, by appointment only. The application form and more detailed information is available online.
- Hearings and trials are being conducted remotely, although there is a possibility of in-person hearings when physical distancing and other measures in accordance with public health guidelines are possible.
- To contact the Probate Court, call 706-613-3320. For questions regarding filing emergency pleadings please dial extension 6325. If you have a pressing need to apply for a marriage license, dial extension 6321.
- Public access to Probation Services will take place by appointment to see an officer or conduct a drug test.
- For more information, visit www.accgov.com/probation.
- The Public Utilities Department extension on water disconnects expired as of Monday, August 31, and disconnects have resumed. Public Utilities understands financial hardships for many residents continue. Water customers with delinquent accounts are encouraged to contact the Water Business Office and make payment arrangements to pay any overdue balances. Please note that unpaid balances and new charges for water consumption will have accrued on any delinquent accounts. For questions regarding water shut-off, please call the Water Business Office at 706-613-3500.
- The Water Business Office is open for in-person transactions as of Monday, July 6 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Public Utilities asks that customers wear face coverings inside the building and practice physical distancing of at least six feet. A maximum of 10 customers are allowed inside at one time. One person per transaction; please have family members/roommates remain outside the building when possible.
- Water bills can be paid by mail, online e-check, bank draft (ACH), or dropboxes located at 124 East Hancock Avenue.
- For more information, visit www.accgov.com/publicutilities.
- The Athens Area Teacher Reuse Store is back open, by appointment only, on Thursdays from 10 AM- 3 PM. Please email email@example.com the subject line "Teacher Reuse" to schedule your appointment.
COVID-19 precautions are in place with a limit of 1 hour of shopping per teacher and 5 teachers per hour. Face masks are also required (available on site if needed). Teacher I.D. or proof of school is required for entry.
- Registration and appointment processes remain in place for customers at the landfill (Monday - Saturday) and CHaRM (Tuesdays & Wednesdays).
- No cash transactions will be accepted at any Solid Waste locations.
- For more information or to register for appointments, visit www.accgov.com/solidwaste.
- Juries and jury trials are cancelled.
- State Court is scheduling a limited number of in-person court appearances.
- Release hearings for incarcerated individuals will be expedited.
- Parties may request that non-essential matters be conducted via video or teleconferencing.
- Criminal court search warrants, arrest warrants, initial appearances, and bond reviews will continue as needed.
- To contact the State Court, call 706-613-3200.
- In order to avoid a crushing backlog of cases, Superior Court is scheduling in-person arraignments and probation revocation hearings for non-incarcerated individuals subject to the precautions outlined in the Standing Order requiring social distancing, temperature checks, and mandatory health questions before entry into the Courthouse.
- Attorneys may submit waivers of appearance and pleas of not guilty in absentia. Times for these hearings will be staggered so that a minimal number of persons will be assembled at one time. Courtrooms will operate at 25% capacity with seating areas marked to insure adequate distancing.
- Superior Court is also scheduling some civil matters. This is being done on a case by case basis and often with the consent of the parties.
- Juries and jury trials are cancelled.
- Grand Jury is cancelled.
- Criminal court search warrants, arrest warrants, initial appearances, and bond reviews will continue as needed.
- Domestic abuse temporary protective orders and restraining orders will continue as needed.
- To contact the Superior Court, call 706-613-3190.
TAX ASSESSOR’S OFFICE
- Public access will be provided on a limited basis based on capacity.
- For more information, visit www.accgov.com/taxassessor.
TAX COMMISSIONER’S OFFICE
- The Property Tax Office in the Courthouse and the Tag Office are open to the public during normal business hours with a limited number of people allowed inside at one time to meet physical distancing guidelines.
- For more information, visit www.accgov.com/tc or www.accgov.com/tagoffice.
- Transit will continue to operate fare-free at summer service levels with the last passenger drop-off at 7:00 p.m.
- All bus routes will continue to operate weekdays except Route 23 (Park & Ride) and Route 28 (College Station Express).
- Routes 12 & 14 will operate hourly.
- Standard weekend schedule of 10 routes on Saturday and Sunday.
- Riders must schedule weekend travel on Route 30 by Friday by calling 706-613-3430.
- The Multimodal Transportation Center (MMTC) building remains closed to the public. Transfers will continue at the covered bus bays at the MMTC.
- Transit is provided for essential travel to and from a destination. Continuous riding is prohibited.
- Hours of operation:
6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (last drop-off) Monday through Friday
7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (last drop-off) Saturday and Sunday
- Riders are requested to wear face covers. Face covers are available for riders who do not have their own.
- For detailed routes and time tables, visit accgov.com/transit.
TRANSPORTATION & PUBLIC WORKS
- Transportation and Public Works main office in the Dougherty Street Government Building will open for limited public access.
- Streets and Drainage and Traffic Engineering offices will continue to remain closed except by appointment.
- No cash will be accepted as a payment type.
- For more information, visit www.accgov.com/publicworks.
For additional information on schedule changes, visit department and office websites or the ACCGov Service Changes page through www.accgov.com/coronavirus.