NORTH FULTON, Ga. — Roswell and Alpharetta officials took measures last week to keep public facilities closed for the time being.
On April 28, Roswell Mayor Lori Henry updated to her April 13 executive order to reiterate that some city parks and buildings will be inaccessible to the public. These facilities areas include athletic facilities, park parking lots, outdoor gym equipment, playgrounds, Old Mill Park at Vickery Creek, the Heart of Roswell Park, Barrington Hall and its grounds, and Bulloch Hall.
The decision is in line with Gov. Brian Kemp’s previous statewide shelter-in-place executive orders, Henry said.
The statewide order expired after April 30 but remains in place for high-risk populations through Georgia’s Public Health State of Emergency, which is in place through May 13.
Meanwhile, the Alpharetta City Council held a special session April 30 to reenact portions of its emergency order which was set to end that same day.
The council unanimously passed a resolution to continue closure of public buildings and park facilities until the end of May. Walking trails and the Big Creek Greenway remain open to pedestrians who practice social distancing measures. The City Green is closed.
Alpharetta officials also extended deadlines for renewal of occupational taxes and payments of excise taxes related to the sale of alcohol.
The new document does allow the city administrator, in consultation with the City Council to begin a phased opening of some government buildings before the end of May.
“We’re working on a phased plan for reopening facilities and reintroducing city employees to the workplace,” Assistant City Administrator James Drinkard said.
In Roswell, Mayor Henry said extending the closure of city facilities is based in part on the fact that when they were open, people were not following best practices and social distancing guidelines.
“Our wonderful parks and their facilities are a regional draw that bring many people from outside of the city,” she said. “We found that people were not following the CDC guidelines. My number one priority as mayor of Roswell is to protect the health, safety and welfare of our citizens.”
Roswell is monitoring Georgia Department of Health and the Fulton County Board of Health data daily as well as following the White House’s “Guidelines for Opening up America Again.”
Once the shelter-in-place order is fully lifted, Henry said she will revisit the possibility of reopening some public amenities.
“I understand how frustrating this whole situation is,” she said. “We all want to get back to our lives the way they were before this pandemic. If we follow public health guidelines, we will get through this sooner rather than later. We are all in this together. Let’s keep our community safe and healthy.”