COVID-19 Information

Monday, March 23, 2020

The Gadsden City Council is meeting as scheduled tomorrow Tuesday, March 24, 2020, with precautions and limitations to comply with the current public health order and recommendations in light of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. 

The 10 a.m. pre-Council work session and 11 a.m. City Council public meetings will be held on the first floor City Council Chambers. These meetings will be streamed on Facebook Live, and the City Council meeting will also be broadcast on City of Gadsden TV and uploaded to the YouTube channel.

The Council Chambers will be limited to 24 people total, with assigned seats that have been measured to be at least six feet apart. Members of local media organizations and participants in the scheduled public hearing will be given seating preference. The public may attend this meeting but is discouraged from attending in person due to the ongoing public health concerns. The Council Chambers and associated areas will be sanitized before and after the meeting. 

A teleconference has been established to allow council members to receive additional details and explanations from staff who attend the meeting during regular circumstances. 

Those with further questions or concerns can call the City Clerk's Office at 256-549-4517 or Public Affairs Office at 256-549-4590.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Gadsden, AL - The City of Gadsden is carefully monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In response to both the President's guidance to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people and the Governor's declaration of a State of Emergency, the City of Gadsden is closing buildings to the public, except for the first floor of Gadsden City Hall. 

We recognize that this situation is currently evolving and we will carefully monitor and modify our plans to address this changing situation to keep the public and our staff safe. Specific closures and plans for specialized public services will be updated.

"The health and safety of our citizens and staff are our first priority. We currently have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 here, but we expect that will change. Limiting and slowing the spread of this virus, through social distancing, good hygiene practices like handwashing, avoiding public gathering is important. We want to minimize the impact on our citizens, when possible. The city government and essential services, like public safety, garbage collection, and infrastructure maintenance will not stop" said Mayor Sherman Guyton. "We are taking every appropriate action, and planning for all contingencies but we need citizens to remain calm and use good judgment so that we can work through this situation as a community.”

The City of Gadsden is maintaining operations of important government services but taking deliberate and decisive action to slow and prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Local emergency managers and government leaders are using science-based, fact-based recommendations in close coordination with Federal, State, and Local Public Health subject matter experts. 

This is a rapidly changing situation, and our response will adapt to changing conditions. As a City and County, we will work in unity with a spirit of teamwork. By working together and following guidelines from public health experts, we will win this battle

Below is a list of city departments and agencies that are updating their policies, departments and procedures in light of the changing situation. This list in non-exhaustive and subject to change as conditions develop. 

City Government

City Hall will be closed to the public, except for the first floor for Revenue and Garbage Collection windows (using proper protective practices and equipment). While closed to the public all city departments are remaining active and can be contacted via email, phone or website. First responders including Gadsden Police, EMS, Gadsden Fire, and Gadsden Etowah Emergency Management Agency are continuing to respond to any and all calls for service. Garbage and trash service is continuing on schedule.

City offices remain open, although access to most offices will be limited. The City is making efforts to limit contact and reduce large group meetings. The City is working closely with the GECEMA to minimize risk to citizens. Residents are encouraged to access City services online via the City’s website at www.cityofgadsden.com. 

Public Safety Gadsden Police & Fire Department

CONTACT NON EMERGENCY: 256-549-4500

The City of Gadsden Police Department and Gadsden Fire Department remains fully active and responding to any and all calls for service. GPD is urging citizens to use caution and not gather in large groups in an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Citizens in need of transport or treatment for non-life threatening conditions (for example, fever or cough) should use personal vehicles or private ambulance services. For any life-threatening situations, please call 9-1-1. The non-emergency number is 256-549-4500

It is imperative that we keep our paramedics in service by minimizing unnecessary contact, so they may be available to respond to life-threatening situations. Please answer Dispatcher questions truthfully, so that they can take necessary precautions. 

If you have an emergency, please call 9-1-1. You can reach the Fire Department non-emergency operator at (256) 549-4566.

Public Works

CONTACT: 256-549-4704

The Recycling Center will be closed to the general public until further notice.

Commercial pickup by our employees where trailers are now will continue.

The C&D landfill and Transfer station will be closed to the general public.

Commercial carriers and contractors will be allowed to continue to dump.

All other services provided by Public Works. will continue where possible.

Building Department 

CONTACT: 256-549-4529

Building Permits are still being issued (including electrical, plumbing, HVAC, Gas): Contact Karen Dixon kdixon@cityofgadsden.com, 256-549-4529 or Beth Kerzic bakerzic@cityofgadsden.com, 256-549-4764

Rental Permits are still being issued (including electrical, plumbing, HVAC, Gas): Contact Karen Dixon kdixon@cityofgadsden.com, 256-549-4529 or Beth Kerzic bakerzic@cityofgadsden.com, 256-549-4764 

Engineering Department

CONTACT: 256-549-4520.

The Engineering Department is functioning as normal. Designs on future projects are progressing, existing construction projects are on-going, and calls/emails are being received and reviewed as normal pertaining to stormwater and roadway problems. 

Engineering Department and/or Planning Department contact #: 256-549-4520.

Planning Department

CONTACT: 256-549-4520.

The Planning Department will continue to provide services during this limited access period. Requests for plan submittal review, zoning, and certificate of appropriateness will be processed. Applications for zoning and certificate of appropriateness are available on the city website (Planning page). Although much of our interaction is in person, we will make every effort to accommodate as much as possible via telephone or e-mail.  

Questions may be directed to 256-549-4520 – zoning/plan review: tcody@cityofgadsden.com certificate of appropriateness: nhall@cityofgadsden.com

Community Development

CONTACT: 256-549-4532

During this limited access period, all housing repair applications will be done over the telephone.  No home visits or repairs will be performed at this time. Public service agencies that receive CDBG funds should continue to submit monthly reports and reimbursement requests through email. All other functions of the department will continue to operate as normal. 

Although much of our interaction is in person, we will make every effort to accommodate our citizens, as much as possible, via telephone or email. If you do not have email access or need to leave paperwork, it should be left on  the first floor of City Hall in the Community Development Drop Box.

For housing repair applications or questions regarding the housing repair program call 256-549-4532 or email cbush@cityofgadsden.com or dheflin@cityofgadsden.com.  Public service agencies may call 256-549-4532 or email cbush@cityofgadsden.com or rbaker@cityofgadsden.com. For general questions or information call 256-549-4532.

Downtown Gadsden Inc.

CONTACT: 256.547.8696

At the current time, the DGI office is open for business. We have canceled April's First Friday and have rescheduled the entertainment for later months. We will make a determination for May First Friday as we get through April and see how things are progressing.


Parks and Recreation

CONTACT: 256-549-4680

All Parks and Recreation Facilities are Closed, this includes but is not limited to:

Carver, East Gadsden, Elliott, Mitchell, Raymond Hill, Thompson, Walnut Park, and Banks Park Community Centers.

Downtown Civic Center.

Noccalula Falls Park and Campground. This includes Mini Golf and both playgrounds.

Moragne Park.

Coosa Landing Bait Shop and restrooms.

Gadsden Sports Complex. This includes Jack Gaston Coliseum, Tennis Complex, Weeks Field, and baseball/softball fields.

Elliott and Carver Senior Nutrition programs still will be open only to participants that meet and are approved through the East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission for delivery and drive-thru meal pick up.

Forrest Cemetery will be limited to close-outs only. This means that no graveside services will be allowed at the cemetery.

Passive parks and trails will remain open to the public but only for casual use with no group activities allowed. All individuals and parents should be made aware that all playground and outdoor courts have surfaces that cannot be sufficiently disinfected. Please use with caution. 

Postponed

Therapeutic Bowling Tournament - TBA

Therapeutic Programs- TBA

Special Olympics Track and Field - TBA

Adult Flag Football Tournament – June 28, 2020

Youth Baseball League – April 13, 2020

Baseball/Softball Tournaments- TBA

Youth Soccer League – March 29, 2020

Coosa Landing Super Bass Tournament

Smoke on the Falls – September 19, 2020

 

Canceled

Spring Break Camp

Spring Break Kid’s Preparedness Day

Spring Fling Event

Black Creek Archery Tournament

This is not the time for people to be gathering. All closings are to help assist the President’s guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It is important for everyone to get exercise and fresh air. Please if out in public follow all social distancing guidelines and CDC guidelines.

 

Public events

 All public events have been canceled or postponed at this time. However, we understand that some citizens may want to congregate in small groups. In those cases, the City of Gadsden encourages social distancing. Large gatherings not only put the community at risk for spreading COVID-19, they also put city staff at greater risk at a time when they are needed most.

Courts

All in-person judicial proceedings and appearances in Alabama are suspended through April 16, according to an order by the Alabama State Supreme Court.

The order applies to in-person proceedings in all state and local courts in Alabama: Circuit, district, juvenile, municipal probate, and appellate courts.

Schools

The City remains in communication and coordination with the Gadsden City School System, private schools and local higher education institutions.

Each school will be communicating directly with families on the steps and resources that will be provided to support ongoing student learning.

City Council District Meetings

All community and district meetings held by City Council members have been canceled. 

Boards and commissions

The Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment meetings in March have been canceled.

Guidelines for these Meetings will remain under review and may be subject to change in the coming days. 


Twin Bridges

Twin Bridges will be closed until further notice starting Wednesday, March 18 as part of the effort to control the spread of the Coronavirus. We will post further updates to our Facebook page and send updates via email to annual members and Senior/Player cardholders.

 

Gadsden Public Library Main and Branches 

• All locations of the Gadsden Public Library are closed to the public.

• We will be reopening tentatively on April 6, 2020.

• Library books will not be overdue until April 13, 2020

• Please check our Website/Facebook pages for information about online resources.

Effective Tuesday, March 17, the Gadsden Public Library (GPL) including the Main, East Gadsden and Alabama City branches will be temporarily closed to the public and will remain closed for a minimum of at least three weeks as a precaution to help limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). We hope to reopen on Monday, April 6th but will need to re-evaluate the situation as new information becomes available. We know that closing the library to our patrons will present a hardship to many of you so please let us know if specific library or information needs arise and we will do our very best to help you find answers or resolve your issues. Staff will continue to answer the phones during the closure. Main Library (256) 549-4699, Mon. thru Fri., 9 to 5 p.m. East Gadsden Branch (256) 549-4691, Mon. thru Fri., 9 to 5 p.m. Alabama City Branch (256) 549-4688, Mon. thru Fri., 9 to 5 p.m. We will also closely monitor the library’s email account at: gpl@gadsdenlibrary.org as well as GPL Facebook pages and will answer questions or messages you send to us. GPL has extensive collections of online services including eBooks, eAudiobooks, downloadable magazines and movies. Visit http://www.gadsdenlibrary.org for more information. If you need a library card to access our eResources, please call and a member of our staff will gladly set this up for you. Please do not return borrowed materials from March 17 until April 6. We will waive all fines and fees incurred during this period. For the safety of our staff, the book drops at all 3 of our locations will be sealed and locked. Do not leave items outside or you will be charged for their replacement costs. Simply keep your library materials and return them on or after April 6th

 

Gadsden Transit Services

CONTACT: 256-549-451

 Gadsden Transportation Department will suspend the Fixed Route Trolley Services & limit the DART Services to medical-related trips only, beginning Wednesday, March 18th until further notice. We will give sufficient notice & updates on returning to normal operations as they become available. 

Museums

The Gadsden Museum of Art will be closed to the public, and all programming suspended until further notice. . The schedule will be reassessed at that time.


The Gadsden/Etowah County Emergency Management Agency

The City is in active contact with administrators for the Etowah County Emergency Management Agency. For additional information from the EMA, please go to gecema.com.

211 

Gadsden-211 is continuing service during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Please remember to call 9-1-1 only for life-threatening emergencies. For everything else, call our non-emergency number :256-549-4500 and 211 for social service information like shelters, food pantries, help with utilities and other social needs.

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