Atlanta City Council approves $7 million in pandemic support funding

ATLANTA — The Atlanta City Council unanimously approved legislation during Monday’s remote meeting to transfer $7 million from the uncommitted fund balance to assist those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (Legislative Reference No. 20-O-1259). The funds will be used for the following:
• $1 million for children’s food programs
• $1 million for senior food programs
• $1 million for homeless preparedness and response activities
• $1.5 million for small business continuity
• $1 million for emergency purchase of technology required to execute full telework deployment for all non-essential employees
• $1.5 million for the city’s partners in the financial industry to provide emergency assistance to employees and hourly wage earners of businesses engaged with the City whose incomes are adversely impacted.
On March 15, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signed Executive Order 2020-06 by which the chief financial officer was ordered to allocate the $7 million in funds. On March 17, the Council ratified the executive order and approved a resolution authorizing the chief financial officer to make the allocations following emergency declarations by the federal and state governments. Monday’s approval of 20-O-1259 formally adopts the appropriation of funds per the city’s Code of Ordinances.
The Council also approved legislation declaring Atlanta as a Vision Zero city and amending the City’s Code of Ordinances to reduce speed limits and make other traffic safety-related amendments, including the installation of bicycle routes and lanes (Legislative Reference No. 20-O-1239).
The Council also immediately approved a resolution urging all employees, businesses, residents and visitors in the city of Atlanta to wear a face covering while working, patronizing grocery stores, restaurants or other essential businesses.
“The use of face masks has been recommended to help prevent the continued spread of this virus,” said Council member Andrea Boone, who introduced the resolution. “This resolution is aimed at helping our community because when you put on a face mask, you’re really helping to protect everyone else around you.”
Other items immediately approved include:
• A resolution requesting that the city of Atlanta provide free COVID-19 testing to full-time and part-time employees of the city of Atlanta that may have been exposed to COVID-19 while performing their required job duties.
• A resolution requesting Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Governor Brian Kemp, Fulton County Chairman Robb Pitts, and DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond to establish “point of care” on-site testing facilities in low income areas within the city of Atlanta in order to protect minorities that are being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
• A resolution supporting Phase 4 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provides more relief for the COVID-19 pandemic.
• A resolution requesting the chief financial officer provide a report on the accounting of all federal and state funds the city of Atlanta has received or will receive to assist with battling the harmful effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.


• A resolution requesting the chief financial officer to provide the Atlanta City Council with an accounting of all emergency assistance to nonprofit and philanthropic organizations as part of the City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
• A resolution authorizing the Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Authority on behalf of the Stadium Neighborhoods Community Trust Fund Committee to award grants in a total amount not to exceed $250,000 to fund various community service projects to benefit the Atlanta neighborhoods of
Mechanicsville, Peoplestown, Pittsburgh, Summerhill and Grant Park.
Council members introduced several items for consideration in committee meetings next week, including:
• A resolution establishing a 60-day plan for addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals experiencing homelessness who congregate at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
• A resolution requesting the mayor or her designee and the interim corrections chief to allocate space at the Atlanta City Detention Center to serve as a homeless shelter during the period of the governor’s executive order to shelter in place and for the city of Atlanta to establish partnerships with Partners for Home Inc., The Gateway Center, and other appropriate organizations for operations and services.
• A resolution requesting the chief health officer of the city of Atlanta to collect demographic data of COVID-19 patients within the city of Atlanta from the Fulton County Board of Health,  DeKalb County Board of Health,  Georgia Department of Public Health, and/or any other reputable source, such as hospitals within the city of Atlanta and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and to submit this data to the Atlanta City Council every two weeks until the COVID-19 pandemic is resolved for the purposes of informing the Council as they make critical policy and funding decisions during this health crisis.
• An ordinance ratifying Executive Order 2020-32 postponing the meeting of any City board, authority, commission, committee, or other similar bodies pursuant to Section 3-401 of the City Charter until City Hall and other City facilities reopen to the public.
• An ordinance ordering the mayor’s Office of Special Events and the Department of Parks and Recreation to refuse to accept new applications for permits or sub-permits for or relating to events held in the city governed by Chapter 142 of the Code of Ordinances and ordering the Atlanta Police Department to refuse to accept new applications for special events governed by Chapter 10, Article II, Division 3 of the Code of Ordinances.
• A resolution urging Invest Atlanta to implement a policy to forgive all loans provided to small businesses from the Business Continuity Loan Fund, which was established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
• A resolution directing Invest Atlanta to defer all start-up loans issued between Sept. 14, 2019 and March 14, 2020 for a minimum of one year and to extend the loan terms set forth in each loan for eight to 10 years to allow for the sustainability of the start-up.
• An ordinance amending the city’s Code of Ordinances to require all food establishments utilizing delivery services to seal food with a time-stamped seal.
• A resolution to urge the city of Atlanta to support local businesses and shorten the supply chain by locally sourcing COVID-19 related equipment and supplies from local businesses and suppliers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency.
• An ordinance ratifying Executive Order 2020-33 calling on the Atlanta Housing Authority, Atlanta BeltLine Inc., Fulton County/City of Atlanta Land Bank Authority, Invest Atlanta, Partners for Home, and the City of Atlanta’s Department of Grants and Community Development to institute a temporary moratorium on residential evictions and filings for a period of 60 days.
• A resolution authorizing the City of Atlanta to accept donations in support of the performance of its functions during the COVID-19 pandemic from individuals, entities, and organizations of cash, goods, and services in a total amount not to exceed $5 million through Dec. 31, 2020.
• An ordinance ratifying Executive Order 2020-30 to authorize the implementation of a supplement to the Hazard Pay Policy established pursuant to Administrative Order 2020-08 for frontline city of Atlanta employees working in areas necessary for the elimination or reduction of immediate threats to life, public health, or safety due to the continuing COVID-19 disaster, and whose work could expose them to the coronavirus.

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