Officials in Peachtree Corners and Lilburn declared states of emergency in recent days, joining a growing list of Gwinnett County cities who have done so as the outbreak of the coronavirus disease known as COVID-19 continues to spread in Georgia and around the world.
Peachtree Corners issues its declaration over the weekend and Lilburn's declaration was issued Monday night.
Lawrenceville, Norcross, Duluth, Dacula, Suwanee, Snellville, Auburn and Sugar Hill declared their own states of emergency last week. Gwinnett County and Gov. Brian Kemp have also declared states of emergency for the county and the state.
Peachtree Corners' declaration authorizes City Manager Brian Johnson, with approval from Mayor Mike Mason, to take actions deemed necessary to protect citizens of Peachtree Corners.
Johnson also has the ability to use single-source authority to make purchases for the city with the usual bidding and competitive portions of the city's purchasing policy suspended. He will be required to provide city leaders with written justification for those purchases, however.
The Peachtree Corners City Council, as well as other city boards, are authorized to conduct their meetings by teleconference. Other actions laid out in the emergency declaration include: authorization for restaurants that are license to sell alcohol to sell unopened bottles of beer and wine for on-site consumption; ordering city staff to work with applications seeking public hearings for matters, such as zoning requests, to minimize the impact of a delay in the city's ability to hold those hearings; and authorizing officials to extend regulatory permits that require a public hearing until a time when the hearing can be held.
Peachtree Corners has canceled a City Council meeting that had been scheduled for Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Lilburn's declaration lasts for 30 days and allows the mayor and City Council to enact emergency ordinances allowed under the "Emergencies" section — Section 2.24 — of the City Charter. It also authorizes the City Council to pursue a resolution to hold meetings by teleconference.
Although the emergency declaration only last 30 days — the maximum time frame allowed under the City Charter — the council can issue a second declaration at the end of that time if the COVID-19 situation has not improved.