Thursday, July 9, 2009

Atlanta: City Buildings Reopen on Fridays---July 10, 2009

City furloughs end this Friday, and here is an update that may be helpful to residents and visitors.

All City departments at City Hall, City Hall East and the Atlanta Municipal Court will be open on Fridays.


· The funds generated by the property tax increase will allow Atlanta Police Department (APD) and Atlanta Fire Rescue (AFR) to eliminate furloughs and fill all positions authorized in the budget. There are some vacancies right now (there are always vacancies, since people retire, quit, get fired etc all the time) but both APD and AFR have recruitment strategies in place to ensure that vacancies are filled expeditiously.
· E911 services have already been upgraded due to the move to the new center and the capabilities it provides. E911 management has a plan in place to fill the approximately 20 vacancies currently in the center, so we expect that the center will operate at full strength for most of the year. The city is also bringing in a consultant to provide a review of the policies and procedures to make sure we are allocating our staff appropriately and taking full advantage of the technology we have installed. That review will be completed this fall.
· APD and AFR have a large series of initiatives underway, as they always do, to improve public safety operations. In addition to the move to the new facilities (which will improve operational efficiencies and customer service, among other things), AFR is completing the renovation of several firehouses and adopting some new procedures in response to the ISO process. Fire Station 23 has reopened and is back in service, as well as another truck is assigned to Fire Station 12 on DeKalb Avenue.
· APD is completing the installation of the ICIS information management system, putting hand held devices into the hands of more officers to increase their efficiency, and have applied for stimulus funds which would –among other things – fund additional police officers and create a city wide video surveillance network.


· The Office of Parks will restore a five-day work week with a nine-day maintenance cycle instead of the 11-day maintenance cycle that took place during the furlough time period.


· There will be no changes to Solid Waste Services garbage collection.
· Effective September 14, 2009, Solid Waste Services will resume weekly collection of yard trimmings & recycling (on the same day as the scheduled trash garbage pickup.
· The Office of Transportation will:
1. Perform Emergency Sign installation 5 days/week.
2. Perform Construction Inspection 5 days/week.
3. Issue Permits 5 days/week.
4. Review site plans 5 days/week.
5. Offer parking enforcement utilizing a full staff 5 days/week.


· Scheduled inspections for code complaints will occur more timely due to field inspections being completed Fridays (versus postponing those inspections until the following Monday).
· Planners will resume attending NPU meetings every other month and as necessary, to present key departmental legislation, monitor the by-law approval process and the election of officers.
· The Bureau of Planning will continue to provide customer service to the public via the Planning Information Desk, staffed by Planners on a rotating basis. Due to a reduction in staffing, the hours of the Desk will be adjusted to allow for customer service, as well as allow Planners adequate time to complete other assigned duties.
· Permits and plans review will resume 5 days a week. The hours for obtaining permits will be 8:15 am to 4:30 pm to allow sufficient time for the customers to pay for their permits at the Finance Department on the first floor.
· Inspections will resume 5 days a week from 7:00 am to 3:45 pm. Special inspections for testing life safety systems can still be done on weekends or evening hours.
· Arborist and zoning inspections will be done daily from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.
· Homeowners’ permits can be done between 8:15 am -5:00 pm Monday-Friday.
· The Bureau of Housing will be open 8:15 am -5:00 pm Monday- Friday

Budget documents and related information are on the City’s homepage under the budget link
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