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Americus Mayor and City Council recommend emergency sick pay be extended to end of March, 2021

The Mayor and City Council of Americus met for their regular meeting on Thursday, January 21, 2021. In their discussion, they gave the human resources department their approval for extending emergency sick pay for employees until 3/31/21. The emergency pay is for those who have tested positive or been exposed to the virus and must be quarantined. Without the emergency funding the employee would have to utilize their personal sick or leave time and there is concern that such a predicament would make the employee apprehensive to admit they needed to take the sick time. Conversation about vaccinations also took place. While recognizing there is no intent to require the vaccination, there was a consensus that education and encouragement to partake in the vaccine was needed. Several of the council members expressed their experience with the vaccination and reported they had no symptomology secondary to the administration of the shot.

Three residents appeared before the council to speak on how they view the council as well as some issues they would like to see the council address. Nichole Buchanan of the Americus Times-Recorder presented an explanation on what to expect out of the city’s legal organ. She also offered each member the opportunity to reserve editorial space in the paper should they like to address their constituents in such a manner.

Voting items were on approving an events center ordinance, which passed 4-2, with Lou Chase and Charles Christmas voting against the ordinance primarily because it offers no enforcement protocol, and they remain concerned of the alcohol portion of the ordinance. Chase also expressed concern that the Americus Police Department would be strapped with additional duties at events held.

The other items were second and final readings of rezoning requests. Property located at 1209 Crawford Street was rezoned from Residential 1 to Commercial 1. Property located at 151 Mayo street was also rezoned from Residential 1/Institutional 1 to Commercial 1.

Lastly, the council made several new or renewed appointments to authorities and boards of the city. In closing the meeting, senior council member, Lou Chase announced she will not be seeking re-election for her district. In addition to Chase, Mayor Barry Blount will also not being seeking re-election.