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Outdoor Burn Ban Ends, But Still Limited in Gwinnett

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The annual ban on outdoor burning put in place by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division has now ended, but Gwinnett residents must still take precautions and check whether burning is allowed before burning yard debris or hosting bonfires.

The annual summer ban restricts open burning in metro Atlanta and larger counties between May 1 and September 30 to comply with Federal Clean Air Regulations. 

Even though the ban is now lifted, burning may still be restricted on a given day due to weather conditions and in accordance with High Fire Danger Warnings from the National Weather Service or Red Flag Warnings from the Georgia Forestry Commission. Recent drought conditions may also impact when and if outdoor burning is allowed.    

Residents who wish to burn limited amounts of yard debris are allowed to do so between October 1 and April 30, but are required to follow County ordinance restrictions that cover all types of outdoor burning.  Residents should review the outdoor burning ordinance and take required safety precautions before burning to reduce the potential risks of outdoor burning.

The types of fires that are allowed without a permit are:

  • The burning of leaves, limbs, and natural vegetation that may fall on one’s property.
  • Fires for the purpose of keeping warm when the outdoor temperature is 50-degrees or less.
  • Fires for the purpose of cooking food for human consumption.
  • Recreational fires in commercially available chimineas or outdoor fireplaces.

The types of fires that require written permits from Gwinnett County Fire Plan Review are:

  • Land clearing pit fires.
  • Bonfires.

The following general rules govern all outdoor burning:

  • Never leave an outdoor fire unattended.
  • Have a water hose or other means available to control the fire.
  • The Fire Marshal’s Office may temporarily prohibit any and/or all outdoor fires.
  • Burning is not permitted when prevailing winds are predicted to be, or are, in excess of 15 miles per hour, when the National Weather Service issues a Red Flag Warning or a Fire Weather Watch, or during an air pollution episode, such as an air pollution alert, warning or emergency declared by proper authorities. You also must wait at least 24-hours (one-day) following the passage of a cold front before burning.
  • No burning of solid waste or household garbage is allowed. No burning of any materials that emit a heavy dark smoke, such as rubber products, oils, roofing material and petroleum-based products, etc.
  • No burning when smoke presents a health hazard to persons near the fire.
  • No burning within 25-feet of a property line.
  • No burning shall be conducted within 20 feet of flammable or combustible materials (inclusive of homes, outdoor structures and decks) or in close proximity of explosive materials unless otherwise specified by the Fire Marshal’s Office.
  • No outdoor burning of limbs, leaves and yard debris is allowed on Sundays or at night. Any burning limbs, leaves or yard debris must be completely extinguished by nightfall.
  • Compliant bonfires, cooking fires and recreational fires in chimineas and outdoor fireplaces    may be burned at any time provided all other criteria and restrictions are applied.

In addition to the rules listed above, there are certain times during the outdoor burning period that may be designated as a “NO BURN” day due to weather conditions or Red Flag Warnings from the Georgia Forestry Commission. Outdoor burning may also be restricted in certain areas of the county where a medical burn ban area has been established.

Visit www.gwinnettfiremarshal.comfor more information and to see a brochure covering safe burning practices for outdoor and open burning. You can also contact the Gwinnett Fire Community Risk Reduction Division-Fire Marshal’s Office at (678) 518-4980 and select Option 3 for the Burn Information Line, or call the outdoor burn line at (678) 518-4979. Information on outdoor burning is updated daily by 9 a.m. both online and through the outdoor burn line.

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Community

Waste Management suspends pick-up of bulk, yard waste, and anything outside of the carts

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waste management

Due to reduced staffing levels, Waste Management will be limiting certain services so that they can focus their remaining staff on trash collection. These changes are effective Monday, March 30 and continue until further notice.

  1. Drivers will not be able to get out of their trucks to collect items sitting outside the trash or recycling carts. Only what is in the carts will be collected.
  2. Yard waste services and bulk item pickup is temporarily suspended. These items will not be collected. (Yard waste fees will be credited back to your account by Waste Management for as many weeks as the service is suspended.)
  3. As always, please place your carts at the curb and away from your mailbox to make it easy for the robot arm to reach them. If your mailbox is on the right side of your driveway, put the carts on the left side (and vice versa).

    Above source: Councilman Eric Christ

Waste Management Notice:

Waste Management has significantly reduced its field work force in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, effective Monday March 30, Waste Management will be suspending pick-up of bulk, yard waste, and anything outside of the carts until further notice. Pick up of solid waste and recycling carts will continue as normal. Thank you for your patience and understanding

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City Government

Q & A on Stay-at-Home Order from the Mayor

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covid-19 stay-at-home q&a

The Emergency Order becomes effective March 28

On March 17 there were 7 cases of COVID-19 in Gwinnett County. Ten days later there were 78. The very next morning there were 83. More compelling, there is a 6 to 7-day delay in getting test results, plus testing is limited to only first responders, medical personnel, and sick people. I think you get the point. As a result, when the County asked all the Cities to join them in a stay at home order, our Council was unanimous in support.

This decision was not made impulsively or without due regard for the impact on our business community. You should know by now how business-friendly we are. Rather we chose to find that balance between your health and your paycheck that we thought was in everyone’s best interest. We will do what we can for our businesses separately. For now, our health is paramount.

What is a stay at home order? Below you’ll find a basic, simplified Q&A that walks you through what it means. Please note, this list is intended as a living document. We expect lots of questions and clarifications, so do not hesitate to contact us at info@peachtreecornersga.gov, or mmason@peachtreecornersga.gov with your questions. We’ll update the Q&A as things change.   

Most importantly, take this seriously. STAY HOME. We’ll be back to concerts on the Town Green before you know it.     

Stay-at-Home Q&A

Q: Does this mean I must stay inside my home/apartment all the time?

A: No, the Emergency Order directs everyone to stay in their place of residence unless they leave their homes for an essential activity.

Q: What are essential activities?

A: Essential activities include:

·        Grocery shopping (including restaurant takeout), picking up medical supplies or medication, visiting a health care professional or to obtain supplies needed to work from home, or to go to your place of work, only if it’s an essential business (which provides an essential activity).  

·        Outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, running, bicycling, and other physical activities, as long as you comply with the social distancing requirements (remain at least 6 feet apart from those other than your immediate family).

·        You may also leave to care for a family member or pet in another household.

Q: What is an essential business?

A: Essential businesses include:

·        Medical facilities, grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, veterinary clinics, pet supply, fresh meats, fish and poultry and any other household consumer projects such as cleaning and personal care products.

·        Restaurants that offer food only through delivery, takeout, or drive-thru. 

·        Establishments that sell alcoholic beverages can sell unopened bottles of liquor or wine, or new sealed growlers, curbside to takeout customers only.  

·        Businesses and other organizations that provide food, shelter and social services and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals.

·        Banks and related financial institutions.

·        Hardware stores

·        Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, lawn service, cleaning services, and other service providers necessary to maintaining safety, sanitation and the essential operation of residences

·        Mailing and shipping services including post office boxes

·        Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers

·        Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home

·        Businesses that deliver groceries, food, goods, or services directly to residences,

·        Airlines, taxis, and other private transportation services providing transportation for essential activities

·        Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children

Q: What is essential travel? 

A: Any travel related to an essential activity, essential business or essential government functions. All other travel is restricted.

Q: Can businesses stay open as long as they comply with the 6-foot social distancing rule?

A: No, only essential businesses providing essential services may remain open.

Q: Can my children play with my neighbor’s children?

A: Only if they maintain the social distancing requirement of 6 feet.

Q: Can I socialize with my neighbors outdoors as long as we remain 6 feet apart?

A: Yes, but remember, this Local Emergency Order is necessary to protect the health and well-being of all who live and work in our city. This is temporary, we will get through this tough period, there will be plenty of opportunities to socialize if we all work together.

Q: Is the Town Green open? Can I take my family there?

A: Yes, the Town Green is open, however, the playground and restrooms will remain closed during the pandemic. Please remember to maintain the 6-foot social distance requirement.

Q: How long will this Emergency Order be in place?

A: This Emergency Order became effective at 12:01 a.m. on March 28, 2020 and will continue to be in effect until 11:59 p.m. on April 12, 2020. It may be extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended by the Mayor and City Council.

Q: The Department of Public Health has ordered that certain higher-risk population remain quarantined or shelter in place for 14 days. Who are considered at higher risk?

A: Individuals 60 and older and those who are medically fragile such as those who are undergoing cancer treatments, have heart and lung conditions, asthma, and other serious health conditions that put them at risk if exposed to the coronavirus.

Q: Is it OK to attend drive-in church services? 

A: While we understand the desire of local churches to gather in worship, we encourage our churches to abide by local limits on social gatherings. Many of the large COVID-19 outbreaks occurring across our nation are directly linked to places of worship and similar social gatherings. The existing state of emergency prohibits gatherings of 10 or more people, which includes weddings, funerals, and church services. This would include a drive-in church scenario.    

Q: Does this Emergency Order include a curfew? 

A: No, this emergency order does not include a curfew.

Q: What is the best source for finding ways to protect me and my family during the pandemic?

A: Every day the Georgia Department of Health Services (DPH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Gwinnett County Health Department issue updated guidelines and information related to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

These sources are the best place to get the facts and get your questions answered. The city urges all citizens to visit these websites on a regular basis. These are the health experts who have the expertise to provide the guidance you need to keep you and your family safe.

If you want regular updates delivered to you via email, the CDC offers a subscription to an e-newsletter that provides important COVID-19 updates. To subscribe visit the CDC website and select the link labeled “Sign up for emails from CDC” located near the bottom right side of the page or use this link: https://tools.cdc.gov/campaignproxyservice/subscriptions.aspx?topic_id=USCDC_2067

Q: Is there a phone number that I can call if I have questions about the coronavirus?

A: For health questions, please keep these important telephone numbers handy:

• Georgia Department of Public Health: 404-657-2700 (information); 24/7 Public Health Emergency Line: 1-866-782-4584)

• Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 1-800-232-4636 • Gwinnett County Health Department: 770-339-4260

• The State of Georgia has a new COVID-19 hotline: 1-844-442-2681

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Community

Simpson Staff Parade [Photos]

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SImpson Elementary School

In case you missed it we’re sharing pictures from Simpson Elementary School’s Staff Parade from Friday, March 27th.

According to Principal Taffeta Connery:

There are not enough words to express how much the Simpson Staff Parade meant to our community today!  Your generosity of time, warm caring signs, smiling faces and heart felt waves meant the word to our families. We had approximately 70 staff and family members in attendance (even fur babies). 

Community members who did not even have children in the neighborhood commented, “This act of kindness has MOVED me to tears, very INSPIRATIONAL to see!” 

A student stated, “This was the best part of my week!”

Parents said, “We needed this! Are kids miss seeing their teachers.”

A TREMENDOUS “THANK YOU” goes out to Ms. Kathryn Arnold!  She approached me with this idea only 3 days ago and all I had to do is say, “yes!”  Thank you Kathryn for planning this special day for us and I THANK everyone who participated by making our Simpson Staff Parade so incredibly successful!!! 

The smiles you placed on your students faces today, “priceless!” 🙂

With the deepest of gratitude, Taffeta   #NorossStrong#gcps2020

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