A push to reopen Rome and Floyd County government buildings for face-to-face contact with the public will get its first test run Tuesday morning.
The Rome-Floyd Joint Services Committee is set to hold an in-person meeting at 8 a.m. in the Floyd County Administration Building, 12 E. Fourth Ave. It comes nearly three months after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of public buildings and led to contactless interactions between residents and government officials.
A portion of Tuesday’s meeting will be spent discussing the best ways for the city and county to begin allowing the public more access to government buildings.
The meeting is open to the public and will be held in the Community Room, which hosts the regular meetings of the Floyd County Commission. All in attendance will be spaced six feet apart to follow social distancing guidelines and it is recommended attendees wear a face mask.
County Manager Jamie McCord said they are looking to hold more committee meetings in person starting this month — but they will follow the instructions from both the governor and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Aside from health precautions, the meeting will have to abide by Gov. Brian Kemp’s recent order that allows gatherings of up to 25 people. It supersedes a previous limit of 10.
“Our goal for June was to try and get back to normal. We expect people will be wearing masks, and that’s OK. We want everybody to feel comfortable and feel safe,” McCord said.
He said if more than 25 people show up for the meeting it will be rescheduled as a virtual meeting through a web-based conferencing app like Zoom. That’s how both the city and the county have conducted select meetings since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.
“We’re obviously going to have to go with more caution with visitors and guests coming in,” McCord said.
He said he expects some discussion about the city and county commissions holding their June meetings in person, with the chance for public attendance. McCord said having the ability to continue business through virtual meetings has been useful, but it is not accessible to everyone.
“Everybody doesn’t have the opportunity to log in and participate through Zoom and we are very conscious of that,” McCord said. “People need to have the opportunity to participate in public meetings. But we also have to follow all of the guidelines and the governor’s rules to keep our employees, and staff, and visitors as safe as possible.”
The committee will also hear about the possible reopening of the Rome-Floyd Recycling Center. McCord said they are taking things “day-to-day” but hope to have some operations start back this week.
The agenda also includes an update on elections, as well as recreation and trails.