Clarkston City Council adding sidewalks on Rowland and Rogers Streets

The Clarkston City Council at its April 6 meeting

Clarkston, GA — The Clarkston City Council approved three changes to the Rowland Street pedestrian enhancements and trailhead project to add more sidewalks, modify curbing and do repaving work.

On Jan. 12, the city approved the project and awarded the bid to Sol Construction in the amount of about $1.08 million. The associated cost of the changes is $760,004, bringing the total project cost to about $1.84 million. The majority of the funding for this project comes from the city’s current special purpose local option sales tax, City Manager Robin Gomez said.

The changes include adding a sidewalk on Rowland Street from North Indian Creek to Lovejoy.

On the south side of Rowland Street, the engineering firm, Collaborative Infrastructure Services, plans to reset the granite curb and raise it by a few inches, said Larry Kaiser, an engineer with Collaborative Infrastructure Services, at the March 30 work session.

“We’re looking at changing out drainage structures, old pipes that are corroded, relocating mailboxes closer to the road when we’re resetting the granite curb, and also adding some benches and trash containers as well,” Kaiser said.

The project also includes adding a sidewalk on Rogers Street from Market Street to North Indian Creek, paving and construction of two driveways in the Methodist Parking Lot, and removing the Hill Street raised landscape median and new granite curb.

Hill Street will be repaved and angled parking will be added on the east side of the street and double yellow striping will be painted for a two-lane road.

— In other business, COVID-19 vaccine appointments are available at the Clarkston Community Center this week, Gomez said. The COVID-19 testing site run by CORE is offering the Johnson and Johnson vaccine to those 18 and older.

Appointments are available on Thursday, April 8 and Friday, April 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Clarkston Community Center, 3701 College Ave. Appointments must be made ahead of time online.

Appointments are also available on Wednesday, April 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Avondale Estates First Baptist Church, 47 Covington Highway. Appointments can be scheduled online.

Interpretation will be available in the following languages: Amharic, Arabic, Burmese, English, French, Karen, Kinyarwanda, Kurdish, Lingala, Malay, Nepali, Oromo, Portuguese, Rohingya, Spanish, Swahili, Tigrinya and Zulu, according to the city’s Facebook page.

— The City Council postponed the vote on an amendment related to new licenses permitted for retail delivery businesses to sell and deliver packaged beer, malt beverages and wine in the city.

Gopuff requested this change. The business delivers food and drinks, cleaning supplies, home needs, over-the-counter medication, etc, and is a delivery only business. Gopuff’s Clarkston location requested the amendment so it can begin delivering beer and wine as a retail delivery shop.

According to the agenda packet, Gopuff would like the following language added to the ordinance: “Retail Delivery Shop means a retail establishment, which is engaged in the retail sale of food products, household goods and other sundry items for delivery only, that has a total interior floor area of not more than 10,000 square feet.”

Currently, the city has a moratorium on new licenses for the sale of packaged beer, malt beverages and wine unless the business is a growler shop, specialty wine shop or a grocery store, and Gopuff doesn’t qualify as one of those types of businesses.

The moratorium went into effect in July 2016 as a way to limit the types of businesses that were selling alcohol in the city. The City Council decided to push the vote until May to allow more time to learn about the moratorium and assess any impact to the city’s existing brick and mortar businesses by allowing Gopuff to deliver alcoholic beverages given the moratorium.

— The City Council also adopted a resolution in response to the recent murders of eight people at three massage parlors in metro Atlanta. Six of the eight victims were Asian women.

“Now therefore, be it resolved by the Mayor and City Council of the City of Clarkston, Georgia, that this governing body forcefully condemns violence and harassment of members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and will work to ensure that AAPI people feel safe and welcome in our city – both during this COVID-19 pandemic and beyond,” the resolution says.

The City Council aims to ensure that the Asian American community, and all communities, in Clarkston know that they are supported, especially in light of recent events and violence toward the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

“We wanted to make sure that we let our community know that we are in support of our Asian American communities and as a community of a welcoming city we want to make sure that our residents know that we do not have hate in our city and we don’t have room for hate in our city,” Mayor Beverly Burks said

Eyasu agreed and added that when a major event happens communities can be targeted, like how after 9/11 the Muslim community was targeted.

“Then you have COVID-19 and then you have Asian Americans being targeted,” Eyasu said. “I just want to say it’s really sad that an entire community is blamed for a disease and an entire community is blamed for acts of a few individuals. This is definitely not something we welcome in our city, in our welcoming city.”

The City Council will meet next on April 27 for a work session at 7 p.m. via Zoom.

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