Dunwoody City Council will vote on an agreement to get $5.6 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds and an ordinance requiring face masks in public during a special called meeting on Aug. 19.

The meeting will start at 9 a.m. and be available on Zoom here.

The council will vote on an intergovernmental agreement between the city and DeKalb County to receive a portion of the county’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funds. The county has allotted $32.6 million of its CARES Act funds for its 12 cities.

CARES Act funds do not replace other city revenue streams and must comply with the federal guidelines for where the money can be spent, which mostly has to do with COVID-19 relief efforts.

The city plans to use $1 million of its CARES Act funds for economic grant relief programs;
about $633,000 is set for facility cleaning, ventilation upgrades and personal protective equipment; about $500,000 is set for hazard pay and COVID-related expenses; about 616,000 is set for vulnerable population grants such as food and daily cost assistance; and about $2.85 million for contingency.

The city was set to approve the agreement with the county at an Aug. 10 council meeting, but there were legal tweaks that needed to be worked out between the county and cities.

The council will also vote on an ordinance to mandate masks in public after Gov. Brian Kemp released an Aug. 15 emergency order that allows cities and counties to have a mask mandate in public and in consenting businesses under certain conditions and with limitations on penalties. The order extends through Aug. 31.

The city ordinance would require people to wear masks in public places, which includes everywhere but personal vehicles and residential properties, if social distancing is not possible.

Some other exceptions include while eating and drinking; for children under 10 years old; while complying with law enforcement; or for those with underlying health conditions.

A person violating the ordinance would first be given a warning then a possible fine of $25 on the first offense and no more than $50 for subsequent offenses, according to the ordinance. Business owners could not be penalized for customers who do not comply with the ordinance.

The ordinance would only be enforced if COVID-19 cases in DeKalb County over the past two weeks are equal to or greater than 100 cases per 100,000 people, based on data from the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Dunwoody previously passed a mask mandate on July 13 that included possible penalties higher than Kemp’s order allows, up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.

In July, Kemp claimed mask mandates were illegal contradictions of his previous emergency orders because they exceeded the state’s restrictions which only “strongly encouraged” mask-wearing. After that order, Dunwoody backed off enforcement of its first mask mandate.