Frequently Asked Questions

City of Americus

Click categories to see frequently asked questions and answers.

Abandoned Vehicle

To whom do I report an abandoned or stored vehicle that has been in the same location on a public street or on property for more than 72 hours?

Contact the Code Enforcement Officer at (229) 924-7111 or use the Abandoned Vehicle request form (Form #96) to submit a request to the City for investigation. The on-site check of the vehicle may take up to one week from the receipt of the initial request. 

Alcoholic Beverage Licences

What are the normal business hours of the alcoholic beverage license department?

The Customer Service desks at 1404 E. Forsyth Street are open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Representatives can also be reached by phone (229) 924-4411 or fax (229) 924-4027 Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

How can I obtain an alcoholic beverage license?

Please contact the Customer Service Representative for licensing requirements and application at (229) 924-4411. The office is located at the Customer Service Center at 1404 E. Forsyth Street, Americus, GA. 

What does an alcoholic beverage license cost?

Beer License Only

$    250.00

Wine License Only

$    300.00

Beer/Wine License

$    550.00

Mixed Drinks/Liquor

$ 5,000.00

Beer, Wine, Mixed Drinks/Liquor

$ 5,000.00 

 

How can I renew my alcoholic beverage license?

Renewal applications are mailed to all business owners each year. If you failed to receive a renewal application by mail you may obtain one by contacting the Customer Service Representative at (229) 924-4411.

Boards and Commissions Questions

Who is on the Historic Preservation Commission?

Sandra Murray, Meda Krenson, Jim Littlefield, Lane Tyson, Anthony Dragoin, Charles Crisp and Oneida Ingram 

Who is on the Board of Planning & Zoning?

Cal Anderson, Albert Cooper, Kim Egleseer, Bill Harris, Len Hicks, Karl Wilson and Charlotte Cotton 

Who is on the Variance Board?

Kitty Mays, Willie Golphin, Thomas Jordan, Wade Bartlett, and Jim Norris 

Business License Questions

What are the normal business hours for the business license department?

The Customer Service desks at 1404 E. Forsyth Street are open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Representatives can also be reached by phone (229) 924-4411 or fax (229) 924-4027 Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. 

Does the City require a business license?

Yes. The City requires that all businesses within the city limits maintain a valid business license. Contact the Finance Department at  (229) 924-4411 for information.

How do I renew my business license?

Renewal applications are mailed to all business owners on/before January 15th of each year. If you fail to receive a renewal application by mail contact the department at (229) 924-4411.

Do I need to have my business license renewed every year?

Yes. Renewals are due on/before March 15th of each year. 

Can I run a business out of my home?

Yes. You can run certain types of businesses out of your home with the proper paperwork. You can print the  Business License application and complete prior to your call/visit. Please visit/contact the Customer Service Center within the Finance Department located at 1404 E Forsyth Street, Americus, GA 37109 or call (229) 924-4411 to get this process started. 

What do I need to do to start a business in a commercial location in the City?

The City requires that all businesses within the city limits maintain a valid business license. The process begins with the  Finance Department at our Customer Service Center located at 1404 E. Forsyth Street.   The Customer Service center hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Representatives can also be reached by phone (229) 924-4411 or fax (229) 924-4027 Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00.

A Certificate of Occupancy is required as well for all new and existing businesses located in the City of Americus. Businesses that are changing names, changing ownership, or moving to a new location must also obtain a Certificate of Occupancy. This certificate is required before you can legally occupy a building and conduct business operations. The owner MUST contact the Plannind and Inspection Department to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy (229) 924-4411. You MUST have a Certificate of Occupancy in hand prior to the business license being approved.

If my business is located outside the City, do I need a business license to do business inside the City limits?

No. The City does not require a business license for businesses located outside the Americus city limits. 

Employment Questions

What positions are currently available?

Open positions are posted on the website, with the Labor Department and in the Americus Times Recorder.  Click here to go to Employment Opportunities. 

How do I apply for a position?

An application can be picked up from the Human Resources Department, located at 101 West Lamar Street, Americus, GA 31709 or downloaded from this link  

What forms are required to apply for a position with the City?

An application and consent form must be submitted if you are to be considered for employment. Clearly state the position applied for on the application. Employment and consent forms may NOT be completed and submitted online. Instead, download and print, then either fax to (229) 924-2012 or mail the completed copies to the Human Resources Department, 101 West Lamar Street, Americus, GA 31709.  Click here to download information about application and instructions needed to complete the process. 

What benefit options are available from the City of Americus?

The City of Americus offers a comprehensive benefits package including retirement, medical, dental, vision, short and long term disability, life insurance, paid time off, tuition reimbursement and several other supplemental products.

Lot Cleaning Questions

How do I report property that is overgrown or full of trash?

Call Code Enforcement at (229) 924-7111 and make sure you have a good address or directions to the property so it can be investigated.

How do I know if the property meets the city standards for un-kept property?

Call Code Enforcement at (229) 924-7111 and the property will be checked. If the property does not meet city standards, the process to get it cleaned will start.

Do I have to give my name when making reports?

No, you do not need to give your name; however, all information is kept as confidential as possible.

Natural Gas Department Questions

Who do I call if I think there is a gas leak?

If you think there is a gas leak, call Natural Gas Services at (229) 924-7224 between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm Monday to Friday. After hours contact 911.

Police Department Questions

How do I obtain a copy of a police report?

All police reports are released in accordance with the Georgia Opens Records Act. Americus Police Reports are available from the police department. Accident reports can only be issued to the person(s) or insurance companies named in the report. If you request a report, only the original occurrence (incident) report and charge sheets can be released until the case has been adjudicated. Basic police reports are usually free and can be obtained by e-mail, fax, or in person.

How do I find out how much a traffic citation will cost?

You may call (229) 924-3677 and ask for Records. The Records Clerk will be able to advise how much the ticket will cost. 

Where do I go to pay my traffic citation?

All fines are paid at the Americus Police Department, 119 South Lee Street. On the traffic citation, you are given a date that the citation must be paid by. If you do not pay the citation by that day, then you must show up for court or your drivers license will be suspended. You may pay your fine by cash, money order or cashiers check. For further information, please go to www.americuscourt.com

Can I make an incident report at anytime or do I need an appointment?

Reports can be made at anytime day or night. You must dial 911 anytime you need to speak to an officer. The dispatcher will ask some questions prior to sending a police officer to your home or business.

Can I make an incident report over the telephone or does an officer have to come to my house?

Some reports can be taken over the telephone. However, it is best if an officer meets with you in order to get all the information needed for the report. Dial 911 and request the dispatcher to send an officer to your location.  

Should I report suspicious activities in my neighborhood?

Yes, police officers cannot be everywhere in the community all of the time and we depend upon concerned citizens to report unusual or criminal behavior. Only you know what is suspicious for your area. If something doesn't look right, it probably isn't. Contact 911 and they will ask questions about the activity and descriptions of the persons involved. You may be asked if an officer can contact you, but you can refuse to meet with an officer. However, it is important that you call the police.

Is there a curfew in Americus?

Yes. City Ordinance requires juveniles under the age of fourteen (14) be home between the hours of 9:00 pm and 6: 00 am, and juveniles between the ages of fourteen (14) and seventeen (17) years of age be at home between the hours of 12:01 am and 5:30 am. If the juvenile is out with a parent or guardian, or coming home from a school function, they must comply with the curfew. If the juvenile is on probation with the Department of Juvenile Justice System, they may have a curfew earlier than 9:00 pm.

If I'm going out of town, can the police watch my house?

Yes, you must come to the Police Department at 119 South Lee Street and fill out a security check sheet and give the dates when you will be gone. 

How do I make a complaint against a police officer?

You can contact the Police Department, between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm at (229) 924-3677 and ask to speak to the internal affairs office. 

What are the qualifications for a Police Officer position?

  1. High School Diploma or GED

  2. Twenty-one (21) years of age

  3. United States citizen

  4. Valid driver's license

  5. No Felony convictions 

Where can I get fingerprints taken and how much is the service?

Fingerprinting is done at the Americus Police Department, 119 South Lee Street by appointment ONLY. Call the Police Department Administrative Services Division at (229) 924-3677 to make an appointment.  There will be no charge if you supply your own fingerprint cards. There is a $15.00 fee if a fingerprint card must be provided by the police department. There is no charge for non-profit organizations and government agencies.

Property Tax Questions

What are the normal business hours of the property tax department?

The Customer Service desks at the Customer Service Center at 1404 E Forsyth Street are open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Representatives can also be reached by phone (229) 924-4411 or fax (229) 924-4027 Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. 

When are property taxes billed and when are payments due?

The City of Americus bills property tax twice a year. The first half is billed July 1st and due September 1st.. The second half is billed on/before October 20th and due December 20th. 

How can I pay my property taxes?

You can pay your taxes at the the Customer Service Center at 1404 East Forsyth Street, Americus, GA. The City accepts cash, checks, money orders and all major credit cards. You can also pay on-line with a credit card, click here. We also offer bank draft services, for more information please contact our office at (229) 924-4411. 

Does the City apply late fees or penalties to taxes?

Yes. Penalty fees on delinquent property taxes will be 5% after 120 days with an additional 5% assessed after each successive 120 days to a maximum of 20% of the principle amount due. After 120 days, a $12.00 FIFA charge will be assessed when the City records a lien on the property.

Sanitation Questions

What is my trash and garbage pickup day?

Your garbage and trash days are the same. If you do not know what your pickup day is, call Advanced Disposal at (229) 928-1170. 

Are appliances picked up?

Yes, appliances are picked up. Contact Advanced Disposal at (229) 924-1170 and schedule a pickup to keep these items from sitting on the street.

How do I separate my trash?

Leaves, grass clippings and pine straw must be bagged and placed at the burg in separate piles. *Yard waste in a pile, limbs in a pile and metal and plastic in another pile. Limbs 12 inches or less cut no longer than 6 feet. If a limb is 12 inches or more cut to 2 feet or less (not to exceed 50 pounds).

What do I do if my trash/garbage is not picked up?

Call Advanced Disposal at (229) 928-1170 or Code Enforcement at (229) 924-4411 and report it.

Who do I call if my wheeled container is broken?

Call Customer Service at (229) 924-4411 and ask for a replacement container.

How do I report someone that is not following the sanitation rules?

Call Code Enforcement Officer at (229) 924-4411. 

Why was my wheeled container given a warning?

The wheeled container must be placed at the curb, no later than 7 am, on the day of pickup. It must be removed in the evening on the day of pickup. Wheeled containers left at the curb can result in a warning and possibly a fine. 

Special Activity Permit Questions

Can I rent a park or park facility in Americus?

All parks in Americus are open to the public. However, if you want to use Rylander Park or Rees Park, they can be rented from the City. Please fill out the Special Activity Permit for these two (2) parks. If you have questions, contact the City Clerk's Office at (229) 924-4411 for information. The cost to reserve either of these parks is $50.00 

Stormwater Utility Questions

What is stormwater runoff?

Stormwater runoff is water that drains off houses, rooftops, driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, roads and other surfaces that do not allow rainfall to soak into the ground when it rains.  This stormwater runoff then flows into the City drainage system and, eventually, into our streams and creeks including the Flint River.

How is stormwater runoff a problem?

All developed properties in a community that have manmade surfaces and structures contribute stormwater runoff to the City drainage system and, in some cases, to flooding problems. In addition to potential flooding problems, the stormwater runoff washes chemicals, trash and other pollution into the drainage system and our local creeks.  Old and damaged pipe systems have created a need for the City to develop and implement a more comprehensive stormwater management program to address drainage system maintenance issues as well as other high priority projects.

How does the City intend to deal with these problems?

The City stormwater management program will undertake various activities including the cleaning of ditches; replacement of aging pipes and structures; and the construction of new pipe systems to improve flow.

How does the City plan to address its multiple drainage needs and priorities?

The Mayor and City Council considered the implementation of a Stormwater Utility and stormwater user fee charge to address the City’s drainage needs discussed above.  All the user fee revenues will be dedicated solely to funding stormwater management and drainage system activities. The Stormwater Utility would service all residences, businesses, institutions and government facilities because all developed properties generate stormwater runoff.

What is Stormwater Utility?

A Stormwater Utility is an entity whose purpose is to provide services related to stormwater management. Each user (customer) is charged a fee for the service provided.

What is a Stormwater User Fee?

A Stormwater User Fee is a charge for stormwater management services provided by the City to all residential and non-residential properties in the City.  The user fee revenue collected can only be utilized for the provision of stormwater management services.

How do you set a user fee charge for an individual property?

The user fee charge is based on the amount of impervious surfaces on a parcel.  Impervious surface means those areas which prevent the natural absorption of rainfall and stormwater runoff.  Common impervious surfaces include rooftops, buildings or structures, sidewalks, walkways, patio areas, roads and streets, driveways, parking lots, storage areas and other surfaces such as compacted soil and gravel.  The square footage of impervious surface on a property has a direct correlation to the amount of stormwater runoff that flows off that property

How would my user fee bill be calculated?

The user fee is based on a billing unit or Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) that is based on impervious surface. One billing unit (or ERU) will be equal to $4.00 per month. A stormwater user fee billing unit (or 1 ERU) is the average amount of impervious area on a typical single family property in Americus. Under the current proposal all single family residential properties will be charged a flat rate of $4.00 per month (or $48 per year) for stormwater services. All non-residential properties would be charged a custom amount that is based on the total square footage area of impervious surface on their property. For example, if a shopping center had roughly 20 times the amount of impervious surface as a typical residential property then the shopping center would be charged a monthly stormwater user fee charge that is 20 times larger than the residential charge.

What if my property has a detention pond?

Customers and properties that operate and maintain a stormwater detention pond might be eligible for a credit (or reduction) against the monthly stormwater user fee charge. Customers should contact the City at (229) 924-7111 regarding the available credit application procedures.   Stormwater Utility Credit Manual

How does this user fee amount compare to other Georgia communities?

The typical user fee rate per ERU for the existing utilities in Georgia is approximately $3.75 per month.

Why did the City considering a stormwater user fee charge to fund stormwater management services?

Based on a detailed assessment of the City’s current Public Works operation, the City Council has concluded that additional resources are needed to address various drainage system and stormwater management needs in the City.  The City Council believes that institution of a stormwater user fee charge, as opposed to a property tax increase, is the most fair, equitable and stable way to fund the future stormwater program.  The user fee would not be based on the assessed “value” of a property like a tax; rather it is based on the amount of stormwater runoff that the property generates from its impervious surface.  Each customer’s stormwater runoff amount results in the City having to provide an adequate drainage system to deal with the water.  In general, stormwater services will be provided to customers by the City -- similar to water, sewer, and sanitation services. An additional benefit of a Stormwater Utility is that all stormwater user fee revenues must be spent on stormwater and drainage related issues whereas tax revenues are not subject to such restrictions.  In contrast, property tax revenues can be spent on any City budget item.

In the past, how have stormwater services been funded?

In the past, drainage system operation and repair activities have been funded by the annual City budget which is made up of various tax revenue sources.  This process has proved to be inadequate and unstable from year to year due to the nature of competing priorities within the City’s annual budgeting process and reduced sales tax revenues.  The Stormwater Utility was established to fund a more comprehensive stormwater program without drawing additional funding away from other City priorities such as Public Safety.

Isn't this just another tax?

A stormwater user fee charge is not a tax.  Although the stormwater user fee is an additional cost to customers, it is not a tax because it bears little or no relation to the taxable value of a property. If a property is developed and generates stormwater runoff, the customer will be charged a stormwater user fee charge based on the amount of runoff discharged from the property and the stormwater services provided by the City to handle that runoff amount through the City drainage system.

Would churches and other tax-exempt properties be required to pay the stormwater user fee?

Yes, all developed properties within the City limits that have impervious areas will be charged a stormwater user fee regardless of ownership or property tax status. All impervious surfaces (e.g. parking lots and rooftops) contribute stormwater runoff, and therefore, all customers would share the implementation cost of the City’s stormwater management program.

Is there any way to reduce the Stormwater Fee that is being charged?

Both residential and non-residential customers may be able to apply for credits to reduce their stormwater user fee charge by following the procedures that are outlined in the Stormwater Utility Credit Manual The credits will be based on those methods used to directly reduce the impact of stormwater runoff on the City’s drainage system.

What will be the frequency of billing and the billing mechanism?

The stormwater user fee charge will be billed on your existing City of Americus monthly public utility bill.  If you do not receive a monthly utility bill from the City, a new account will be set up for you and a stormwater services bill will be delivered to you.

Who do I call if I have additional questions?

Contact the City of Americus Public Works Department with any questions at (229) 924-7111.

How do I learn more about Americus's stormwater utility?

Please visit the City of Americus  Stormwater Unitility Management website.

Streets and Sidewalk Questions

To whom do I report a street light that is out?

To report a street light outage call the City at (229) 924-7111 and give the street location or fill out the Request Form (Form #95). 

To whom do I report a missing street sign?

Contact the Public Works Department at (229) 924-7111 with the location of the missing street sign.  If the missing street sign could cause an accident, call 911. 

To whom do I report a traffic signal that is not working correctly?

Contact the Public Works Department at (229) 924-7111 with the location of the traffic signal. 

To whom do I report pot holes in the street?

Contact the Public Works Department at (229) 924-7111 with the location of the repair needed.

Who do I call to repair my sidewalk?

Contact the Public Works Department at (229) 924-7111 with the location of the repair needed. 

Who do I call to have a tree removed from the city right-of-way?

Contact the Public Works Department at (229) 924-7111 with the location of the tree that needs to be removed.

Utility Questions

What are the normal business hours of the utility department?

Customer Service is located at 1404 E. Forsyth Street in our Customer Service Center. The lobby and drive-thru are open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Representatives can also be reached by phone (229) 924-4411 or fax (229) 924-4027 Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

How do I apply for residential utility services?

New Service:  All forms of payment except checks are accepted for security deposits.  Security deposits are based on a risk assessment utilizing Online Utility Exchange.  The security deposits for water service range from zero to $125.00.  The security deposits for natural gas service range from zero to $225.00.  Customers whose deposits are waived have a $25.00 connection fee for water service and $25.00 connection fee for natural gas service.

 

Can my deposit be billed to my account?

No, the deposits must be paid prior to services being connected.

How can I pay my bill?

We accept payments by mail, in person during posted business hours,  online with a convenience fee or at our conveniently located drop boxes.For your convenience, the City has installed payment drop boxes at the following locations:

Rubos on Highway 30.

Lee Street entrance of the Municipal Building parking lot

At the entrance of the Customer Service Center

Where are the City's drop box locations for payments?

Rubos Grocery on Highway 30, Lee Street entrance of the Municipal Building Parking Lot (101 West Lamar Street), and at the Customer Service Center at 1404 East Forsyth Street. 

How are residential sewer charges calculated?

Residential sewer charges are calculated once every year. The average water usage for the months of February, March, and April are used to calculate sewer charges. The new charge will appear on your May bill.

Can I get a discount on my utility bill?

Yes, a discount is available for senior citizens for gas and water service. To be eligible for this discount you must be 62 years of age or older and the annual household income cannot exceed $15,600. You may obtain an application by clicking here

Does the City offer a budget billing plan?

Yes, a budget billing plan to residential gas customers is available. For further information, please contact the Customer Service Representative at (229) 924-4411

Does the City apply late fees or penalties to utility bills?

Yes, a 5% penalty is added to past due balances six (6) days after the due date listed on the utility bill. 

If my payment is delayed, what is the normal procedure for disconnecting my utility services?

Cut off date for the 30th billing cycle will be the second Tuesday of the month. The cut off date for the 15th billing cycle will be the fourth Tuesday of the month. Occasionally, it may be postponed due to unforeseen circumstances. (example: weather, billing problems, etc.) 

My utilities were disconnected for non-payment. When and what time will my services be restored?

Payment of the past due balance plus reconnect fees must be made in person at our office located at 1401 East Forsyth Street If payment is received by 3:00 p.m., services can be reinstated the same day. Payments after 3:00 p.m. are not guaranteed the same day service. 

Do I need to be home when my services are connected?

Gas service reconnection requires you to be home if you have a pilot light that needs to be lit. Water service can be connected without being home as long as all faucets are in the off position.

I paid my reconnect fees for water and gas. My water has been turned back on but my gas has not, when will my gas be turned back on?

The water must be turned on before the gas can be reconnected. If your water has been restored, your gas connection should be reinstated before 5:00 pm on the same day. 

How do I get my utility deposit(s) refunded?

There are two (2) ways to receive your deposit(s). If your deposit(s) is on file when service is discontinued, it will be applied to your final bill. The city also applies deposit(s) to accounts after two years of good credit history. 

What are utility connection costs for new facilities?

Assuming water and sewer services are readily available, tap fees are as follows:

Water Tap Fee

 

 

Sewer Tap Fee*

 

5/8" meter 

$465.00

 

5/8" meter

$325.00

1" meter

$640.00

 

3/4" meter

$325.00

2" compound commercial variable

$2,575.00

 

2" compound commercial variable

$1,090.00

 

*Additionally, a one time connection fee of $400.00 is charged. 

Water and Sewer Department Questions

Who do I call when there is a water leak?

Contact the Public Works Department at (229) 924-7111 if the leak is on the City side of the meter. If the leak is on your property contact a plumber. 

Who do I call when my water is dirty?

Contact the Mill Creek Water Plant at (229) 924-7118 and report the problem. 

Who do I call when the catch basin is stopped up?

Contact the Public Works Department at (229) 924-7111 and give the location of the catch basin that is stopped up. 

Who do I call when the sewer line is stopped up?

Contact the Public Works Department at (229) 924-7111 and give the location of the sewer line that is stopped up.

Zoning Questions

Is my property located in the Historic District?

Go to http://americus.binarybus.com and search for the property or call (229) 924-4411 and ask for the Building Risk Management Department. 

What is a property zoned?

Go to http://americus.binarybus.com and search for the property or call (229) 924-4411 and ask for the Building Risk Management Department.

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