Public buildings in Alexander City will soon be closed as the spread of the coronavirus covers the state.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and state health officer Scott Harris closed Alabama’s Gulf beaches; banned all social gatherings and activities for groups 25 and larger as well as any gathering where a 6-foot distance between people cannot be maintained; and ordered restaurants, bars and breweries from allowing dine-in options Thursday. Soon after, Alexander City Mayor Tommy Spraggins ordered most public buildings closed starting Monday, but city services will not stop.

“In the interest of protecting the health of residents and employees of the city, beginning Monday most city buildings will be closed to the public,” Spraggins said. “These are difficult decisions and we regret any inconveniences they may cause. We will resume normal operations as soon as conditions will allow.”

Alexander City City Hall will remain open Friday.

“We don’t want to inconvenience citizens if they had plans to pay their bill on Friday,” community development director Al Jones said.

Alexander City facilities to remain open Monday and beyond for the time being are Thomas C. Russell Field including Randy M. Thomas Terminal Building, Lakewinds Golf Course and the Alexander City Landfill.

Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett has been in law enforcement for four decades and can hardly believe the scope of things.

“Never have I seen something like this on this scale,” Abbett said. “It’s impacting the economy and movement of people. We have heard of these things on this scale but has always been other countries.”

Abbett said law enforcement and his deputies will be there for the public but will take extra precautions.

“We are trying to limit our (physical) contact with the public and greatly promoting handwashing,” Abbett said. “We are screening and taking the temperatures of our staff daily. We do the same for inmates coming into the jail.”

Some businesses will limit hours and maybe close their doors until further notice but Abbett said his department’s services will not leave the businesses behind.

“We will still continue to do extra patrolling for the safety of the public,” Abbett said. “Business checks will continue especially after hours. More emphasis will be placed on the ones that are closed.”

Tallapoosa County Emergency Management Agency’s Jason Moran said the EMA’s role is growing in response to the coronavirus.

“We are still in a supporting role but we are working a lot closer with (Alabama Department of Public Health),” Moran said. “We are working on getting personal protective equipment in our county.”

Moran said the supplies come from FEMA to ADPH before being distributed.

“We don’t make the decisions on who gets what,” Moran said. “We help distribute it.”

Spraggins said citizens still have ways to pay bills, fees and fines from citations. Utilities can be paid through the city’s website at www.alexandercity.gov, by using drop boxes at city hall, mail via the U.S. Postal Service, autodraft which will begin the next billing cycle and the drive-thru window which will be opened.

Building permits can be completed on the city’s website and payments can be made via mail or the drop boxes. To renew or receive business licenses, owners need to contact the business license department at 256-329-6720. Forms and payment can be mailed or left in the drop boxes. Business taxes can be paid through the city’s website.

The Alexander City Municipal Court is closed but that doesn’t stop the deadlines on payment of fines. All cases with dates for late March and early April are scheduled to be heard April 23. If that date changes it will be published on the city’s website and on Facebook.

Ambulance service payments can be paid online through the city’s website, by using the city’s drop boxes or by mail.

The Bud Porch Center is closed but the senior nutrition program will continue — just not dine-in.

“We are offering curbside meals for our regular patrons,” Spraggins said. “Homebound meal services will continue as normal as long as the State of Alabama continues to furnish the meals.”

The police department is closed. Emergency calls should be made by calling 911 but the majority of calls can be handled by calling 256-397-1023. Records and reports are available by calling 256-329-6744. The Citizens Public Safety Academy is closed until further notice.

Adelia M. Russell Library and Mamie’s Place are close but e-books are available.

Other closures include Public Works, Sportplex Buildings and ball fields, light, water, gas and sewer departments and Cooper Recreation Center.

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.