Jan

11

Council votes to close collection station/Moves forward with Texan Theater, interim pump project, hears more on Cain Center

Posted by : admin | On : January 11, 2018

Athens Mayor Monte Montgomery (right) presents a plaque of appreciation to Councilman Joe Whatley in appreciation for his service to the city council. Whatley resigned at the last council meeting in December. Aaron "Bubba" Smith took his place as Interim Councilman.

Athens Mayor Monte Montgomery (right) presents a plaque of appreciation to Councilman Joe Whatley in appreciation for his service to the city council. Whatley resigned at the last council meeting in December. Aaron “Bubba” Smith took his place as Interim Councilman.


By Denise York
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–After Managing Director of Public Services Ryan Adams presented curbside bulk trash pick-up alternatives to the council once again at the Jan. 8 meeting, council members voted unanimously to close the Collection Station. Adams had made the presentation to the council at the Nov. 27 meeting, but gave a shortened version to bring new council members up to speed before the vote. At issue is the underuse and possible misuse of the Collection Station, which opens the city up to liability for costs in the event of a hazardous spill. Also, the fees charged have made up only a small portion of the costs to keep the center open. Residents will be able to use the Henderson County Collection Sites to dispose of bulk items. No date was given for the close.
After another public hearing on the Cain Center Project, the council seems committed to continue with the current plan, but intends to bring it in at a budget the city can afford. Several citizens spoke, the majority being in favor of continuing with the project including the indoor pool. Former Cain Center Director Tere Lawyer pleaded with council, “Please save it.” Bob Morton spoke about the health and welfare of the community as being a prime consideration and said, “Think about that child who drowns because they didn’t have a place for swim lessons.” Many citizens mentioned that a renovated Cain Center could bring in more programs to help offset its cost, with Lawyer making the comment, “With a renovated facility, income would rise and repairs decrease.”
Managing Director of Community Services Thanasis Kombos, along with acting City Manager Gary Whittle presented alternatives for paying for the project from the existing certificates of obligation which also fund the Texan Theater project and the utility projects. Since the agenda item was a discussion item, council took no action but more is expected at the next meeting.
Council approved a Texan Theater package including audio/visual package with a stage, furnishings and equipment up to the $240,000 asked for, but gave direction to Kombos to save where he could. Council also approved the appropriation of $136,598 in the HOT Occupancy Tax fund for reconstruction of the south wall of the Texan Theater.
Council took action, approving a Professional Services Agreement for engineering and design of an Interim High-Pressure Plane Booster Pump Station with Garver, USA not to exceed $69,499 to address the low water pressure area on the northeast side of town, which resulted in a boil-water notice for seven residences on or near Sand Springs Road They also declared a public health exception from state purchasing laws to authorize staff to select a construction service provider to expedite the solution. The pump is an interim solution, expected to last approximately two years. Costs are expected to near $500,000.
In other business, council members:
• heard from citizens regarding a request from Ampler Development, LLC for site plan approval for a new Burger King Restaurant with drive-through at 1004 E. Tyler St.
• heard request from the Boyce family to replat Lot 1 of the Boyce Subdivision at 1200 Kaufman Rd. to allow a future manufactured home.
• appointed Kathy Means to the Cultural Resources Commission.
• appointed Armando Rincon to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
• reappointed Larry Babb, and John Cain to the Airport Advisory Board.
• reappointed Chris Tinsley, Andrea Copeland, Bob Morton and Justin Boswell to the Parks Advisory Board.
• reappointed Paul Ingram and Brady Autry to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
• reappointed Jack Bateman and Mamie Stafford to the Zoning Board of Adjustments.
• reappointed Billy Murphree, Garrett Hope and Cody Craig to the Substandard Building Commission.

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